Monday, October 31, 2011

The Man Who Didn't See His Own Wings



author's note:

Years ago, I overheard a conversation in which a middle-aged man said, "My kids took away my caprice."

To be honest, at first I thought the man's offspring had driven off with his car.


THE MAN WHO DIDN'T SEE HIS OWN WINGS

A man once complained to me
about how he'd lost his wings...

Yet I could see him holding
those wings outstretched--
giving shelter
to all those gathered
underneath--

such a man--so tall and resolute--
but still, he railed...

I now realize
he'd lost sight
of his broad steady wings
because he was always
gazing up
to curse
an unseen god.

If he'd just looked down
he would have seen how
the household gods below
helped raise him up.

Maybe if he'd written a poem
he would have known--

because our own words
can teach us so much--
for instance:

not until I searched
for these lines
did I see how
that man's indignation
helped fuel his holding power.

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

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fable Lesson for a Walking Boy



author's note:

As Hollywood so often says: "Based on a true story."


FABLE LESSON FOR A WALKING BOY

Once as a boy
I stepped on a broken dead bird
beside the road:

what surprise and confusion then
as I watched that dormant heart
suddenly jump up
and fly away
in a blur of wings.

Not until years later
did I realize
I'd received an omen
and a lesson:

shadow lightning falls
--as if to finish us off--!--

but instead the bolt jolts us
back to life...

When I realized
I was the bird,
I then realized
I had agreed
to all those feet.


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

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Furlough



author's note;

‘Cause you can never tell
What goes on down below!
This pool might be bigger
Than you or I know!
                   --  Dr. Seuss


FURLOUGH

Thank you
for revealing
the pink
of your slip...

thus, distracted
I let the thread
of my sensate memory
guide me out
of the labyrinth--

you broke the spell--
I no longer wanted to follow
the dense shadow music
of a murmuring well--
its many voices blending
into a symphony so deep
--and so distant:
   I drive myself hard
   to hear it more clearly...

But in the midst of discovery
I can become lost
so I needed to return--
I needed the freshening
of your purling spring tones--
a melody deceptively simple...

a short furlough, before I'm lured
to descend again
by a soft yearning summons
--persistent, the cry
   faraway in my heart.

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

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Reversals



author's note:

I almost discarded this poem, because I thought it lacked--what?--complexity, I guess.

But when I posted the first version on another site, someone unknown appreciated it.

So, in appreciation of her appreciation, I'm giving it again.


REVERSALS

Falling down...
I found my strength.

Standing up...
I felt my humility.

Telling you...
I heard the voice
of a stranger.

Hearing you...
I finally knew
my own words.

Looking down
at the bare earth...
I sensed my sadness.

But lifting these eyes...
that sadness
heightened my joy.

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

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Prometheus of the East



author's note:

Usually, it irritates me when a poet references an ancient god--when a poet uses an ancient god to deliver his message.

But Prometheus, that's different...

Prometheus hardly seems ancient.  Prometheus seems so close to us...Anyway, he's close to me.


PROMETHEUS OF THE EAST

Bound
to this cliff rock
I curse
an unseen god

yet at this waterfall
I also praise all
the drops of god
I see.

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

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