Thursday, September 24, 2015

In the Darkness of Small Spaces

author’s note:

In my experience, small dark spaces can have wide boundaries.


I journeyed down
to our lower coastal regions
in search of
a legendary vessel:

an orb, a womb
to hold me in safe-keeping--
a sacred space where I could sit
in peaceful solitude

while watched by a distant eye--
enigmatic as a blue opal.

And indeed I did find
a boulder at the edge
of a deserted beach
with an opening in its top
inviting me to crawl inside.

And though I still could hear
the brutal waves
beat against the rock
I felt secure within its walls

at least, at first...

but gradually
the wave sound expanded
until my entire being seemed consumed
by that merciless noise.

Finally, with nowhere else to go
I dove down deep--
hoping to discover
something monumental
to give me confidence
against the storm.

I only uncovered a little pebble
in the black of my belly.

Nonetheless, I held to this
intangible tangible
with whole heart:

not for the purpose
of ending the fear
but to assure myself
that despite my doubt
I could endure.

And to my surprise
even when the boulder shattered
after repeated bashing
I still felt the solidity
I'd found in that speck--

even as I walked along
the shifting border between
ocean and land:

I knew myself to be
definite proof of the good work
that can be done in the darkness
of small spaces.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
Listening to Silence: poems of meditation

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

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Naive Dream

author's note:

In my experience, dreams don't lie...

The problem is: I may lie to myself about the meaning of a dream.


I had hoped to pull
the children of Winter
from their stale cellar
with that long strong rope

but because dreams tell the truth
as I tugged, I felt myself elevate

like a kite

while below me
the vast arctic land thawed
into patches of deep green.

But I woke before I could learn
what'd happened to those children:

perhaps I'd saved no one but myself

or perhaps the children had saved me

or maybe we'd saved each other.

I only know:
I'm going to keep on pulling.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
My War for Peace: the book

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, September 11, 2015

Blessed Descent

author's note:

Because we live with the knowledge that we will die, perhaps all humans are, to some degree, courageous.


When the overseers scanned our group
they could see I was the one
trying hardest not to be seen--
the one afraid
that the earth beneath his feet
was only cloud.

They realized I needed
this trip--this ordeal--
more than anyone else.

Now as they turn the crank
my little basket slowly lowers
into the deep narrow ravine

where I can explore for all of us
and perhaps return to express
what delights and terrors exist
in such a precarious place.

Though I feel anxious and small
my chest thrills with silent celebration
as the darkness deepens:

at present,
I despise my weakness
but at the bottom
I'll have the chance
to find my strength...

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
My War for Peace: the book

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

Thursday, September 03, 2015


author's note:

As they say in the movies: "based on a true story".


by the power of my life
I tried to bury myself

but as I felt the weight
press down upon my chest
love cried out against
such a death.

Now I work to resurrect:

though still afraid, I slowly accept
the life I've been given to live.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
Common Courage: the book

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