Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fig Tree Communion

author's note:

I've never received communion... least, not in church.


I take this fig
onto my tongue
into my mouth
into my blood:

as I taste its richness
I meditate on
the spirit of the fig tree
from which it comes--

the tree
gaining strength
through its patience
as it slowly builds
ring upon ring--

the tree
even at full growth
still able to bend
sideways with the wind
then snap back
to vertical--

the tree
when shaken by the storm
finds unshakable security
in its deep roots.

The fig
as it feeds my blood
asks me to feel
my own tree spirit--
asks me to think

of how strong
I must become
if I'm to produce
such nourishing figs
as this one.

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

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Maternal Tenacles

author's note:

A savanna is a wasted only within the context of this poem.


Our forerunner
was discovered in
a wasted savanna

yet recently when
I looked down and within
I found the tiny skeleton
in my lonely wicker basket--!--

yes, this white man
carries a small black woman-child
in his belly--!--who knows
what we hold!

Now, having seen
I can not reject
something so delicate:
the paternal and maternal
have become as one:
I’m determined to return
that desiccated fetus to life--

as I soothe her in my sling
I begin to lactate in the soul,

I can feel my milk
slowly expanding--
I can not stop this spill--
I can not stop without drying--
I can not stop this spill
from spreading its tentacles
--albeit, tentatively--
beyond the borders of my domain--
desirous of touch, yet
still afraid:
      my feelers have encountered
      blunt objects before
      and been blunted.

But as I continue
this fledgling spreading
I can see the snail gray
beneath Lucy's fingertips
begin to bleed back to pink.

Soon I can open this box
without fearing the hard light
will crush her to powder--

we will prove
even a desert can be fertile:
we will defy this dryness--
we will bloom.

© 2012, Michael R. Patton
earnest audio

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Monday, May 21, 2012


author’s note:

A few years ago, during a power outage that lasted through five long, dark winter evenings, I read the book Healing Night... which author Rubin R. Naiman tells us how we've lost our night, our sleep, our dreams.


Lowing of a cloudy moon
over a wet grass silver field

as the tap...tap
of a dripping tree
hangs pearl flames
on a web above me:

the spider's spindle legs
play the strings
with the patience
of aged wisdom

while I wait...I wait
--mouth hollow
   as a dark church

until finally
a globe
of distilled water
shakes loose, drops down
onto my tongue.

I savor the sacrament.
An infinite moment.
Then swallow down,
eyes closed--
feeling the blessing

in this way, I regain
what I have sacrificed
in the day's dry light.

© 2012, Michael R. Patton
new steps

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Thursday, May 03, 2012

Slowly Opening

author's note:

I recently watched Eat the Sun, a documentary on sun-gazers--people who stare directly into the Sun each day for nourishment.

But there's plenty of light, plenty of sun, plenty of nourishment, without burning our retinas in that way.


When I honestly try
to see you now
the act of feeling
helps heal my sight

even if I witness bleeding...

The problem with my eyes
began long ago:
suddenly I'd see someone
in a sharp instinctive moment
and feel compelled
to turn away...

Not until I learned
to accept pain
as necessary
could I do more than glance
at your mirror--

but my eyes are still opening...
opening slowly--they must
to adjust to the shock
of sunlight.

© 2012, Michael R. Patton

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