Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Wisdom of the Rock

author's note:

This poem seemed a good way to follow the last post.


I talked to a rock at length

asking if it could teach me
about this planet--

hopefully, something deep;

after all, it'd been around so long
and spent a good part of that time
so far down...

but no--the rock just lay there
on my palm

until finally, in frustration
I shut my mouth

to glare at the rock's ragged edges--
the layers of banal orange and white:
a plain unpolished block--

stupidly stubborn, stubbornly stupid

but then...

in a moment that lasted forever...

my focus steadied
as my demands stopped
and that insignificant chip
began to transform
into something monolithic

so intense--an essence--
an extreme contained
within its own self

its silence coming from wisdom--

in its wisdom
the rock had waited for me
to really see it
and in seeing, to feel--

to feel again a lost silence within myself:

echoing from a force so deep down
as to seem too subtle to be real...

but as I honed in on this force
I found the reality of its strength...

now, whenever I recall the rock
I rediscover that reality:

as vibrant, as powerful
---as beloved---
as any great mystery...

© 2013, Michael R. Patton

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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Climbing, Upside-Down

author's note:

A few years ago, I had a dream of an upside-down American flag.

So I'm guessing I'm not alone in this act.


I'm guessing most of you
have felt the feeling
of dangling, suspended

so maybe you can understand
why I was afraid to look down

while at the same time
I desperately wished
to get some sense
of where I was.

Of course,
curiosity eventually won

and I looked

down and down and so far down

and saw I was performing a feat beyond my belief.

But only a wise man
can tolerate the sight of something contrary
to what we conceive this life to be
and my small heart was not yet ready
to be that strong.

So, I closed my eyes again.

With eyes shut
I can ignore what I know
and so, continue...

still, from time to time
I take some satisfaction
in realizing I can open
if I really want

and I will open...I will--

not just so I can make
better safer progress
by seeing what I'm doing

but because such open courage
would heighten this death-defying act
into an action even grander--

so I will open...I will

when my fearful heart
finally surrenders and accepts
what my large wise heart
assures me to be true:

sometimes what seems to be
a highly unreasonable act
can become quite reasonable
when we consider the gains made
through its crazy incredible difficulty...

© 2013, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps

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