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author’s note:

It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.
           — Bob Dylan


I am building an ark

my work guided
by a voice transcendent

asking me to believe
what I can’t yet see

but I blindly obey because
as carpenters, we learn
disasters can happen when
we refuse to listen…

doubt often lowers me down

but I lift myself
with this perspective:

maybe I am
making a grand mistake…

but if so
it’s wonderfully grand.

© 2016, Michael R. Patton
Survival: a poetry book

sailboat tree - July 23, 2014s

author’s note:

I was once told that the lost continent of Atlantis could be found in Missouri.  Seriously.

I’ve been to Missouri.  It ain’t there.


As I awoke Sunday
I again felt the fading
of a subtle strength—
the warmth and wisdom
of a greater life

back into my depths…

As before, dissatisfaction
flooded the void left in the wake—
a deeper hunger

stole all taste from my regular food.

But this time I’m not deflated—
mad desire has finally overwhelmed me
and filled my empty sail:

my ears begin to buzz
with that hollow surf roar
that comes when
trivial thought falls away
as I focus on a worthier goal—

a mission.

But my navigational tools
were designed for a life
I must abandon as
I set out on this voyage:

now, I’m forced to trust
what the wise ones told us:
that Moon and stars hold us
with unbreakable strings—

so no matter how much
my confused reasoning whines
and fights, I must obey
those higher lights as they
guide me to my rightful place.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
MYTH STEPS: the collection

shadow leaves blue - June 8, 2014s

author’s note:

Though I’m not a friend to spiders…

…I can’t help but love those webs.


The moonlight finds a spider
dangling down on an unseen string
from a tree of shadow leaves.

Suddenly, I realize again:

this life of ours—so tenuous

this drive of ours—so tenacious.

I am struggling to trust

                 this invisible string.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
BUTTERFLY SOUL: poems of death/grief/joy

inner mongolia - May 25, 2014s

author’s note:

As stated in the poem, “I’ve learned not to resist”…

What I didn’t say is: I learned the hard way.


Sometimes, I can detect a voice

so deep within…almost alien

yet somewhat comforting
because it lies beyond
my screeches and wails:

a voice without language
a voice without sound—

what often tells me yes
when I hope for no
and no when I’m wishing for
a definite yes.

But I’ve learned not to resist.

What I haven’t learned yet
is the purpose behind
its instructions…

I can only tell you
what I trust to be true:

I trust it knows of “home”—

that it knows what needs to unfold
through work and time—that it knows
where I need to go to get to
where I need to be—

that it knows what’s required
to answer a desire—a basic desire

but not one driven by survival fear.

Such a concept feels overwhelming

…almost unbelievable…frightening.

And yet…I can’t stop listening.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
OPEN ALL NIGHT: poems of our dream life

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