Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dove Fire

author’s note:

“This hour I tell things in confidence,
  I might not tell everybody but I will tell you.”
                            –  Walt Whitman


I feel you in every part
of my night room--
though we have not yet
opened that door.

You’re in every shade--
the black ink of my pen.

In every texture--
the net of fabric lying
over my agitated skin.

In every breath
I make a prayer
in your name.
Even asleep, even when
I’m asleep in my day.
This lunch: this bread
is also your body.

Sing me awake.

When I touch
my own flesh
I feel you shift
down deep within--
preparing to burst
into bloom--when?

Don't worry--

I’ll keep you safe inside me--
just as I remain safe
inside you.

Last night, I saw a light
gliding through the sky--
desire showing its white fire.

I knew you lived in that brilliancy.
So I lay back--
and waited for your white dove
to come into my dream.

© 2008, Michael R. Patton
dream steps
earnest audio

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Down Time

‘Cause you can never tell
 What goes on down below!
 This pool might be bigger
 Than you or I know!
                   --  Dr. Seuss


A small sound
beneath my foot--

maybe just under
the floorboards
down in the dirt--

or deeper:
within the Earth--

that small sound

brought me back
to myself, as I listened
to something beyond
my tangled notes--

I want to return
to what I’ve lost--
and more:
to where
I’ve never been.

Maybe I hear
a foreign miner
tapping a coal block
with a pick axe
way down there...

or the periodic venting belch
of a growing volcano--

whatever the source
the sound gives me hope--

my desire hears an echo,
my desire believes
something far below
cries for my response--

by listening, I respond,
by listening, I dig down,
by responding, I grow hungrier--
I discover how hungry
I have been and search
for new ways to respond.

Even if that ticking talks
of rags of pain, I say
       --“rise, rise”--I say
(as if to a new relation):
I will meet you halfway.

© 2008, Michael R. Patton
dream steps
earnest audio

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Sunday, June 08, 2008


“I will go back to the great sweet mother,
     Mother and lover of men, the sea.
  I will go down to her, I and none other,
     Close with her, kiss her, and mix her with me.”
                  --  Swinburne, The Triumph of Time


Impossible to take
small breaths
when breathing
ocean air.

My expanding ribs crackle
but I realize I must fracture
in order to grow.

I seem to be a funnel:
too much of something seeks a portal.
A temporary home.

The mouth of the ocean
opens its roar.  I am too small
for such storms.  Overwhelmed
by a systole and diastole--
that also seems part of me.

But the moment
I decide to dive
into what I’ve dreaded
the tide teases
by running from me.

If the lesson is patience
I will learn to wait.

In the mean time,
my feet firm
their stance in the sand.
I want to feel strong
before I’m washed away.

© 2008, Michael R. Patton
dream steps
innocent audio

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Sunday, June 01, 2008


author’s note:

Unfortunately, I did not write this poem with anyone in mind.

But it does remind me of a couple I met when I was 18.  I tore up some tar roofing for a man and he invited me to lunch with him and his wife.  They’d been married several years.

I might not have been the most perceptive fellow, but I could see that these two people delighted in each other’s company.  I’m often surprised by the memories that stay with me.


A darker green, but still green.
With points of sunlight
through the leaves.
Your nakedness:
forceful, extemporary,
and extreme.

That woman in the vacation brochure?
The one walking on the beach in the sun?
She represents the place people want to go
when they want to go
to a place
outside their lives.

Don’t feel intimidated by her flesh.
They’ve actually pictured you:
I’m sure
the tourist bureau
wanted to express you.

You are Hawaii.

With the innocence
of openness
you lay down
in the sand
and pretend
your ocean wave
will not rise up.

© 2008, Michael R. Patton
dream steps
innocent audio

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