Friday, April 25, 2008

Naked Secret

author’s note:

Another poem previously posted and recently revised.

During my lackluster high school football career, I heard only one half-time pep talk.  It really gave us a charge--for about five minutes.

Perhaps the coach should have told us...

...sometimes you just have to take a lickin’ while doing the best you can.


I am not afraid
of depression
of this heavy eagle--
this shadow angel
with its blue flame eyes burning
in the dark mist.

I won’t run--
where would I go?
No, not there--
not anymore.

Now I bask under
a gray sky--
defiantly.  I am wet
in the water, feeling
the tug of war
of waves rocking; I’m washing
internal organs
so that they may process
all the dust I ingest,
so that they may be used
by countless others.

I compliment myself
on being such a complex being.
So monstrous.  So like igneous rock.  In contrast
to my lamb-like appearance.

I am the storm mountain.
I am the stone face the storm
cracks, erases--but who needs
a stone face?

I never knew I would be so strong.
I never knew I would have to be.

This depression crept in like smoke
to whisper a naked secret to me--
to tell me I can be
even stronger--to intimate

that I will be required.

© 2008, Michael R. Patton
hear these poems

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dry Alive

author’s note:

In an interview, the actor Tommy Lee Jones claimed that he used to attract squirrels by knocking two fifty-cent pieces together.

Unable to locate any fifty-cent pieces, I tried to do the same with two quarters.

But squirrels, apparently, are not so cheaply bought.


Despite an occasional cough
I am breathing well
these dry days.

Even the simplest act--
    appreciating the squirrel’s
    hoarse, strained barking--
can lead me into real time.

My birds gather quizzically--
wait for puddles to appear

but the wise cloud knows
when to release rain.

To write about dryness
--imaginary emptiness--
vitals my blood.  Honest expression--
even when wrong--corpuscles
this life well.  So many secrets
I’m still trying to tell myself.

Here’s one secret:
           the worst drought
can bring more
than the best rain shower--
I’ve received so much
from dusting on this trail.

When the desert wind rustles
these bare branches into fear
the sky shatters
and yet--I can still see
an open blue heaven.

© 2008, Michael R. Patton
dream work

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