Monday, August 22, 2011

Inferno Dog


author's note:

If I believed my poems only related to my own life experience...

...I wouldn't bother to post them online.


INFERNO DOG

Though I did not know
that dog
    with the flaming tongue--that dog
    with its inferno eyes
knew me

and so stood ready
to lead me from this scrub land
into a forest so dense
the wonder would very nearly be
too intense

but as I wavered
on the precipice of action...

I became distracted
by my shoelaces--

as in other dreams
my laces had somehow gotten
all tangled up;

so once again, I knelt down
and worked to un-knot knots

while the black dog laughed silently
at the edge of the wood--

it knows quite well that I can't escape...

I know the torch still waits.


© 2011, Michael R. Patton
a shameless self-promotion

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Living in a Dream



author’s note:

If Guinness had such a category, I'd hold the world record for day dreaming.


LIVING IN A DREAM

The apple I bit into
in the dream is like
the apple I bit into

last Sunday, as I sat
day-dreaming
beneath a watchful tree.

But my day apples
lack the intensity
of that dream apple--

the dream tells me
I'm missing
some vital part
of my experience--

the dream returns
that part to me.

On a sleepy Sunday
I easily, lazily ignored
just how mysterious
this life is...

Now I’ve been reminded...

I must remember:
I live in a dream.


© 2011, Michael R. Patton
shameless self-promotion

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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Summer's Afternoon Dream



author's note:

If nothing else, New Orleans taught me two very basic, and complementary lessons: from decay comes life...

...what appears stagnant actually teems with activity.


SUMMER'S AFTERNOON DREAM

Shuttered fronts on a quiet street:
those ordinary houses
in a New Orleans unknown
to the tourist trade...

the cracked somnolent clapboards--
mundane, yet mysterious.

All around the block
oak roots break sidewalk
so dandelions can breathe.
Beneath the eaves
wet heat slowly smothers life
to a dark brown pulp

where leaves rest in their skeletal forms.

Sad obsequious stalks
hold happy white flowers.
Trees that droop with antipathy
give comforting shade.

The hose faucet leaks
like a ticking clock
as a three-legged dog
twitches in its sleep--

a summer dream deep...
opaque.

© 2011, Michael R. Patton
searching for the new mythology

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Monday, August 01, 2011

The Workman and the Moth



author's note:

I've been both butterfly and moth.  But mostly moth, I'd say.

No matter--they both have wings.


THE WORKMAN AND THE MOTH

In the hollow
of my wooden head
lives a lively moth
too quickly excited
by whatever shooting spark--

thus, it kills the flame it fans--
producing but a puff of hot wind.

So the popular theory
about the potential effects
of a butterfly's wings
would seem to be in error...

my flapping has never created
a cleansing fiery hurricane
in distant capitols or battlefields.

However, this loud smallness
does irritate enough to awaken
something buried under
the dull ashes--

this something rises to action--
determined to quell the fluttering--
this something quells the fluttering
simply by rising...

this workman smolders--
having built a deep fire within--

this workman, once summoned
then continues his forging
in full light

as the lovely moth rests
within the halo of the lamp.

© 2011, Michael R. Patton
searching for the new mythology

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