Sunday, April 04, 2010

Burning Light

author’s note:

I've never been cool...

But now, I try to keep from boiling over.


A long time ago,
I thought I heard someone call
from below decks
from the dungeon
from the storm shelter:
“More light!  We need
  more light!”

Being young and presumptuous
I assumed I was being summoned.
Reared on hero dreams
I would now accept the task
of raising the gas lantern
from the bottom of the ocean...

but the ocean seemed so cold
so deep


and my hands wrinkle when wet--
          so instead
I ran to any distant latitudinal point
that flickered a hope.

But this movement, this desire
seemed to snuff any potential light…

until one day, I looked down and found
a flame creeping up my coat sleeve--!--

where could
that wildfire
have come from?

I then began to realize
how I was burning inside
when you don’t find the answers
you are consumed--
my own inferno had slowly
eaten through me.

Now when I hear the call
I hear the call within me.
Yet as I listen I can hear
that same voice
in the raging crowds
that scorch the streets:

I believe we all
want to get at something
that embers deeply--
something that erupts
in our many flare-ups.

Will this flame destroy me?
Handled correctly, this light
will only destroy
what needs to be destroyed
for my own safety.

“More light!”--I hear the cry
  from the temple shadows.

But I’ve already begged at many altars.
So now I see no other option
but to beg my own pardon.
To beg my own blessing.
To beg myself for the life
of my own famished flame.

© 2010, Michael R. Patton
myth steps

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Anonymous Lance said...

I'm betting we've all been aided...

12:57 PM  
Blogger Goldenrod said...

Superfluosity is my middle name, Michael, as you well know from reading my posts. :)

1:50 PM  

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