Thursday, May 28, 2015

Another World

author’s note:

Recently, someone asked me how I find contentment...

Not something I usually think about...but I do know that I can find it by discovering beauty in the commonplace.


Sometimes I sense the presence
of another world

lurking like a monolith
--like a dark castle gate--
somewhere over my left shoulder

but when I turn to witness
I find only a blank space

I can feel the absence
and so, that world
still seems real to me:

I'm tantalized--
for years I've searched
for the pass key:

so much work and yet
I remain frustrated...

except in odd quiet moments
that come to me suddenly--

in that stillness, this mundane world
is seen again, felt again, heard again

known again
but known differently--
known as strange:

even the stones seem to brim with life

or especially the stones

even old familiar doors
hold mystery

or especially those doors.

At such times,
whatever object I experience
becomes a door slowly opening:

I discover secrets everywhere.

After such times, I wonder:
did I step through the mirror?--
did I pass through the gate?

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
dream steps: the blog

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

My Own Tornado

my own tornado - May 24, 2015s

author's note:

“So foul a sky clears not without a storm.”
                  -- Shakespeare, King John


I now accept this
unrelenting dizziness
as a positive negative:

if I'm dizzy then I must be spinning--
if I'm revolving, I must be in a revolution

I'm rebelling against
my low cowardice
--rising up!--
as I go round and round
with the enemy within:

I'm my own tornado.

I'm a warrior for peace:

thus, the fate of the world
(to some small degree)
depends upon my courage

or so I tell myself

this belief
helps me to endure
the nausea
the constant blur...

this belief
keeps me fighting.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the blog

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Driving River

author's note:

A companion poem to the last one posted.


When I finally stopped
to listen to myself...

I heard an undercurrent
sliding below my surface--

I heard its demands
and began to understand
why I often find myself
in places I've been warned against.

I was warned: avoid the rocks

I was warned: avoid the mud

I was warned: avoid the depths

but the undercurrent says
those reasonable "no's"
must sometimes be usurped
by a greater "yes".

common sense remains entrenched:

often when I hear
where the current's pulling me
I will thrash and flail

hoping to avoid the rapids
hoping to avoid the dead pool
hoping to avoid the deep channel

but I fight that urge to fight
and not just because I know
it's useless--

no, I want to submit
after having witnessed the benefits
of the many grand travails
of our river journey...

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Water of Many Rivers

author's note:

When I first heard “go with the flow“, I believed the flow to be out there.

It is out there.  But now I know it’s also in here.


I sat down at the solitary river
to meditate upon this question:

--what are we?--

My mind wanted to struggle
so only after much time
and confusion
did I realize the obvious:

we are the water of many rivers.

Consider the evidence:

as with the waters of a river
sometimes we must switchback
in order to go forward.

We carve new channels, as needed:

we're constantly changing--
we can't help but change:

even when we appear stationary
there are undercurrents;
even in our stagnant pools, we brew.

I've finally learned
if I try to contain myself
I will overflow!

I've finally learned
I can't fight the current and win...

still, it's hard not to argue

when I'm headed towards the rapids

or when I must slow...down to a crawl.

But I assure myself with this knowledge:

water, instinctively, finds it own level,
water, instinctively, finds its way home...

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
dream steps: the blog

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Kick

author’s note:

I considered throwing this poem away.  But then I remembered a quote from John Cleland, author of Fanny Hill:

"Truth!  Stark naked truth!"


That librarian
kneeling on the floor
in the bookshelf aisle
with his back to me
appeared to be
just one more of many
frustrating obstacles
in my way--

another block between
where I am
and where I want to be.

Worse yet,
like so many other
silent combatants I have faced
he seemed to be trying
to assert himself
by ignoring my presence.

So at that moment, I felt justified
in giving him a kick--
nothing horribly abusive--
just a tap on his shoe heel:

yes, I'd reverse the game on him
and thus, score a win.

But as soon as
I touched his foot
I felt my mistake
and rushed to say
"I'm terribly sorry"
over his sincere
"oh excuse me".

Afterwards, to relieve my guilt
I kicked myself...I kicked myself

until I realized the obvious:

such attacks defeat me
without solving the conflict.

As I relate this foolish story
I'm humbled once again

but not discouraged

since we grow through humility
I must be making much progress
toward my dream of peace.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
dream steps: the blog

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Sunday, May 10, 2015


author’s note:

Dedicated to the memory of Freddie the cat--who taught me so much.


I hoped
by following a housecat
I would eventually arrive at
the center of my own

Consider those paws--
so sensitive yet so tough--
so connected
to the spinal column:

it’s a finer intelligence.

But though I learned from my cat
its innate feline wisdom remained
beautifully foreign to me.

The cat,
understanding my plight
looked up into my eyes
as if to say:
“What I have
  you have--
  myself in yourself.”

I do try to
but only in rare unexpected moments
do my feet fall into place--
into the fine beam balance
of a cat walk.

Such blessed accidents
always stir me--pain me--
to want more--more!

but without leaving a clue
as to how I might return.

In my walk more typical
I muddle through the mud--
I bumble and stumble
with staggering feet.

But though I spin chaotic
I keep this gyro going--
my entangled legs create
their own crazy tango:

the drunken clown
I saw in the circus
said we may wobble
yet still display elegance.

The clown asked me,
“What is perfection?”

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
dream steps: the blog

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Sunday, May 03, 2015

Strong Claws

strong claws 295w 2 - May 3, 2015s

author's note:

See note for the previous post.


A red-hawk accompanies my dove:

I need its fierce instinct...

but when that destroyer
attempts to dominate
I'm spun in
the swirling wind
of their wrestling

and struck by lightning
if the red-hawk wins--

every day, I endure storm

but as the gentle dove
fights for control
its claws become strong

and all doves need strong claws.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the blog

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