Sunday, April 04, 2010

Burning Light



author’s note:

I've never been cool...

But now, I try to simmer...to keep from boiling over.


BURNING LIGHT

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
so...

below

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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2 Comments:

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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