Thursday, July 23, 2015

Scars Shine

author’s note:

What is a hero?


Medals can be put in drawers
but not scars--

the wound can still
be found on the face
long after I've finished
the tedious process
of stitching myself up--

the bonded wound will shine.

I may lie but the white scar won't!

So I no longer bother to lie.

I haven't earned
any medals of any type
but my scars shine
even in the dark.

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

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Better Nation...A Better Union

author’s note:

I feel we’ve been going a little too fast for a little too long.


Such a sudden blaze
often gets lost
in its own smoke:

I'm talking about my nation

and also about the two of us.

But if we can find
enough presence of mind
to stop ourselves
amid the clouds of our confusion
we may then begin to sense
a better union waits within

waits for expression
waits for our courage.

Not a return to what
we think we've lost--
not a return to what
we think we've been

but instead,
a going forward
as a new strength
rises into being--

a power now rarely realized
except when we stop
then we may feel it summoning us--
a feeling bright yet deep:

assuring us

a better nation...a better union
waits for us to go within.

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

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Thursday, July 09, 2015

Burning Up

author's note:

I praise what is truly alive,
what longs to be burned to death.
       -- Goethe, from The Holy Longing (trans. Robert Bly)


When I saw
that photograph of a monk
trying to change the world
by setting himself on fire
I said to myself,
"Good man,
 I know how you feel!"

I knew because I'd gone through
so many years of fiery frustration
at the many injustices of this life.

Eventually, I realized:
if left unchecked
my righteous indignation
would consume
my mind and heart.

But though I worked
to cool myself
the blaze still roared within--

how could I survive such constant raging?

Finally, I saw no other answer
but to bathe in those flames--
I'd open myself to the opportunity
to be a sacrificial offering:

I would feed the inferno
with all my old junk stuff
--that tiresome load--
and watch my fire-light
rise brighter and brighter.

I would change the world
as we all do:

by slowly burning off
those many layers of dross...

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
Peace World: the book

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