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author’s note:

Dedicated to all the worriers out there.

I know your pain.
 

INSIDE & OUT

Feeling defeated
at the end of another day
I fell back

and in the emptiness following a sigh
again heard that gentle whisper
of blended gender—
heard again those words inside my ear:
“Do not worry—
  I am with you always”

and as before, heard nothing more—
only silence when I asked
“who’s there?”

yet I feel comforted by this occasional visitor:
I always imagine an angel behind my left shoulder
shielding me with the canopy
of its invisible wings

but maybe I’m actually hearing
a better stronger me
echoing from deep within—

shouldn’t I rejoice at the thought
I hold such power of spirit?

Well, yes…nonetheless
I still want to believe:
I’m not alone—I am known.

So tonight
if the voice returns
whispering “Do not worry”
I’ll again imagine a constant angel

but will also tell myself:
apparently, you have the strength you need
to triumph despite the defeat
of these heavy gray days.

 

© 2019, Michael R. Patton
searching for my best beliefs: poetry ebook

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Dear Reader:

With regret, I cut this thought from the poem below:

“late,
  but too early
  to surrender”

Best wishes for the new year.
 

A CLEAR GLASS OF AIR ON NEW YEAR’S EVE

At the end of another year—alone

and blank
under a bare light bulb
at a hardwood table.

Maybe I’m dead…but no—

that clear glass of air on the table
tells me:

we only seem empty—
in reality
we’re filled with spirit.

Yes—
I suddenly sense the purity within—
at year’s end, I am newly born.

But such clarity
only lasts for the moment of a breath

with the next
all my days rush in again.

Again I am
a flawed and fumbling human being

but refreshed, after knowing
the pure spirit again.

Through this knowing, I know
the pure spirit within us all—

all us
deeply flawed
roughly fumbling
human beings.

A rolling jumble of bells
now begin
to chorus midnight

and in celebration of our spirit
I drink that clear glass of air.
 


what I learned while alone: poetry ebook
© 2018, Michael R. Patton

author’s note:

It doesn’t have to be an owl.
 

THE OWL AT MIDNIGHT

One blessed midnight…

I woke to find
my confused face reflected
on the translucent lens
of the owl’s dark eyes.

As the wise one peered deep into me
from its perch on the window sill
I froze dumb, struck to the core—

I could feel its sharp vision scanning
through my assorted troubles—conflicts!—
not judging me nor feeling pity
merely calculating my progress
in our refining process.

Overwhelmed by the intense scrutiny
I soon shut down
but though I wished I’d stayed awake
I felt satisfied after that visit:

what I’d only vaguely sensed before
had been confirmed by experience:

our world does indeed have eyes—
yes, we’re being monitored

and though our watchers
may seem distant and dispassionate
obviously, they must care—
otherwise they wouldn’t track
our steps so intently.

I realize some may claim
the owl was but a dream…

but either way
I can still say:
this work I’m doing matters.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog

author’s note:

I want to die with my boots on.
 

DYING WITH HIM

Unable to believe a prayer could help
I suffered quietly with the man instead:

I matched my breath
with his ragged breath
and winced
whenever his eyelids crinkled in pain

yet I still felt so distant.

To entertain my impatience
I counted time as his blind hand
ticked against the sheet

and in that way
I fell into a timeless trance

until with a startle
our heart clunked clumsily
once…twice

then my breath and chest slumped
as his whole apparatus collapsed
with one relinquishing heave.

Suddenly a subtle brightness
intensified the room:
a nebulous glittery mist
hovered midair

only to dissolve in a blink—
too soon gone.

I nearly laughed:

what had seemed
so crushingly hard
had become in an instant
ridiculously easy.

In that moment, I realized
the old book spoke the truth—
we are indeed resurrected.

I suffered with him
until we suffered no more.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: a blog

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