Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Two Moments in the Forest

author’s note:

Wishing you many special moments in 2015...

But I guess they're all special, if we can just see it.


Afternoon sunlight
touches a spider thread
and suddenly I see
a thin prism gleaming
between two limbs.

But the vision gained in an instant
is lost in the next--
my eyes tear, wanting to catch
that rainbow again--
but straining only frustrates.

So I return
to my imagination--
in this way, I'm comfortably blind
to the woods I walk in...

until another beauty
begs for acknowledgement:

a gold Maple leaf on the path--
its points curled up to form
a hungry cupped hand aflame...

the quiet surprise of this sight
stills the ricochet
of my scatter-shot mind

as if a soft halo had abruptly
nested down upon my head...

looking up
I find an orange Autumn cloud
gliding with stealth out of the North
--perhaps to observe me

but then in a blink, I'm alone again

both cloud and leaf dispersed
by a sudden wind...

alone again

but reawakened
to the mystery...

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

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, December 28, 2014


author's note:

“Truth! Stark naked truth...”
         -- John Cleland, author of Fanny Hill



the trees shelter me
with their sturdy limbs

yet threaten me
with the uncertainty
of their limbs.

Here, I am a child of the forest.
Here, I am my own warrior.

Here, I am both naked and blanketed.

Inspired by the beauty, I open
but with anxious hesitation

until I find release in waking surrender.

Here, I am fully individual
and yet I can cease to exist
for long still moments...

Here, I'm no more important than a stone--
maybe even less.

Here, I am quite important

as is the stone...the leaf...

the frog.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
dream steps: the blog

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Heroic Birds

author’s note:

Best wishes to all you birds out there.


Such a fierce resiliency--

how those wrens hold out
in the awning of a gas station

or peck at the fallen fries
on a greasy fast-food drive-thru.

Still I've got to say:
birds, you have the whole sky!--

yet you choose this mess!

But maybe they know
how in such shabbiness
they become that which is heroic:

peasants in a sub-zero desolation--

even in their dreams they must battle
for raw survival.

Yes, I marvel
at the easy glide of eagles
on the blue mountain breeze...

but the way those wrens work
their little brown wings
is no less beautiful to me.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
Common Courage: the book

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Beautiful Nest

author's note:

A little light for your Solstice night--I hope.


As I watched the bird
weave those ugly plastic shreds
through the delicate twigs and grass
of its cupping nest...

I realized how I could accept
the junk stuff of this culture

and still create something
of use and beauty...

of useful beauty...


© 2014, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the blog

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Light of Gold

author's note:

As the darkest day of the year approaches...

...I say it's a good time to find our gold.


Someone told me:
if you touch this gold piece
you will understand
our human life...

but afterwards,
though a little more enlightened
I still could not see
as clearly as I wished.

that one touch did awaken me
to a stubborn desire
only dimly sensed before:

this life of mine
would be devoted to finding
the light of gold--

a quest with so many frustrations:

what I discovered
often did not touch me
in the way that I had hoped

and what did provoke
might later fail to move me
when I returned
expecting a repeat.

At times, this world
seemed dead to me--

a false perception, yes
but a helpful one because
I then turned within

and by digging, I again found gold

in the dark--my progress so slow

but the vein steady

waiting patiently to be uncovered...

and the more I raised
the more the landscape outside shone...

but no--
the outside had always shone:

I just didn't see, didn't feel before

how this world constantly
touches me, provokes me--

moving me to show
my own gold in response.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
listening to silence: the book

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Torment of a Satisfying Song

author’s note:

A companion poem to the last one posted.


As a bird I was born
with this ambition:

to sing a song of the folk
that would echo every song
of every age and place--

a song to endure
through the many generations
until its beat became
part of our heartbeat.

So I began to sing
in search of that song

and though my tune
came out puny
I kept on:

I believing my sincerity
could amplify the ditty
into a symphony booming
throughout the mountains...

a delusion, yes
but one that kept me singing

though I became irritated
at my lack--
though my irritation
became an agitation
and then a torment,
a torture--

I kept on

as I began to hear
how such frustration
actually helped to strengthen
my sound...

So I still have hope
that those mountain peaks
may eventually echo back
a sky choir.

In the meantime
even as I'm aggravated
a deep satisfaction elevates me
as I continue to discover
the voice of my song...

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
listening to silence: the book

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, December 07, 2014

What Angels Hear

author's note:

Written to all the birds out there.


After living among us for so long
angels have learned to lower
their expectations--

they now make allowances
for all we must endure

and so

when one of them
finds a weak bird like me
struggling to sing...

that angel still hears god.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
common courage: the book

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Young God of Spring

author's note:

An appropriate poem, I think, as we approach the Winter Solstice.


The little drummer feels bored
by the soft dead Winter...

How can I inspire him to drum?

I present a fallen leaf
in the cup of my hands
and try to describe
its delicate resilient history--

the burnt orange
actually an amalgam
of subtle shades gained
through intense weathering...

a lesson for him, I hope

but ignored as he seizes
and crushes the brittle leaf
to bits in his small fist--

flinging the fine powder
to the rising wind.

Pumped now with the power of life
that brat struts off--banging again...

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
dream steps: the blog

Labels: , , , , , , , ,