Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Distant Oasis


author's note:

I'm beginning to understand what old codgers feel when they say, "It seems like it happened only yesterday."

I must admit, I am not yet comfortable with that feeling.
 

DISTANT OASIS

Years ago, a therapist wanting
to help me with my writing
suggested this idea for a story:

"a little man with a big wife
  who manages an oasis..."

Though I valued his opinion
and wanted to please him
such a life didn't really interest me.

Thus, I moved on:
struggling to manage
this life of mine--
imbibing from one oasis
after another--

always finding something for myself
but always desiring something more.

Though I did envy those
who could learn so much
by spinning in one place...

my way, I found, was to learn
by spinning from place to place
to place.

The therapist at the oasis
looks so small to me now--

perhaps due to his lack of height
he needed a wife
with a taller perspective

but how can I measure
from such a distance--?--

whatever his size, he was big enough
to lead me down to the clear water...

© 2013, Michael R. Patton

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

After the Funeral I Create My Own Ritual



author's note:

I felt this would be a good way to follow-up the last poem.


AFTER THE FUNERAL I CREATE MY OWN RITUAL

Into twilight that afternoon...

I sent those small smooth round stones
--so humble, so mundane--
skipping in delightful arcs
across the still water--

some making seven, or eight, or more hops
others...only three or four

while a few, I regret to say
went ka-plunk
with not even one jump.

On every throw
I imagined the stone
excited to fly--joyful

then, whatever the outcome
content to sink, to rest

to return to the lake...

From this pretend play
I returned home in acceptance:

the beginnings of a peace...

© 2013, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps


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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Joy Grief



author's note:

It is apparently more important to nature that one should have consciousness, understanding, than to avoid suffering.
                          -- Carl Jung
 
 
JOY GRIEF

Today, "happy" and "unhappy"
describe simple childish moods

because today, I feel grief

because today, I feel joy--

the two swirl together
--in a wind dance--
defying my control:

a spiral so very volatile
--so grandly powerful--
it mocks the crafty trappings
of my cleverest writing;

nevertheless, I've surrendered
to the impulse to use words:

what can not be expressed
still demands expression--

and maybe what I share
will be understood
because you've known
this same whirlwind--

a force of feeling
that steals our breath

a force of feeling
that expands our breath.


© 2013, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Suddenly, Soul



author's note:

This poem would be seem be a brother (or sister!) to the one posted on June 26.

But I guess all these poems are related...
 

SUDDENLY, SOUL

Ever so often, all of a sudden--

a rising sense jolts me
awake

and I find myself surrounded
by too much life--

abruptly
to my horror and delight
I can see

how even socks and door knobs
radiate so much vibrant being:

the shock returns me to
the awareness of what I carry--
or should I say: what carries me--?--

I could describe
a deep inner resonance
or a boundless ocean
but no words truly suffice
so I'll simply call it
Soul...

but that doesn't mean I'm at peace with it:

its expanding galaxy pulses too hard against
this tiny human container of life;

that's not to say I'm at war with it:

the wonder of its immense dark energy
creates a pleasure--ah!--sublime--

nearly too much
for this container, so dully human:

the raging and elation both a burden--

almost too much for all of us:

now, I understand why
someone could be so desperate for escape
he would jump from a bridge
instead of continuing on to the other side

ignoring what the power of Soul forewarns:
    death does not grant us freedom from life...

and since sleeping only makes me more miserably dull
I might as well embrace
the ineffable pleasure--the wild splendor of it all

as I grit and limp
and pulse
from all the raging spirals--

yes, I might as well walk on...

© 2013, Michael R. Patton
searching for the new mythology

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