Friday, November 20, 2015

To Hold...To Touch...To Feel

author's note:

Yes, I used the word "lovely" to describe my computer...

But in my defense, I was using the computer to type this poem and wanted to keep it happy.


What if we lost
the extraordinary tools
of our technology
in a massive cyber-crash!--

would the end then be inevitable?--

would we destroy ourselves
in all the fearful fighting
over such common necessities
as bread...?

I say:
despite the madness
we might do more
than merely survive
because loss can also
bring gain--

in the middle of building something
using this lovely computer
my arms and hands
have said

then pulled me outside
to hold, to touch, to feel

until I rediscover what
I didn't realize I had lost.

Building our towers may indeed be
as important as we believe

and yet, to stop
isn't the end...

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
my war for peace: the book

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Exploring North

author's note:

This motif is common in American Indian folklore:

The hero, having exhausted all other options--all other directions--goes North, to the place of mystery.


Having examined
the folly of our motions
(which include my own)
I believe the human race
is designed to stumble

but I also believe
we are programmed
to go North
after we have finally
fallen down

even if we must crawl
we will continue on

to the North of gray twilight
--deepening into darkness--

to rediscover
the mystery we've ignored

and in such illumination
find better answers to old dilemmas
by asking better questions.

Maybe that belief is based
solely on hope

but from my own experience
I know we humans are capable
of discovering ways
to lift ourselves back up.

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

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Friday, November 06, 2015

In the Playful Eye of Wisdom

author's note:

Violets have grown here and there
on the ruins of my burned house.
        -- Shokyu-ni (trans. A. Miyamori)


I wanted to pity the child
sitting in a cardboard box
stuck in an abandoned lot

but the child wouldn't stop

at the way the ragged Wind
made the paper flaps clap

at the way the hard Sun
gleamed across the barb-wire
and on the backs of crows

at the way I tried
to force a sincere tear
from my gray eye--

the child had seen my lie:

how I wanted to mourn him
because I felt so barren
--boxed-in by this life--

I had not accepted that pain:

instead, I'd chosen to believe
my sense of emptiness
came from the world around me--

everywhere I looked, I'd see
abandoned children
and empty lots...

until I heard that child laughing
at the beauty of the world's abundance

then I too began to laugh...

at the sight of my hangdog self
--reflected so brightly--
in wisdom's playful eye.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
my war for peace: the book

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