Friday, October 21, 2016

We are Whales

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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Sunday, October 16, 2016

What Kind of Gods?

author's note:

From a soon-to-be published book entitled Searching for My Best Beliefs.


As a child she believed
our gods lived in the clouds

until one Winter morning
when sunlight whitened
a frosty wisp of her breath
and suddenly she realized:

if I have clouds inside
then I must also have gods

Maybe the gods
had entered humans
long long ago
because they couldn't help them
from so high above

but if they really wanted to help
why didn't they steer her away
from mud and bees and mean dogs?

What kind of gods
would allow such pain?

Those deities must be devils!--
her fits and fights were simply
a matter of possession!

and the gods would keep on
tripping her up--
no way to escape:
they lived inside--
she'd suffer their torture
'til the day she died.

Burning frustration--
hot tears on her cheek--
cooling down into grief...

but in that quiet
she began to sense
a warm patient wisdom
deep within

and then realized her mistake:

though the gods wish
they could interfere
they can only watch with empathy
as we endure what we must:
the mud, the bees, the mean dogs

as well as our own selves.

In truth
the gods had entered humans
long long ago
because they couldn't comfort them
from so high above.

She maintained this belief
for the duration of her adventure
but to be honest
she usually ignored those deities

until the times of despair

then she would go into her darkness
and once again
find those loving gods within.

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

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Sunday, October 09, 2016

Shopping in the Labyrinth

author's note:

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

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Friday, September 30, 2016

Miniature Golf Perspective

author's note:

Maybe what I was told as a boy is true: sports build character.


Sometimes I play miniature golf
just to shift my perspective:

when I see
that model course
I see
a little litany of lessons

and in so seeing, I then see
the course we call "real"
as a round of lessons as well

and if I can later recall
the silliness I felt
as I struggled to deal
with things so fancifully small
I'll deflate a bit
and as a result
love more:

maybe I'll again feel
the love I feel
for the real course--
even as I struggle, I love
that daunting windmill.

I also try not to forget
the many lessons--
for instance:
how I got past that alligator
by rolling right into its jaws.

That may not be big
but it's still important.

© 2016, Michael R. Patton
glorious tedious transformation: a poetry book

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