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armadillo woods bbb - July 10, 2016sc

author’s note:

Another poem with a mirror in it.
 

ARMADILLO MIRROR

Though I constantly struggle to see…

I often miss the obvious
until a lightning bolt
from some personal god
shocks me awake—

as when
on a half-moon night
(while once again lamenting
 my meager accomplishment)
I happened upon
an armadillo on the lawn

and suddenly—without thought
saw myself in a mirror:
that little armored grubber
—an irrepressible spirit—
trundling along on its bitty legs:
a dwarf clawing for its survival
through many dark ages.

Such resolve, such strength!

But before my pride
could rise too high
I was struck again
by an inner knowing
I’d tried so hard to ignore:

the shell that protects
also limits…

I must evolve
out of the dark.

As I am, so we are.
 


© 2016, Michael R. Patton
SURVIVAL: a book

tree sweet embraceable bbbb - April 22, 2016s

author’s note:

In observance of Earth Day, April 22…

…and let us not forget National Arbor Day, April 29.
 

WORLD TREE

I am told
we may not
have enough
resources

and my own experience
seems to give this idea
credence
because
   often, I can’t remove
   the big block
   in my thoughts
   and so often
   I can not find
   enough room
   in my heart
   and too often
   I can’t quite
   locate my feet.

So in search of an answer
I spoke to a tall tree today—
a solid but free, bold sashaying tree
of green-gold candle flames:

I wanted to know how
it rose so strong, so sure
on such sparse water
in bleached rocky soil
amid dismal sunlight.

It replied:
I draw from a primeval lineage.
It replied:
I draw from an eternal sky

so all through the choking dust
of dry Summer
and all through the numbing sleet
of dead Winter
my roots, my trunk maintain
enough vertical spirit
for me to be
what’s required
of a world tree.

Now, having seen
the truth of the tree
I say:

if we’re of the same Earth spirit
yet can’t find enough resources
then we have failed as a species
and will perish or else
revert to a cave life.

But whether we stay or go
the tree will continue to flower.
The tree will not
look back on us in pity
the tree will look forward,
arms open to the next arrival.

The tree is not heartless,
nonetheless…

it won’t exaggerate our importance.
 


© 2016, Michael R. Patton
survival: the book

flower ashes 402w - February 19, 2016s

author’s note:

As they say in the movies: “based on a true story”.
 

OPULENCE

One bright day
in the early years of my search…

I wandered a verdant rolling campus—
  hoping to find the party
  promised to me
  upon entering adulthood…

Finally
at the top of a hill
I came upon a clearing
where young folk sprawled
all around an electric stage:

a band strutted and pranced
just as fools and musicians did
during the reign of the Sun King—

I could think of only one word
to describe such a Summer life:

“Opulence”

and maybe because I drank
from the communal cask
or maybe because moods
are indeed contagious
I soon became thick dizzy sluggish

and then
   with what remained
   of my feeble mind
I wondered if
we’d all become numb
by a life of too much

just too much:

the big beat did not move us
nor did the clouds or the Sun—
we had even lost our infatuation
with the winking wings of butterflies.

In the time since that time
the wine has continued
to overflow our cup

and faster, ever faster

though we can’t keep up
we dare not ask the flow to stop!

When too much
is not enough
I’m afraid to stop
lest I die from thirst.

I think we fear
that our drunken palace
must eventually, inevitably
collapse—

we imagine an aftermath
of life reduced to screwworm survival.

But since the future seems unstoppable
we’ve decided we might as well drink up–
drink up!

Maybe our future history can’t be stopped
nonetheless, I still have hope:
because I imagine
a different aftermath
after that collapse:

one in which we fill another cup—
a different cup: a grail cup—a cup I hope
I can find deep within my crowded chest:

that’s the future I’ve chosen
to believe in:

a grand experiment, this life—
no failures here…only learning…
 


© 2016, Michael R. Patton
dream steps: the blog

future of dogs 332h - January 15, 2014s

author’s note:

When one dog barks, one hundred dogs.
            — old Chinese proverb
 

THE FUTURE OF DOGS

What if we humans
(overwhelmed by our life)
began to regress:

what if we lowered to crawl
then slide even further—
down to a slither

until finally
for the sake of simplicity
we shrank to the basic life
of the one-cell organism?

To fill the void we’d leave behind
maybe dogs would drive our cars:
just like humans
they’d work, play, marry, spend—
experiment, build, scheme…

and perhaps in the exhaustion
of all the stress and rush
they’d eventually stop
and begin wonder if
there might be something more
beyond that mash of noise.

Maybe they’d then invent
a story of mystery
to add another dimension
to their lives
and thus fulfill
an obscure desire

or maybe in those moments of silence
they’d actually begin to sense
a reality unseen:

maybe some
would flex their nostrils
and try to sniff out
that other world

and maybe they’d eventually find a trail
that could lead us there

but if nothing else
they’d experience the ache
of searching
and thus discover
new depths to the heart:

in either case
they’d be driven to express
something beyond the limits
of their usual yapping
and so begin to howl
from deep, deep down

and as those dogs howled
other dogs would naturally stop to listen:

those busy dogs
would brake their cars
and open their ears
to hear the feeling within the sound—
they’d feel the feeling
and in feeling, also begin to howl

and by howling, discover
their better deeper nature—
discover their higher truth:

they’d find the ring
that links them all together.

In this way
canines could continue to evolve—
they’d go beyond raw survival
they’d go beyond dog-eat-dog:

they’d reject the temptation
to lazily regress
to the dark numb world
of the one-cell organism…

 

© 2015, Michael R. Patton

myth steps: the blog

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