Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Pole

head pole - September 28, 2014s

author's note:

To be clear: those aren't pineapples in the picture above.


THE POLE

I put a pole in the center of my home

not to hold the ceiling in place
but to hold me in place:

any time I felt uncertain
I would steady myself against the pole.

I always felt secure while clasping
that smooth solid natural wood.

When the storm collapsed the roof
I simply propped the pole back up
and again felt at one--

even when I was forced
out of my house
I could think of the pole
and again feel stable.

Now, as a nomad
I sit down at night by the campfire
and stick a twig in the ground
and tell myself: that is the pole.

Even if they catch me
even if they beat me
even if they stand me
   before a firing squad
I will remember the pole
and not feel lost.

Perhaps you'll say
I merely seek something tangible
to reconnect me
to my inner strength

I guess that's so...and yet
there's more to my response:

whenever I envision that pillar
I also sense a force much greater
than what is contained within
the confines of my small cell.


© 2014, Michael R. Patton
listening to silence: poems of meditation

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Same Life



author's note:

For the record: I did indeed hook the fish that got away...or one just like it.


THE SAME LIFE

A boy
casts his line
while hoping, praying
he might again hook the fish
that slipped away
in the shallows...

a frustrated child
tries once more
to fly his kite
           all the way
                  to the opposite shore.

The trials
of my childhood
repeated constantly
through so many acts
down to this day...


© 2014, Michael R. Patton
myth steps

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Secrety Silently Sane



author's note:

Reality--what a concept!
        -- Robin Williams


SECRETLY SILENTLY SANE

We already have so many gods
that provide all sorts of services

but maybe we need one more
for the purpose of helping us
regain our sanity occasionally.

I believe we can begin
to create this god of sanity
by silencing
our well-reasoned attempts
to explain what our gods want
to explain what they think--
why they do what they do.

This respite could open us
to the true silence within--
could open us

to the secret silence
behind everything:

the invisible shadow

both a part of
      and apart from
every single crazy thing.

Any mystery so deeply felt must be real

and so, this reality must be quite sane:

a sanity we can return to
whenever we bow to
our god of silence.


© 2014, Michael R. Patton
myth steps

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Feeling Better



author's note:

“Tonight’s forecast...dark.”
                  -- George Carlin


FEELING BETTER

Though this illness
had dimmed my vision
I could see well enough to see
how pained my people were

so I went out searching
for a cure

not imagining then
how expensive
the quest

but what are we without our health?

The unknown land lay dark
and the darkness only deepened
the farther I wandered:

I bumbled and stumbled
amid the many shadows
until finally, in frustration
I sat down on a rock to refresh--
to gather together
what remained of my wits.

As a prop, I put
my blind fingers to the ground
and there to my surprise, I began to find
many unknown things
of peculiar texture:

some were bumpy
some were crinkly
some were razor sharp

some
smoothly furry to the touch.

Occasionally I've encountered
something slimy and slithering
and felt the impulse to flee

until overcome
by the greater desire
of my curiosity.

No, I don't allow my fear to rule me--!--

yet I remain cautious...I remain attentive:

in this way, I've developed
my sense of touch:
to feel requires patience.

The more I feel, the more I see:
my vision clears...but so so slowly--
I can't yet find my way back home.

Perhaps you'll arrive before I do--
if so, tell the people: I will return
to share what I have found

but not until I can see us all
in a light much brighter:

a mighty merciful Sun.


© 2014, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Missteps of Perfection

by design - September 10, 2014s

author's note:

A laborious rewrite of a poem from May 2013.

Imagine a world where communication is easy, effortless.

Then imagine the exact opposite.  That's where we live.

Then imagine our world somehow becoming the first world.

Then tell us how to get there.  Please.


MISSTEPS OF PERFECTION

Age brings the blessing of insight--
a sight that often seems like a curse:

as I reflect and recognize
so many innocent crimes
I perpetrated against myself.

I have tried to beg my own pardon
but this ego still rejects all pleas
and chastises me for the blindness
of my history.

However, I'm hoping
it'll grant reprieve
if I'm able to realize
a perfect design behind
the mess of all my missteps.

So far my vision
has failed me in this effort
but sometimes when I've closed my eyes
I have sensed a perfection

and experience has taught me:
what I feel so deeply is real

so I'll keep looking...


© 2014, Michael R. Patton
myth steps

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Sunday, September 07, 2014

Two Types of Emptiness



author's note:

Please excuse the "primitive" recording of this poem (at the bottom of this post)...

I try to make up in sincerity what I lack in technology.


TWO TYPES OF EMPTINESS

I have experienced
two types of emptiness--

blank exhaustion
with all its dead air

and the blankness of clarity
with its wide-open freshness--

so different the pair
and yet the first
can sometimes lead
to the second:

after fighting with myself
to release an old argument
held in the fist of a grip
I'll surrender in exhaustion--

so blank...so mute...so empty.

But at such times
though I feel so weak
the smoke may die
and in the break, I will see
the brilliant blue sky of peace

before the ground fog gathers again.

These brief respites
both lift me with hope
and heighten my frustration:

as a result, afterwards
I'm even more motivated
to work my way out--

to keep on battling
to give up
that which I so stubbornly
work to protect.


© 2014, Michael R. Patton
myth steps

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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

A Brief Peace after the New Year's Party



author’s note:

Not based on any particular experience...

...based on so many similar experiences.


A BRIEF PEACE AFTER THE NEW YEAR'S PARTY

At the end of another party--alone

and blank
under a bare light bulb.

As I drum my fingers on
this hard kitchen table
I wonder if I might've died
at some time unknown to me
while I talked in my sleep...

then an icicle crashes outside

and with that relief and release
I realize our revolution never ceases.

In the silence that follows
I can hear the deep hill cave
calling to me...I must rise.

But though I know I can find
soft soothing darkness
beneath my eyelids
I wish to stay at this table
for just few more tickings:

because I'm now aware
of how I am as full
and as empty
as this glass of air--
I no longer hunger
for the Spring sun.

In this unexpected expansion
of light--this sudden freedom--
I lift with a new breath
    of peace

    then on the exhale
I lose that open moment in the breeze.

But though I know I've arrived
at the end of another ending
I lag a short while longer
so that I may enjoy
what lingers of the feeling--
the afterglow, then its diffusion...

abruptly shut down
as the clock strikes the hour.


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

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