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author’s note:

No such thing as a bad dream!


As I struggled to navigate
the dark labyrinth
of that dream…

what a shock when
the thin guiding thread broke
and soon after that
my small lamp blew out

then in the smoky fog
I tried to find my way
with careful fingertips

but my sense of touch
had dulled.

What a blessing that dream!—

when I awoke to its light
I began to see again.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog


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
shuffling through stacks on shelves
in search of the perfect paper

for this craft project:
replicate a solitary heart
seen in the darkness of a dream.

I’d hoped
one of those paper textures
would help me recall
the feeling of that moon-white heart

and though several did seem
almost right
“almost” is not quite.

Yet as my finger pads traced across sheets
of various weaves and thicknesses
I discovered some type of perfection
in every grade—
high and low and in-between:

each new pleasure
spurred the desire
to touch just one more…
just one more…

until one particular paper
finally stopped me—
that rough gray sheet
actually seemed to shine
from the shadow of the shelf…

so I touched
with the trepidation of hope

and in turn, was touched
by a quiet fabric so alive:

somehow this paper provoked
a deeper feeling—

reminding me of the empathy
I sometimes feel
when I’m watching on the street—

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

So later, at home
when I eagerly
—yet tenderly—
put scissors
to those receptive fibers
the result expressed
something beyond
mere decorative design:

when I see that heart shape
I recall someone lost…

someone whose history
is part of my own.

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


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