Sunday, September 13, 2009


author’s note:

Many years ago, I received a dream in which a wall of antarctic ice cleaved into the sea.

I thought to myself, “Can that possibly be accurate? Have I made such gains?”

However, I didn’t consider all the ice that remained.


So solid seemed the land
until an abrupt
monumental groan
cascaded my island of ice
into the chop.  But I will gain
as I lose--through a long trek
of weary wonderful sacrifice.
Toward a warmer climate.

In these far northern waters,
the strong current limits
my efforts to steer--
but I’m hoping
if I can just remain buoyant
the flow may lead me
away from this arctic home.

But even buoyancy is a willful job.

At this point,
I wish to be clear:
the chop is not like a chop--
it is a chop.  This ice is not like ice--
what remains frozen is ice.
The current is not
an imagined sensation--
I know what I feel.

Long ago,
I thought I was my own boat;
gradually I realized
we’re all at the mercy
of something that even knocks
whales about.

My main task--my heroic journey--
has become to maintain an even keel

to achieve that end
I find I must feel as much
of the current as I can.

But ever so often--
    just as a reminder
    of what I’m fighting for--
I allow myself the freedom
of letting my mind dissolve upward
as the warm moon rises
from the icy violet water
for another night’s serenade.

© 2009, Michael R. Patton
earnest audio
new steps

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