Monday, November 28, 2011

At the End of All Our Spinning

listen to this poem

author's note:

With appreciation to Robert A. Johnson, Marion Woodman, and Robert Bly, who showed me how our world myths are also our personal myths.


At the beginning
of our small but heavy planet
stood a man and a woman

but the man had arisen
at a point in the West

and the woman
   who could be fierce
   who could be beautiful
   who could be both
had risen at a point East,
   directly opposite.

and as she began to run
after him
he began to run
after her

and from the treading of their feet
the world began to spin
and has spun
ever since--

yes, we've kept it spinning
ever since--

hasn't this been
one wild race--!--
yes, a storm chase
for so long...

which brings me to wonder:

how will we deal
with the still peace
that comes
when we both give up
and finally embrace
with whole heart...?

© 2011, Michael R. Patton
myth steps

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Bright Shadows

author’s note:

Since hair is a metaphor...

...even with your short locks, you can sail me to that place.


The way her hair
spills down
the porch steps

to spread across the lake...

sails me to that place
where the far shore meets the trees--
that secret border where
glittering water sprites converse
with the shades of the forest...

© 2011, Michael R. Patton
100 Best Poetry Blogs

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Future of Cats & Dogs

author’s note:

“There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.”
              --  Martin Luther King, Jr.


of our humble poem
was written, originally,
in the language of the cat
and half,
in the language of the dog.

So we assigned the translation
to a scholarly feline and canine.

But we asked the cat
to work at night
and the dog
during daylight--

we doubted
the two of them
could coexist
for the duration
of the assignment.

Even they feared
--sooner or later--
their better natures
would be subverted
by animal instinct.

And then civilization
would suffer
yet another
in our battle for peace.

However, the dog and cat
did agree to be
photographed together
to celebrate completion
of the project.

And to their credit...
you could see restrained sadness
in their smiling eyes--
a bemused disquiet,
an awareness of shared grief
from all those centuries--centuries--
of dog and cat fights.

I can not help but feel hope
when I see such tortured hearts
struggle with all their history.

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

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Monday, November 07, 2011

Cinderella Ascending

author's note:

The Cinderella story came to me via a coloring book, before I could read--or for that matter, even color between the lines.

It may have been the Disney version.  In any case, that Cinderella told me much about the value of humility.


Long ago, I was told
that the woman in the cinders
felt put-upon
up to the moment
of her deliverance.

wouldn't someone so beautiful
not only accept her lot
but actually find pleasure
in sweeping the walk--?--
      tending to their fractures
      she'd give those pure stones
      her heart.

She'd learn to tolerate her sisters
--their obstreperous, obstructionist ways--

through endurance, she'd rise above--
and so, be able to look down upon them
with love instead of frustration.

Thus, she ran from the palace--
      even as her royal servant
      begged her back--
      truthfully telling her
      she'd earned the gold--
      that the horses
      only masqueraded as mice--

nonetheless, she didn't want release
from a life that had provided
so many blessings.

But Change rejects the pleading
of the strong--
is irreversible.

And so, ever humble
she acquiesced
and thereafter, walked in shoes
that revealed who she truly was.

© 2011, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

They Don't Belong to Me, I Belong to Them

author's note:

A companion poem to the last one posted.


All your children
climb up me
and shake my limbs
for acorns--

assuming I am
a tolerant tree house
for their whims--
their abuse...

they won't hear
my complaints
because they believe
gnarled oaks only talk
in cartoons.

Since I'm taller
I see no choice
but to shelter them--
to honor them
by protecting our garden--

playing the role
of a silent patient
nature god...

though I often wish
I could be a goblin.

© 2011, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps

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