Sunday, January 28, 2018

Galaxy Sleep

author's note:

Our dreams remind us how extraordinary our ordinary lives are.


According to one theory...

as we ease into sleep
our minds begin to spiral
and expand
like a hurricane
like a galaxy:

though we think we rest
we actually spread and accelerate
through an interstellar space--

each night we extend
just a little bit more
than before--
we grow even as we snore.

But when the alarm sounds
we contract--
in a mere instant
we slam back together again!

I'm not sure of that theory
but I do know:
in a blink I’m awake
and in the rush of morning thought
I quickly forget
my nighttime universe...

but later, while waiting in traffic
I may sense a soft buzz of stardust within
then dimly recall a meteor or a planet.

What I lost probably wasn’t that important
I'll tell myself

but in truth, at such times
I feel like a kid
who's just missed the circus
and must return to class.

myth steps blog
© 2018, Michael R. Patton

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

How Her Mundane Life Became Visionary

author’s note:

January 25 is Robert Burns night in Scotland.

To be honest, I don't know his work that well...

But I like the idea of honoring a poet with a special night.


In her dream, a door
swung open to reveal
a wild grass field--

all those stalks
with their luminous tips
darkening down to secret roots

while in the near distance
blue wildflowers circled
the stonewall of a well

then, on the horizon
a purple mountain rose above white mist--
a mysterious pyramid beckoning.

She woke believing this dream proved
a new door would soon open for her--
she’d step from the humdrum
into the visionary life she'd envisioned
for herself

but her patient waiting
didn’t persuade the door
nor did a fierce push

and so
hoping to avoid the pain of frustration
she accepted that job painting stock scenes
on handmade tea cups:

with a few deft strokes of her brushes
she'd create a warmhearted scenario
on the side of each cup--
for instance
a doe and her fawn watching
a rising sun wake
a mellow blue meadow.

As expected
this repetitive work
dulled mind and body
and so, her thoughts shifted from doors
to rummage instead
through the cluttered minutiae
of her mundane life


near the end of one workday
her blank mind lost track
of the routine
and when she snapped her focus back
our painter suddenly saw the usual
with new eyes--

saw anew
the little ceramic cup
she held in her hand--
saw anew
the quiet scene
of a sleeping cottage
watched over by
a full vanilla moon:

the rendering, mediocre
but in its lack of affectation
so pure...

what'd seemed so trite
then became the ideal.

Though the five o’clock bell
soon broke her spell
she remained receptive

and so
as our artist opened
the warehouse exit door
she saw anew

the big trash barrel

the gray parking lot
with its faded yellow stripes

and at its border
the beige stucco wall
of the building next door--

saw anew
and finally realized

those things were
her green field
her well
her blue flowers
her purple mountain

her dream.

From that time on
she found her dream
in so many places
in so many things:

as a result
her ordinary world
became an extraordinary world
and her mundane life
became visionary.

listening to silence: poetry ebook
© 2018, Michael R. Patton

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Master Boulder

dear reader:

I don't pray.  But I do pray.


Though I'm intimidated
by its monolithic presence
I often return to that boulder
at the bottom of the canyon

and then
despite my resistance
its command to listen
to what can not be spoken
only felt:

the profundity of its heavy silence.

Through those moments
of strange peace
I slowly uncover
the master boulder
solid in the darkness
of my depths.

This returning is a ritual:
a prayer, a homage--
a way to find home.

listening to silence: poetry ebook
© 2018, Michael R. Patton

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Monday, January 08, 2018

Wound Furrow

Dear Reader:

We're often told: support those who serve.

I say: we all serve.


On my long trek home from war
I stopped to watch a farmer turn
an old meadow into a fresh field

but when I saw how
the plow blade broke the earth open
I felt my raging shame once more--

once more felt
the sharp wound of defeat--
a cut I'd tried so hard to ignore

but as the child
followed with handfuls of seed
I realized
such destruction creates furrows--

as the wise one said
old life must be torn
so new life can be born

but oh
I did not want to labor!
I wanted to laze:

war had tested my strength
thus, in the aftermath
I felt quite weak


I'd already learned
from such conflict
that if I didn't fight my inertia
I'd suffer an even worse defeat.

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
what I learned while alone: poetry ebook

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