Monday, January 15, 2018

Master Boulder

dear reader:

I don't pray.  But I do pray.


Though I'm intimidated
by its monolithic presence
I often return to that boulder
at the bottom of the canyon

and then
despite my resistance
its command to listen
to what can not be spoken
only felt:

the profundity of its heavy silence.

Through those moments
of strange peace
I slowly uncover
the master boulder
solid in the darkness
of my depths.

This returning is a ritual:
a prayer, a homage--
a way to find home.

listening to silence: poetry ebook
© 2018, Michael R. Patton

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Monday, January 08, 2018

Wound Furrow

Dear Reader:

We're often told: support those who serve.

I say: we all serve.


On my long trek home from war
I stopped to watch a farmer turn
an old meadow into a fresh field

but when I saw how
the plow blade broke the earth open
I felt my raging shame once more--

once more felt
the sharp wound of defeat--
a cut I'd tried so hard to ignore

but as the child
followed with handfuls of seed
I realized
such destruction creates furrows--

as the wise one said
old life must be torn
so new life can be born

but oh
I did not want to labor!
I wanted to laze:

war had tested my strength
thus, in the aftermath
I felt quite weak


I'd already learned
from such conflict
that if I didn't fight my inertia
I'd suffer an even worse defeat.

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
what I learned while alone: poetry ebook

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Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Clear Glass of Air on New Year's Eve

Dear reader:

Please feel free to insert your own name after the line "Once again, I know my name--".

Best wishes for the new year.


At the end of another year--alone

and blank
under a bare light bulb
at a hardwood table
...too late...too early

too slow in the head
to say my own name!--

maybe I'm dead...

I'm like that clear glass of air
on the table:

emptied out
but as a result
filled with spirit--

at the end of another ending
I feel myself newly born

but only rare moments
can be so pure:
with the next breath
the adult I am again rushes in.

Once again, I know my name--


which means: one of many

but many can be wonderful

yes indeed--
didn't my epiphany
just prove to me
the potential within
the common individual?

In celebration
I drink that clear glass of air.

what I learned while alone: an ebook
© 2017, Michael R. Patton

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Light of December at Midnight

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.

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
what I learned while alone: poetry ebook

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