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author’s note:

Folklore, past and present, talks about a vast wealth of life, undiscovered, within Earth.


Years ago, I woke in the wee hours
from a dream of a river rising up from
deep underground:

I could feel the power
of its great patience

as those dark waters
gently, relentlessly eroded
stubborn dense obstructions.

Since that dream
I’ve learned to listen
to the wisdom of the river

but I still struggle to surrender
to the life determined to break free.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog


author’s note:

Our dreams remind us how extraordinary our ordinary lives are.


According to one theory…

as we ease into sleep
our minds begin to spiral
and expand
like a hurricane
like a galaxy:

though we think we rest
we actually spread and accelerate
through an interstellar space—

each night we extend
just a little bit more
than before—
we grow even as we snore.

But when the alarm sounds
we contract—
in a mere instant
we slam back together again!

I’m not sure of that theory
but I do know:
in a blink I’m awake
and in the rush of morning thought
I quickly forget
my nighttime universe…

but later, while waiting in traffic
I may sense a soft buzz of stardust within
then dimly recall a meteor or a planet.

What I lost probably wasn’t that important
I’ll tell myself

but in truth, at such times
I feel like a kid
who’s just missed the circus
and must return to class.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog


author’s note:

A poem for our Winter season.


The garden of dead leaves taught me:

beneath the surface
of that stagnant black pond
rich life multiplies.

The garden taught me:

slow decay in the shadow
will suddenly blossom into
circles of pink mushroom.

The garden told me:

don’t worry—
you’re exactly where you need to be…

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
Searching for My Best Beliefs: a poetry book


author’s note:

With regret, I cut these two lines from the poem below:

“When I realize my true size
 I don’t try to act so big”


The larger part
of human life
remains hidden
beneath the waves:

we are blue whales—
our secret language echoes
through vast expanses of ocean

so when I go below
I can hear you again
then feel you again—
you are not lost to me

and if I dare to go
even deeper down
I may hear the whole herd:

at such rare times
I am overwhelmed
by our whale song.

© 2016, Michael R. Patton
Listening to Silence: a book

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