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author’s note:

I may be a fraidy cat.  But I’m a fraidy cat with curiosity.
 

BEFORE A STEP

In the dream, a door swings open

as if daring me to step inside.

I want to accept
but because I see
only darkness beyond
I hesitate

even though I know
I’ll eventually step—
just because I’m so
damn curious.

If I’d employed that guide
I wouldn’t feel this fear

but without fear
how I can realize my strength?

Yes, when I finally step
at first, I’ll feel lost

but whatever path I then find
will be my own.
 

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

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author’s note:

Do we become stronger or do we gradually realize how strong we actually are?
 

THE FABLE OF THE OLD MAN & THE BUMPKIN

An old man sitting in a tree
begged a young bumpkin
passing by on the path below
to carry him across the river.

The lad gladly complied…

but when he reached the opposite side
he felt the burden lift from his back
then turned to find
the old man laughing
in the branches of that tree
where our story began.

But that’s not the end:
he’s toted that codger
over the water
again and again and again

even though the geezer merely whistles
when asked how and why
he keeps vaporizing.

So stop
I told the green rustic

to which he replied:
Just look how strong
my arms and legs and back
have become

and besides
this way
I get to help someone else
not just once…not just twice
but as many times as I wish.

 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

author’s note:

What do I want people to say about me upon my demise?

“He fought the good fight.”
 

GOOD LIFE…GOOD DEATH

At my ending
I think I’ll have courage enough
not to fight
to prolong a life
no longer needed

because in this life
I have fought to overcome
my fear of freedom—

yes, I’ve warred within—
struggling to reject
enticing confinements
that would have been
living tombs.

So maybe at the end
I’ll have the strength
to release a good life
and embrace a good death.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
my war for peace: poetry ebook

author’s note:

Up from the bottom
   of an old pond,
   that duckling
has seen something strange.
       — Joso (trans. Beilenson/Behn)
 

DREAMING THE WOUNDED EAGLE

When the eagle plummeted from the sky

straight down into the lake

I felt so confused:
how could anything so powerful
crash—?—
how could something so grand
simply vanish—?

I awoke in such an astonished state—
I could not think

and so, began to feel
the desperate message
in my depths–

a message maybe a few
(or maybe many)
could also use
so I will translate
what the eagle silently told me:

now you’ve seen the wound—

so maybe now
you will go against
lower instinct
and push yourself down
and down
and down
into this shocking cold water—

will you finally save me?

Since that dream message
I’ve gone on countless dives
and though I can’t yet claim
to have resurrected the eagle…

considering what I have raised
I can say:

I’m glad I disobeyed
the fear that warned me
to stay on dry land.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

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