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author’s note:

I keep learning from old dreams.


Years ago in a dream
I saw the truth of my room:

the walls and floor, all dull gray—
even the light motes drifting
down from the ceiling:
dense gray.

Since that vision, I’ve worked
to escape my gray place
and maybe I have—because
though I still see
scary things in my dreams
I witness nothing so monotone.

But ever so often
in my waking hours
I revisit the room
because as a human being
I want to understand

and if I can raise myself
when I return
I’ll again realize
the beauty and benefit
of that hermitage:

though gray, the sun rays
pour down from a skylight

and those high walls
create a great space—
an austere cathedral.

Oppressive, yes, but
power held in check
can build in strength
as our desire to break out
—to bloom—
grows in intensity.

I’ve still much to learn
but at least now I know why
I needed that gray room.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog


frog throat - October 22, 2014s

author’s note:

“I have sounded the very bass-line of humility.”
       — Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I


Now I know why
the bullfrog immerses itself
in the cold dark water beneath the willow
all through the night:

baptisms are not done in a moment—
long solitary work is required
to raise the soul from the depths.

Such resurrections
resurrect deep feelings—

the frog feels compelled to sing

but has not yet reached
the high sweet notes…

its relentless coarse croaking
tells us of the drive within all frogs
to heal and heal and heal
and heal the wound…

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
dream steps: the blog

buffalo finches - August 3, 2014s

author’s note:

I return to a familiar theme…

Maybe I’m repeating myself…

I prefer to think of it as “developing a motif”.


Please pardon my absence—

I’d like to squawk along
with all you other birds:

such noise can actually be medicinal

but for a stronger healing
I must walk alone to the mountain lake:

this alien lake, these alien trees
seem to know me—

they know I don’t need pity:
what I need is their understanding…

their wise silence prompts me to listen

but only for so long:

reawakened by the blare
of this alive quiet
my engine begins to rev

so I know I must return
to the grating joyful cacophony
of forces in opposition

that, in truth, only echo
what bangs and clangs inside me.

So, no matter if I’m here
or there, I can hear myself

though still not as clearly as I wish…

© 2014, Michael R. Patton

who are line - June 11, 2014s

author’s note:

Some say we live in a world of shadows…

I say: let’s explore.


Voices from unseen partiers
echo out of the dark distance—

the words unclear—distorted:

an alien sound

perhaps a little frightening.

I absorb the
as do the oak trees—

I feel the sounds
deep within
just as the trees listen
down in their roots.

What resides inside mystifies me
like a shadow kingdom

and so, I keep summoning
long after the voices have gone:

how beautifully strange we are.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton

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