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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

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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

author’s note:

Not written in any woman in particular.  Written to all, in general.
 

RADIANCE

When I mention her glow
she insists she only reflects
some distant sun…

but later
in the depth of night
she places her hand
over her heart

and wonders if
that warmth radiating
might be more than merely
mechanical heat
from the pumping of blood—

could it also be
the radiance of spirit?
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

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