Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Ghost Outside in the Hallway

author's note:

Unlike the ghost in this story...

...apparently, spirits may listen and take heed.

A friend once lived in a haunted apartment.  His sister visited; she slept on the couch.

When she woke one night to see the ghost sitting beside her, she told it, "Get out of here!"

And so the ghost left.


I can barely hear her murmurs
though she transients right outside--I strain to listen
because she also seems to speak to me:
You’ve made it, she says,
                                       you’re home free--

How can she know the answer
yet still be lost?
I suppose I could ask myself
the same question--
only rarely can I accept
my better perspective--

even though, like her, I want so much to believe--

so much that sometimes in the darkest hours
my desire creates overwhelming desperation
and again I feel compelled to try to get through:
“Let go," I tell her, "Let go
           of what you do not need--
                   let go.”

But though I whisper, I doubt she hears.
Anyway, why should she feel my urgency?--
I live in time; she does not.

But because my stubborn hunger
assures me (somewhat arrogantly)
that I can free us both
I persist in these attempts
to communicate.

We all seem to need ten
or ten million lifetimes
to adjust
to life on dry land.

© 2011, Michael R. Patton
myth steps

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Clay Feet

author’s note:

We of Northwest Arkansas welcome the 14th Dalai Lama to our humble home this week.


While the one
we call "His Holiness"
instructs us
in the ways of goldenness...

the people he abandoned
learn their lessons down
in the ashes.

But perhaps I criticize him
because I feel abandoned

or perhaps I wish to ignore
how I've abandoned
some vital part of myself.

Looking down,
I can't see my feet
amid all the ashes

yet I can feel
the certainty of gold
beneath my soles.

I'm learning so much
by walking in these clay feet.

© 2011, Michael R. Patton
myth steps

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