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Walking in the mist one day
I saw a short, thick rainbow
that curved down to land
behind a wooden gate.

So I slipped inside

but, of course, the rainbows tail
had already disappeared.

I knew that those bands of color
were actually droplets of water
caught by the suns rays
at a 42-degree angle
as they drifted in the air.

Still, a desire for beauty creates a wish.
But perhaps more than that:
we see, we sense, we feel
the portal, the passage, the window
that we seek
has suddenly appeared before us
after all our storm
and the innocent in us thinks:
If I could just pass under that arch...

Id enter a new world,
 a world where I would find the one
 Ive seen in the night mirror--
 the hero, the heroine--sometimes both appear.
 They promenade, driving the chariot of the sun.
 Or else use their strong gentle hands
 to fashion dragons and rabbits
 from moonlight.

Ive only felt them for fleeting moments
  --just enough to realize
    that if I could seize them in full light
    Id find an earthly paradise.

But rainbows are not just
droplets of water--also symbols
and therefore, evaporate
when you try to grab hold.

I trust that an opening exists--
after all, I have the memory, the feeling
of that memory.

But I know
I cant force that door open--
Ive already tried--
so I pray
that I may
wander blindly
--as the blessed fool does--
until I accidentally trip
over its line

--and then in a jeweled moment,
  suspended in time--

be transformed, from lead into gold, from a sparrow
into an eagle.

Yes, such things do happen--
but in truth, the accident is no accident:
its hard work. Years of hard work,
maybe even lifetimes
of storm.

We all feel the potential--we must--
why else would we worship such arcs
as are bridges and rainbows?

I believe--no, I know--
that with this desire
to drive us,
well fool ourselves
all along the way
so that we can arrive
at that arched gate
with the toll
already paid.

© 2009 Michael R. Patton      go back

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