Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Finding My Size



author's note:

Again, a poem with uncertainty, an ocean, and release (see last post)...

Am I repeating myself?  I prefer to think: I'm exploring motifs.


FINDING MY SIZE

I woke to find
the waves of the night sea
had carried me
far away from shore--

my legs dangled
in a depth unknown
while cold waters rocked my body
as if I was a discard--

not so different
from how I usually felt
but I could usually ignore
how I usually felt.

Desperate
I searched for a landmark
I could aim myself towards

but black sky
had merged with black sea--
did I see low-lying stars before me?--
or were those the streetlights
along our shoreline drive?--
perhaps
I only saw the lamps
of my hopeful imagination.

I felt helpless as a dot--
a grain of sand about to sink.

I'd heard we all held
an incredible personal power

but as the current mocked
my assertion of free will
that idea seemed a lie
designed to protect
a fragile sense of self.

I then recalled the other story:
how at our lowest moments--
when we feel damn near empty--
the light will descend
through that opening
to rescue us.

Though I still can't vouch for its truth
I guess belief saved me
because

when the clouds suddenly broke
and that big round Moon beamed
its spotlight down on me
in an instant, I felt safe--delivered--
I could surrender my doubt--
I could lay myself back and breathe--
free in my security.

The spirit of life filled me--
I felt myself swell

but as has happened in the past
I forgot to stop the inflation:

having shrunk down
to nothing
the pipsqueak in me
wanted to expand
to the size of that moon.

But in trying to be bigger
than I am
I lost the blessed moment
and like a beach ball
I then bounced back
to land upon the sandy shore--

back to my usual reality
and so
able to ignore again
how small I am
as well as how large.

Hopefully
next time I shrink down
I can remember
what I usually forget:

how I can be more
by becoming less
but can only maintain
that gain
by keeping my head
in check.



© 2017, Michael R. Patton
Searching for My Best Beliefs: a poetry book

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