Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Choosing My Revolution

author’s note:

The cartoon above might not seem to connect with the poem below.

Here’s my thinking: I’ve discovered I can’t say “no” to the Universe.  But it's easy to forget.  When I do say “no”, I end up like the chicken above.

But when I stop trying to say “no”, I drop my chicken nature.  Then I can fly.


See that bird revolving high
in a perfect blue sky?

That bird dangles from a string

pulled by what would be God.

I do not know what would--

I only know what I feel:
the pull.  But sometimes:
the push.  Birds are pulled.
But sometimes we people
must be pushed.

I am on a string--
by whatever god, I am pulled.

I have chosen
this dangling revolution--

after having been pushed
to make a choice

I have chosen my way.

© 2008, Michael R. Patton
dream steps
earnest audio

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Feast of Solitude

author’s note:

I’m not talking to anyone in particular.  So again, I guess I’m talking to everyone in general.


Today, no miracle
can feed me
as much as being under
this dark tree...

even--I’m sorry to say--today, you--

today, you can not help me,
nor can I
help you--

at least, not
until I find
some quiet
this rib cage that
now shelters
too well--
like any out-grown shell--

some quiet
that I can
return to
long afterwards
and hold
as I would
a stone.

I can be more
with myself
and more with you
after turning a leaf
in solitude--

I promise I’ll know us
both better
after I contemplate
those veins that stretch
across our host planet

this feast day,   
a miracle day.   

© 2008, Michael R. Patton

dream steps
earnest audio

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Kissing Fish

author’s note:

“I’m gonna do what I gotta do to get the union back!”
                     --  from the movie Hoffa


The kissing fish
arc out of the lake.
One coming from the north.
One coming from the south.

The two trout
meet in mid-air
and for one still moment
their mouths adhere

and all the people who’ve gathered
round the bank
to witness
the twilight summer ceremony
see something that looks like magic
and may very well
be perfect--

because in that brief interval
a dream hope
becomes a union made real.

But once complete
the rainbow must fade--
the lovers break

with a collective sigh
from the crowd
as the empty bodies
flutter helplessly down...

and when they smack
flat on the water
in double ring of spray,
those vessels fracture
into a mass
of orange autumn leaves
rolling with the waves.

But like all that falls
the leaves decay, become
a scattering of feathery seeds

and as the small fish
dimple the surface
to feed on the new remains,
again we recognize

© 2008, Michael R. Patton
dream steps
earnest audio

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Working Down

author’s note:

“...inside human beings
  is where God learns.”
                --  Rainer Maria Rilke (trans. Robert Bly)


I felt guilty about descending,
guilty about the natural act of sunset.
About going into the earth
to wet my dry roots.

I felt guilty
about sitting in the sump,
wrapped in my own flag,
to feel the memory
of a starved calf.

"Life does not work that way"
I was assured, sometime long ago.

But you never know
what might work:
cold ground can generate
shivering warmth.

You never know what might work:
alone, I became quite crowded
as a granite block pressed
down upon my head

and a tuber plant
with a ginseng limbs
embraced me, to celebrate
the joy of this death:
that press and that embrace
released all sorts of lost sensation,
and I became quite crowded.

But though I worked the crowd
day and night, I didn’t have enough time
to unify my universe--time runs on schedule:
in the normal course of decay and growth
Spring either birthed me or kicked me out
onto the new green soil.

Out of curiosity, I then looked down
to see where I had been:
a naked child in the pit
--fetal in the wet darkness--
pushed a diamond into his chest.

He seemed quite foreign to me now.
But change is never final--
I knew I might need
to dip myself in that well again

so out of necessity
--but also respect--
I allowed the dog of that memory
to follow me
as I walked away.

© 2008, Michael R. Patton
dream steps
earnest audio

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