Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Eroding Into Beauty

author’s note:

Not written to anyone in particular...

Written to those who we too often fail to recognize--until we look up.


Old wise stones
are not worn down
but instead, polished.

The one who was once
the prosaic innocence
of a green hill
has, over the years, bared herself
to reveal a profile of sacred rock:

a sun-drenched summit
still slowly eroding
down into the river.

But rivulets of attrition
become beauty marks
when the subtraction
is not rejected as negative
but accepted as necessary.

Now, just your presence is a gift:

whenever we look up
and see you as you truly are
again we realize the gain
is worth the cost.

© 2012, Michael R. Patton
new steps

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How the First Human Man Learned to Lift the Planet

author's note:

This seemed a good poem for our Thanksgiving holiday.


When the man asked the fish
and the deer and the bird
to lay down their lives
so he could live
they said:

"We are only animals, so
  we must lay down our lives!"

Then because he was a man
he asked the tree, the wheat--
he asked the stream

and they laid down their lives
to give him a roof, a crop,
and a dam.

Because the man was a man
he believed he deserved
this blessing of the Earth:
because the man was a man
he did not yet understand

that humans must raise the world again
whenever the world lays down its life--
    humans must bless this Earth
    in order to earn its blessing

and because he did not
support his life support
eventually, the man
had to lay down--
he lay down on his back

but fortunately
even a wounded Earth
can heal a dying man...
thus, after many painful nights
the man rose again

and since a human, in rising
sees the same world differently
the human man could see
what he had not seen previously:

"Because I'm so small and weak
  I must lift and lift again
  all that has laid down
  its strong life for my sake!"

Fortunately, even a wounded man
can heal what he has wounded...

even a wounded human being
can remember how this strong lifting
will earn for him--will earn for her
the great gift of this Earth's blessing.

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

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