Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Blessed Findings of Our Lab

author's note:

Another selection from my collection, Open All Night: poems of our dream life...

However, this is not a plug...not a promo.  Nearly everything in that book can be found on this blog.  No reason to pay the .99.

Unless you really want to...


In our work at the sleep lab
we came to realize
our ordinary subjects
were just as fantastic
as what they dreamt...

When we woke them
to learn of their dreams
they spoke with drowsy dizzy
confused fascination

of routine dangers
such as cracked axels
and broken anchor chains

of crucifixions--
such as surfing on a cross
down and up
oceanic mountains

of ghosts--of so many
silent shadowy stalkers.

Of course, their dreams often brought them shame
but just as often, our dreamers beamed proud
while telling how they'd endured
adverse environments--

though the scenario might be
as tedious and mundane
as sitting on a sofa stuffed with hostility
in a suffocating room.

Yes, our subjects traversed
some difficult roundabouts
but fortunately, on occasion
they would return
to an island where the sun surf washes up
to soothe the bruised heart--

a brief vacation but enough
to buoy us before we again embark.

At the sleep lab
such golden dreams
are not set apart
but duly noted
as with all the rest:
in figures and on graphs...

but sometimes
after work, over drinks
we'll unscientifically admit:
those brilliant moments are proof
of the blessedness hidden within
this adverse mundane life.

© 2013, Michael R. Patton
Open All Night: poems of our dream life

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

After the Carnival

author's note:

I wanted to write a book on how to work with dreams...

Instead, I composed a book of dream poems.

To be honest, I'm a little disappointed that I didn't accomplish the first...

But since, ideally, poetry can take us to a place beyond words, perhaps I shouldn't feel so bad.


Do these hot bright dreams
truly reflect my cool days--?--

or do they come to rebalance
a self made lopsided
by my mundane routine...?

When I stop to consider that question
--if I stop long enough--
eventually I'll exhaust my thought
and in the interim, I'll begin to see
what I really feel, and realize again:
even on a gray winter’s day
I experience a summertime carnival--

--what a carnival I am--!

the best of the night begins
after the rides have all shut down--
when the lights soften
and a breeze blows
the sawdust clear of chaotic footprints...

what then quietly rises within
amazes me so much more
than a monkey riding
a carousel horse...

thank god, I’m a mystery to myself.

© 2013, Michael R. Patton
book of dream poems

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Good Fight

author’s note:

It seems right to end this poem (and many others) with the "..."

Because it--and the rest--describe a work in progress.


In the dream...

while crawling through the tunnel
I discovered this white alcove
--a slender shaft of sunlight
   coming from a fracture
   in the ceiling brick--

kneeling there
in the bleached dust
in the light, in the shadow
I felt so quiet--

that deep peace
more daunting than
the typical cacophony
of my dreams

and so fear begin to rise and I awoke...

nonetheless, I didn't quite lose
what I’d found:
the next day, whenever I thought
of that space underground
the usual blur of noise inside me
became just a bit less

but as a result
the threatening feelings
buried beneath the blur
became a bit louder;

no matter--
now, I'll gladly listen:

I'll take on all challenges
if, in so doing, I can return
on a more permanent basis
to that place of peace--

seemingly impossible, considering
what I know about myself

but I'm given hope
by the good news
I received last night:

I’m crawling down that low tunnel,
enveloped in darkness--
my progress
                 ever so slow

as I fight against the wind storm of my fear...

© 2013, Michael R. Patton

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Sunday, September 01, 2013

In Sleep Before Birth

penny dream - September 1, 2013s

author's note:

With great reluctance, I cut these lines from the poem below:

I must have known of you
before I was born
because I felt
the shock of recognition
when we first met.

I believe the idea is valid; the lines just didn't fit.


When I close my eyes
in slumber--
when I open my eyes
to dreams
I’m as smart as I was
the day before I was born:

before I was born
I must have known
gold dust would fall
if I'd work patiently
with all else that fell
upon my shoulders

because in dreams I've seen
how I'm working constantly.

I must have also known
I'd feel trapped in this net
until I could surrender
to its frightening security

because my dreams have shown how
I'm struggling so hard to trust.

So I know now
what I knew before being born...

but in the blare of daylight
I can so easily forget
and again I'll feel bound
and again I'll feel burdened...

only later, when I'm cradled in sleep
will I see the need, the gift, the truth--

when closed for the night
I’m as open as a baby preparing for birth.

© 2013, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps

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