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sweet embraceable tree - December 24, 2015s

author’s note:

Here’s a term I often hear used derisively: tree hugger.

Well, if you’re losing your balance and about to fall off a cliff, I think you might be relieved to find the arms of a tree.



The tree tells me:

if suddenly
your love rises so high
that you feel you must
either release the flow
or die

then please encircle me
with your desperate arms
and I will accept your offering—

I will accept your burden
I will accept your suffering:

In breaking yourself open
you will heal.

But maybe you can’t feel
your love—
maybe you hurt so much
you can’t bear to touch
any thing at all—

not even a devoted tree.

If so, I trust
your greater desire
will eventually
push you past your fear
and you’ll straggle here
to embrace me

and in that surrender rediscover
your overwhelming love…

and once done, return
to help others find
their way back
to this tree.


© 2015, Michael R. Patton

cartoons of Christmas past


tree hand 363h - November 19, 2015s

author’s note:

Yes, I used the word “lovely” to describe my computer…

But in my defense, I was using the computer to type this poem and wanted to keep it happy.



What if we lost
the extraordinary tools
of our technology
in a massive cyber-crash!–

would the end then be inevitable?–

would we destroy ourselves
in all the fearful fighting
over such common necessities
as bread…?

I say:
despite the madness
we might do more
than merely survive
because loss can also
bring gain–

in the middle of building something
using this lovely computer
my arms and hands
have said

then pulled me outside
to hold, to touch, to feel

until I rediscover what
I didn’t realize I had lost.

Building our towers may indeed be
as important as we believe

and yet, to stop
isn’t the end…


© 2015, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the blog

paper hand 335H - February 1, 2015s

author’s note:

Come on, come on, come on, come on
now touch me, babe…
                      — The Doors


I once spent
an hour well-spent
trying to find
the perfect paper

to recreate a solitary heart
that’d fascinated me in a dream.

I’d hoped
one of those paper hues
would help me recall
the color of the heart—

well, each seemed almost right—
almost, but not quite.

Moreover, I discovered
near perfection
in every grade, high and low

as my finger pads traced across sheets
of various weaves and thicknesses—

I couldn’t be satisfied
when each new pleasure spurred the desire
to touch just one more…
just one more…

even so, one particular paper
finally stopped me—
that rough gray sheet
actually seemed to shine…

so I touched
but with trepidation

and in turn, was touched
by a quiet material so alive…

true, the others also lived
but this paper provoked
a deeper feeling:

there’s the empathy I feel
when I’m on the street

and the empathy I experience
when I sit down with someone
who I sense has known
a history similar to my own.

So when I eagerly
—yet tenderly—
put my scissors and ink
to those receptive fibers
the result expressed
something beyond
mere decorative design—

that mirror asked me
to remember someone lost…

someone of history known.

Now, years later
as I touch that cut heart
I feel again the melancholy
while also celebrating
the history shared…

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
listening to silence: the book

sun feet - January 18, 2015s

author’s note:

I’m not a member of the Polar Bear Club.  But hopefully, I’m not in the Hibernating Bear Club either.


Dulled by too much security
today, I let my feet breathe:

no socks, no shoes—open again

to the shark-slash of broken glass

to the scalding sting of boiling water

and worse yet:
the abrupt cold poison
of frightened snake…

but also free to feel
the shocking freshness
of wet Spring grass—

also free to squeeze
the luscious cool mud
between my pale toes.

I woke my nervous system
from its cobweb sleep
by creating bursts
of interior fireworks—
ignited by touch.

as my eyes traced
patterns of migration
in the wide-open sky,
my foot pads listened

to the veins of a river
coursing underground.

Today, I made
a dumb man a bit wiser

by again realizing
the value—the necessity—
of small acts of courage.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the blog

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