Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Indeed, Straight Arrow

author’s note:

When I use the phrase “a hundred thousand nights ago”, I’m talking in dog years.

However, since dogs don’t know how to tell time, they actually live out their lives in poetic years.


A spirit wrapped its arms
around me
a hundred thousand nights ago
and hauled me up from the ocean
to put me in a chair
on the beach

where dark winds spoke to me,
the dark winds gave your story,
told of what you'd do to me--

how my
stomach would lift
as your dress lifted.

What I heard
sounded like a tale--
like something that happens
in a better world.

The apparent falsehood
made me angry.  Made me
want to sleep.

Yet that glimpse of possibility
has kept me working.

Since that night
I have climbed across
an army of mountains
with another army
yet in front of me

but from this peak
I can see
that the message
is indeed
straight arrow.

© 2009, Michael R. Patton
earnest audio
new steps

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Wastrel Diamond on a Scorching Skillet

author’s note:

Since January 2010 is a blue moon month, I thought it’d be a good time to rewrite this poem.


Is this moon the light I seek?
Reflection: distraction.

The sun provides our bounty
whereas the moon
gives us so much trouble.
The mere sight of its roundness
provokes trouble.

(In the heart, that winter longing--
  moony snow banks blocking
  the reach
  of the beloved.)

I bear the blessings of the moon
at the same that I curse its curse.

My feet throb from the uncontrollable
blood dance induced by moon glow.
The moon plucks me, strums me, hums me.
My mind has steamed away--
        a wastrel diamond on a scorching skillet--
I howl with pleasure, smoldering
in the moonlit snow.

As I holy roll
        some anonymous woman--
        stultified by traffic fog--
studies me
in smokey confusion.

My chest swings open like an altar--
presenting to her
pieces of the moon
--little nibbles.

You wren with open beak,
don’t you see?--please
I’m a blackbird moon pie--
a sacrificial offering.

© 2010, Michael R. Patton
earnest audio
new steps

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Painful Beauty

author’s note:

A poem for these icy times.


See how the ice
worries the trees--
the trees never asked for the ice
to be added
to all their other duties--

see the prisms
that run up and down
the ice as we walk--
see the prism
into each drop that falls--

the drops we try
to avoid--sunlit, but bitter
but enlivening.

I can feel the wind
tugging, and
the trees straining
to maintain
their taut limbs.

I can feel the terrific
occurring within this tree--

until the last icicle falls--
sticks in the saturated ground--
then the tree can breathe
a sigh of relief.

Even so, the tree knows
that the wind can rise in a moment,
can bring clouds, then ice again.

The tree is beautiful.  But even more beautiful
with ice.  All over the mountainside--

I see beauty in painful abundance.

© 2010, Michael R. Patton
new steps

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