Monday, February 27, 2012

Walk Talk Dance Sing



author's note:

"Life is a dance."
                        -- Johann Strauss I


WALK TALK DANCE SING

Our therapists have told us
the painful blessed obvious:

it's much easier to sing
than to talk--

easier to dance
than to walk.

But I guess I needed to learn
from my own experience:
the challenge of walking
and talking
can be greatly exhausting

but then to sing
and dance
gives me new breath.

Thus, I know now
it's best to dance
and sing and dance
with every step

and though I often forget
I am reminded

whenever I choke...
whenever I slip.

© 2012, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

To Kiss the Bliss



author's note:

...when I wrote of the god,
fragmented, exiled from himself, his life, the love gone down with song,
it was myself, split open, unable to speak, in exile from myself.
                         -- Muriel Rukeyser


TO KISS THE BLISS

As a child
I was encouraged
when I learned
of how the frog
became a prince...

but later, in my attempts
I discovered
those lips to be
so distant--

no matter how high
the frog leaps
the blessed kiss still seems
just out of reach.

The weak mind loses sight
with the anxiety of height

with the anxiety of blindness

with anxiety over anxiety--

thus, on the uncertain ascent
the amphibian falls asleep--
sleeps, dreaming of bliss

then wakes
as it lands on its belly--
on its heavy soft belly.

From this we see the value
of solid Earth--first, as a launching pad

then as both a net and a slap
to wake us up.

Yes, I'm myopic with fear,
however
all this hopping
strengthens my legs
and so the nervous striving
becomes a joy onto itself.

Even so, I dislike being awoken
in such a hard manner.  Awoken, feeling
so defeated.

Thus, I'm determined
to remain awake, if not this time
then the next or the next--
but I'm determined
to eventually kiss that bliss
and then perhaps
become a prince.

© 2012, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps

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Thursday, February 09, 2012

Your Voice



author's note:

Aren't we all singers?


YOUR VOICE

I can hear how
your voice has changed

as your life has changed:


when you were a girl
that sweet instrument
spawned butterflies

but apparently
a piccolo can also
work as a shovel:

as you continued to sing
you began to delve--
with each song
with each note
just a little deeper
down...

instinctively at first
then awakening
as you began to sense
something down there--
something faintly echoing
the gold of your voice.

Yet you still can't explain
why you feel so driven--

do you burn because
whatever it is
always seems
just out of reach--?--

yet just within reach.


All I can say for certain
is what anyone who's ever really heard you
says with certainty:

you were born to burn with that deep need.


Whatever the reason
you have no choice now
but to keep on
with your mining song--

how could you stop?--
even if you closed your mouth
you could not close your heart.

Nor can I close mine
having heard:
no matter where I go
I hear you...


deeply, more deeply now.

© 2012, Michael R. Patton
searching for the new mythology

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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Answering the Why Baby



author's note:

After "going long" for the last month, I thought I should offer a shorter poem.

Just a few lines--and yet it took years to write them.


ANSWERING THE WHY BABY

“Why--!--?

“Oh why!”

is what a baby cries
in the pain of birth.

But, to my credit
I grew out of it--

I grew out of it
when I saw why:

we need to grow, that's why!

But why, oh why
do we need to grow?--
to so painfully grow?

We just must--that's how come!

is the reality
I grew to accept

and thereafter, began asking
better questions--

that is: questions
I might someday answer--

if, through the quest
of my questioning
I grow enough to know.


© 2012, Michael R. Patton
searching for the new mythology

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