Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Adult Child

author's note:

"I know an illusion when I see one."
       -- from the novel Soultime,
           by Michael R. Patton


Born into a carnival
I remain a child

puzzled by the colors
of all those lights

including the cruel flashes
that cause me to wince.

As a child I still try
to comprehend this vision,
as an adult, I've chosen
to keep my eyes open...

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
SOULTIME: the book

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Ultimate Challenge

author's note:

In the "Ultimate Fighter Challenge", two men inside a cage pummel each other as if trying to settle a deep grudge.

But I know a much tougher challenge.


Whenever I try to quiet myself...

forces arise
      within and without
to stir my waters up.

And as I watch the lake work
to smooth its waves out
I realize my struggle
for peace will never end--

there will always be
there will always be

The thought nearly defeats me...

but no!--didn't I choose, long ago
the ultimate challenge?

© 2014, Michael R. Patton

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My Lost Continent

author's note: I was once told that the lost continent of Atlantis could be found in Missouri.  Seriously.

I've been to Missouri.  It ain't there.


As I awoke Sunday
I again felt the fading
of a subtle strength--
the warmth and wisdom
of a greater life

back into my depths...

As before, dissatisfaction
flooded the void left in the wake--
a deeper hunger

stole all taste from my regular food.

But this time I'm not deflated--
mad desire has finally overwhelmed me
and filled my empty sail:

my ears begin to buzz
with that hollow surf roar
that comes when
trivial thought falls away
as I focus on a worthier goal--

a mission.

But my navigational tools
were designed for a life
I must abandon as
I set out on this voyage:

now, I'm forced to trust
what the wise ones told us:
that Moon and stars hold us
with unbreakable strings--

so no matter how much
my confused reasoning whines
and fights, I must obey
those higher lights as they
guide me to my rightful place.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
MYTHSTEPS: the collection

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Spirits of the Sky

this confirms it - July 20, 2014s

author's note:

"Now is that a light in the sky or just a spark in my heart?"
       -- from "Waiting for the UFOs"
          by Graham Parker


I know a mirror when I see one

and so when I hear reports
of lights in the night sky
        and zagging
and zinging

I realize that's just us up there
buzzing around in spirit--

consider this fact:

just like the lights
I ricochet here and there
I shift colors
I blink on and off
without apparent provocation.

The behavior of those lights
only confuses us because
they're of our higher intelligence
which has designs
our lower intelligence
does not yet comprehend--

thus, the UFOs seem quite alien
--not of this Earth, but of a world
  light years away--

and we believe those beings
wouldn't have bothered
to travel such vast distances
if they didn't intend to aid us humans:

in them we see our hope--

“Descend to us, wise ones!" we plead.
"Save us from ourselves!"

But our childish cries fall flat
as the light show abruptly goes out
and the sky resumes its distant silence.

Nonetheless, our disappointment
burns off a little more dross

and from such loss
our earthly light slowly grows
brighter, ever brighter.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
MYTH STEPS: the book

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Intense Gentle Essence

lady hair - July 16, 2014s

author’s note:

Mrs. Creighton, my high school English teacher, was always on our case regarding redundancies within sentences and paragraphs.

So the poem below is a type of revenge.

And yet I thank her, for helping me to keep my language honest.


I may be possessed
by a gentle spirit
if I enter that room...

I hesitate

because of the intensity

and yet, I am drawn inside

because of the intensity:

when I stand very still
and allow my heart to fill
until my brain stops
long enough

for those nerve endings
to unclench their tiny fists...

I can then sense
the subtle rhythmic waves
of her breath...
the warm thrilling mist
of her presence
within me--

it’s both too much
and not enough:
that essence...

collected then dispersed again
throughout the darkness
collected then dispersed again
throughout the darkness

the darkness within
the altar of my chest
the temple of my body.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
new steps

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Monkey Dance Meditation

monkey grind - July 13, 2014s

author’s note:

A companion to the last poem posted...

Buddhist teaching tells us that the mind is a monkey chained to a post.

My monkey seems to have a very long chain.


At birth, I was blessed
and burdened
with an active bag of monkeys:

a musical carnival

and a test.

Though I did enjoy the party
the cacophony often drove me
to seek the still mountain lake.

A conflict, I thought
because I wanted to be
two places at once

but no--now I realize
my stillness has little validity
if I remain on the mountain:

the greater challenge
and the greater fun
comes from trying
to keep my gyro steady
after I've rejoined
the rowdy simian dance.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
MYTHSTEPS: the blog

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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Silence & Drama

author’s note:

“Exploring the silence gives poetic thought birth.”
                          --  Pao Hsien
                               (trans. Paul Hansen)

“This world of dew
  is only the world of dew–
  and yet...and yet...”
                          --  Issa
                               (trans. J.P. Seaton)


The chaos slowly takes order
as I descend into silence

but silence is never absolute
--I always desire to go deeper into
the stillness of that bottomless pool...

and yet, too soon
the wild urge to erupt
rises within me

--I'm impelled to drama--

to sound the stage--to assume
the pomp of the grand duke
with his duchess

but also to ride as the steadfast knight

to grub along as the earth-bound serf

to hunker and humble myself
as the monk with a begging bowl

to flourish
as the vineyard beauty of ringlet hair

and not stop there
but to be so many more--
from hermit to explorer.

Dazzled by the cornucopia around me
I'm compelled to load myself up
with as much experience
as I can possibly bear

but then
when I become over laden
--like a bee heavy with pollen
I ache to unburden myself
to cleanse myself

in the deep solitary pool of silence

and so I reign myself down
and again begin to delve
deep, then deeper--moving
toward a perfection
that gives the drama
greater meaning--

striving for that supreme silence
though I know it will always be
beyond my reach...

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
searching for the new mythology

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