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author’s note:

I believe we’re all working in the same way…

…and we never retire.
 

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF MY EYELIDS

Years ago, I woke to find
a whirling circle of sun-fire
descending from a fog
hovering above me—

threatening
yet harmonious—
like the aerial view of a hurricane:
a swirling blaze
of orange and gold tentacles
spiraling
into a cool aqua eye.

I felt myself lift—drawn in
despite the fire

and in sudden response
the eye expanded
to envelop my vision
so I could know
how the soft surface hue
deepens down into
a well of cobalt blue—

ominous and yet
I wanted to dive in

but in an instant—by instinct—
I shut my shocked eyes

and found relief
for my palpitating heart
in that old familiar darkness

however…
amid the growing stillness
I could sense
the awakening desire
of a higher instinct.

In answer
I tried to open again
but soon learned:
I’d not yet earned
more than that brief glimpse.

Ever since
I’ve worked to build
the strength needed
to accept
that which I want
yet fearfully reject.

Yes—
in fatigue, I often sloth

but even then
I can sense the mystery lurking
on the other side of my eyelids

so I remain tantalized…

driven.
 


© 2017, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

author’s note:

It’s not my trail—it’s our trail.
 

A GLEAM OF PURPLE & GOLD

When I first glimpsed
that mountain peak
I believed

I’d seen my destiny:

I believed
I finally understood
the purpose
of this rising trail.

Thus
as I continued to step
I did so with intent.

Nonetheless
I’ve doubted the reality
behind my stated aim
because clouds and other
atmospheric conditions
usually keep the peak
hidden from me.

Fortunately, the work
of putting one foot
in front of the other
distracts my mind
from excessive worry

that is
until fatigue finally catches me

then I’ll begin to wonder if
I’m actually making progress
or if what I seek even exists.

And so, I’ll stop
and gaze upward
once again—
desperate for
another glimpse…

and indeed
with patience
I’ll eventually see a gleam
of purple and gold:

an image experienced
as a vision—
proclaimed by the spirit
to be truth.

Then
with doubt diminished
and hope renewed
I’ll continue to continue.

Though my heart will want to wait
for another bright beam
I know, from experience:
to linger longer
will only slow my progress

and to walk while looking up
is a sure way to trip and fall.
 


© 2017, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: a blog

coffin-shopped-bwb-october-8-2016sc

author’s note:

I would like to add: if I’m shopping in a labyrinth, then we’re shopping in a labyrinth.
 

SHOPPING IN THE LABYRINTH

My dreams confirm the message
of many myths and legends:

I’m traveling through a labyrinth.

However, in these dreams
the inner passageway
often resembles the halls
of your average shopping mall

with countless bright stores
vying for my attention:

offering me
every sort of thing
except it seems
that which I seek

and what might that be?—
well, I can’t exactly say—
I only know I haven’t yet found it
in any of those displays.

But I don’t feel defeated—
no, not in the least:
I’m still eager to explore—to see
what waits next door down:

I like to imagine
I’m gathering valuable information
with the hungry claws
of my six senses—

taking in as many manifestations
as I can possibly tolerate:

puzzle pieces to be put together
though maybe not
until much later—
maybe if I keep shuffling the mad lot
the bits will finally fall
into a discernable pattern
and I’ll find the design
that’s been waiting for me
to perceive its glorious reality—

perhaps that’s what
I seek in this labyrinth:
a vision of its totality!

A beautiful hope
but my solid reality is also lovely
as I’m driven by an innate desire
to see and feel and hear and know
what waits next door down.
 


© 2016, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: a poetry book

dark eyes 310w - March 4, 2015s

author’s note:

In recent dreams, I’m going to a new college.

So, at the very least, I’ve graduated from high school.
 

AN EDUCATION IN THE PIT

When the sky broke open on the first day

in fear of the sudden light
we ran into a cave to hide

and prayed until we’d built
enough courage
to venture back out

but as we felt our way
down the maze of dark tunnels
we became confused

and so, we’ve wandered lost
through the cave to this day…
                             We manage

to comfort ourselves
by forgetting about our blindness

but are reminded
whenever we hit a stalactite
or collide with a bat

or worse yet—
fall into a pit:

an event that can either be
a great motivator or
a hard defeat

depending on whether or not
you can imagine a brighter world:

a world in which
we will find our way
out of the shadows
by the light beams shooting
from our wide-open eyes.

But maybe you think
I speak without knowing
because I’m still down here
in the depths.

To that, I answer:
you can learn a lot in a pit

especially if
you want so badly to be free—

I’ve taught myself,
using all sorts of sources

including the teachings
of those who saw how
to climb their way out…

and what do the wise ones tell me?

You’re the only one
   who can open your eyes.

 

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
finding Beauty: the book

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