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author’s note:

We keep trying to brush the night away with our lights…

But the night just laughs—the night knows it’s still the boss.


Midnight feels darker
in December:

when I open myself
to the strange quiet
around Solstice night
I know the old familiar
in a new way

for instance…
when I stopped
at that display I’ve often mocked
suddenly I saw

the pink plastic baby lying in tinsel straw
as the hidden life in my heart
gestating slowly towards glorious birth

and the styrofoam star glittery with sequins
seemed to be that wise mind within—
the one that looks down and sighs with sadness
at the sight of my rough antics

and then (to my embarrassment)
I recognized that moon-eyed bovine
as my own slow head

but despite its domestic dullness
my cow brain could still find meaning
in those other display figures
made of cheap fiberboard.

Yes, midnight does seem darker
to this ex-Christian at Christmas—
darker, yet pervaded with such light.

myth steps blog
© 2017, Michael R. Patton


drum leaf yellow blk - December 3, 2014s

author’s note:

An appropriate poem, I think, as we approach the Winter Solstice.


The little drummer feels bored
by the soft dead Winter…

How can I inspire him to drum?

I present a fallen leaf
in the cup of my hands
and try to describe
its delicate resilient history—

the burnt orange
actually an amalgam
of subtle shades gained
through intense weathering…

a lesson for him, I hope

but ignored as he seizes
and crushes the brittle leaf
to bits in his small fist—

flinging the fine powder
to the rising wind.

Pumped now with the power of life
that brat struts off—banging again…

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
dream steps: the blog

winter sun - April 6, 2014s

author’s note:

An appropriate poem, I believe, as we cross the bridge into Spring.


I’m thankful for that Winter season
—a time to live my grief—

I’m thankful for
the frozen brightness
that stung me alive…

for the burrow in the snow
with its deep warm shadow.

I thought this weight
held me down…

but now I realize
the feeling actually lifted me—
in the way that water
can resurrect
            a broken body.

A force created
from the sunlight
and the darkness
tore a jagged hole
in the lake ice

a frosty steam rose from the wound—

the exposed blue waters simmered,
heated by a colossus—a foreign heart,
lurking somewhere underneath.

When I listen closely now…

I can still feel that strong beat
sounding throughout my body.

A blessing from the season
of the clear Winter sun…

© 2014, Michael R. Patton

author’s note:

A fitting poem, I thought, for the beginning of Spring.

Through March 22, you can get this poetry book for free on amazon.



Sometimes, I retreat
to a Winter’s cave
and allow all my growling
to spread thin
over a lake of frozen stars.

But even when hibernating
the bear rises and falls
with each breath—
the waters slosh
underneath the ice
until the stars
break apart

and then I return

from a repose too sweet to hold.

for a short while at least
I’ve regained
my gentle strength…

but knowing at any moment
I might accidentally stir the bear
and then be forced to contend
with its claws and teeth again.

Yet amid such contention
the two of us can occasionally
locate the balance of peace

then I’m able to enjoy
the slow indomitable roll
of awakened bear power.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
myth steps

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