Sunday, December 20, 2009

Stopping with the Flow



author’s note:

On this day before the Winter Solstice, in the darkest time of year, I revisit this poem...

...written before “twitter” became another good word stolen by popular culture.


NIGHT WINTER WIND

The rabbit wrote an alien message
with its tripod paws
through the snow fields
as a dark wind
carved its ferocity
into the side of a drift.  That wind laughed
at my attempts
to find shelter inside my thoughts.

In such cold fire,
the owl almost
seemed friendly--the owl channeled a spirit
all night long

but gave no answers or glad tidings.

Yet despite these conditions
my senses expanded--
I could feel the sweet discomfort
of the bees in their slumber--
the desire to gather pollen never rests.
How the crickets twittered anxiously
in their underground cocoons--
agitated by a song restrained.

Salmon jumping upstream
show how we must sometimes go
against the flow.
But as I stood in the midnight field
Winter let me know
that earnest though I be, I was no match
for its currents and waves.

So I acquiesced
and knelt down on a bare rock
to prepare
for the opening of Spring.

© 2009, Michael R. Patton
earnest audio
taking new steps

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Patience of the River



author’s note:

“I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than
 the flow of human blood in human veins.”
                     -–  Langston Hughes


THE PATIENCE OF THE RIVER

If I can keep very still
as the shovel bites down
to break my sleep in the morning...

I will sense the river
moving deep underground:

its power coming from its great patience:

both merciful and merciless--

steadily, gently eroding
all those stubborn obstacles--
obstructions that I curse...

yet hold to, stubbornly.
That river sings
through all my dreams...

murmurs
all through my day.


© 2009, Michael R. Patton
new steps

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A Symptom of Learning



author’s note:

The photo above shows an early attempt to improve my balance.

The pillow attached to the rump has since been discarded.


A SYMPTOM OF LEARNING

When we meet
you will know me
by the lightning wound
on my chin

where I’ve struck
down
time and again--

sleepwalking, but awoken
upon landing.

If you’re wondering
why I keep
falling asleep
when I stand back up...

Well, at the moment
even such a small shift
in atmosphere is enough
to knock me out,
dizzy with spinning--

sometimes I wish
I was still crawling
with eyes shut.

Too late--
I’ve already seen
the better perspective–
I can’t stop seeing.

So don’t fret about
the blue and purple bruise
on my chin.
It’s merely a symptom
of learning.

© 2009, Michael R. Patton
earnest audio
new steps

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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Growing Concern



author’s note:

Deep calleth unto deep.
              --  Psalms 42:7


WONDERING

Through work I did not know
I’d done, the wave has grown

nearly beyond
my puny abilities
to contain the wave.

Though I’m still holding
I feel that someday
I won’t--

and when the wave crests,
breaks--

where will I be then?

Maybe swept away,
swept up, swept under.

I’m doing
deep knee bends
to prepare
for deep sea diving.
Even so...

I still worry.

Even so...

I’ve not yet lost my desire
for wonder.
I won’t.

© 2009, Michael R. Patton
earnest audio
new steps

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Piecing Together



author’s note:

“It is apparently more important to nature that one should have consciousness, understanding, than to avoid suffering.”
                 --  C.G. Jung


PICKING UP

As I pick up the broken
ceramic pieces scattered
through the white dust...

I begin to imagine
how I can arrange
the epic mosaic.

I discover your face
on one jagged fragment

just as you would
find mine
if you held
this same key
in your hand.

To save myself
some grief
I’d throw this mirror
far over the wall
but I know
I’d just have to retrieve it
later, farther along.

© 2009, Michael R. Patton
earnest audio
new steps

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