Plain

I like unadorned things. Useful things. Clean. Clear. Without artifice.

 

Simple

 

ice on a melted day
sleep in darkened rooms
sheets a cool embrace


golden raisins, purple
olives and goat cheese
a creamy salted-sweet melange


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Chromotherapy

I bought an arty kimono shirt today. The graphics are awash in mustard and russet, indigo and green. It reminds me of a Klimt painting. I love color: deep pigments from the earth, the saturated palette of jewels. I wear color as life-saving/life-giving medicine.

Chromatics

today was fuschia, she felt
lips and shirt in liaison
lately she has felt violet  
a vixen of purple persuasion
deep sapphire of a cocked brow
underneath, heart understandably crimson
sometimes glowing cherry in excitement
settling then to a satisfied garnet
thought herself, finally, a contented plum
her night ends in iteration
linens paletted in sepia, bronze, copper
mirror of all flesh
back again to beginning

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Road Trip

When I was a kid, I loved old movies. Abbott and Costello. Martin and Lewis. Hope and Crosby. Mishaps and wrong turns. Laughter and travel. Or maybe it was the whole buddy thing. Bonding over a shared experience. Whatever it was, I always felt like I had escaped something from own life and had a glimpse of something to which I wanted to return.

 

Road Trip

 

It wasn’t exactly Martin and Lewis but it felt close.
First leg of our cross country jaunt and almost over.
He secured the final hitch, warning over his shoulder
Remember, you can’t back this baby up. Always
pull through. He patted the Uhaul’s side, handed
the keys to you. We huddled over the map, paper
those days and turn-by-turn, and plotted our start.
Tired from steering the freighter-weight truck, you
aimed for the closet space, forgetting the car
hitched behind until almost too late.

That night we both shivered at the near miss.
I became captain of our ship because my yelp
Don’t! made the near miss a reality. From there
we drove almost without mishap, telling each other
stories of other almost-was and never-had beens,
thank God. We saw this country from marsh to flat,
open lands to crops to open again. At times only we
held the road, sign after sign touting giant rodents
and other unnatural wonders. I hadn’t signed on
for such things but was glad I’d shared them with you.

Circumstance

Writer’s block, they say, is all in your head. It doesn’t exist. They’re right…and they’re wrong. I’ve just emerged the victor from my own skirmish with writer’s block. I admit that it is all in my head – the self-doubt and thirst for perfection – but it’s real enough to strangle me into (almost) silence.

This daily flexing my poetry muscles helped me pummel that block into something more like a pebble.

Circumstance

That summer
I wrote poetry capable
of warming a bed
a world away     not knowing
its capacity had been met

That summer
I honed myself into a living
verb     muscles supple enough
to fight for the one good
man standing before me

Encounters

I spent the morning walking through a local park. As I walked along the lakeshore near the end of my walk, one of the wading birds, a black gallinule, broke into a run, aimed right at me. It stopped just short of where I stood and gazed at me expectantly. It was hoping for food, I know, and I was just an avenue to get it but the excitement in its response was surprising. And a bit gratifying, I have to admit. Years ago, I had a somewhat similar greeting with happy shouting, no less. That time I was the focus.

 

Stop

 
you
there on the street
the green damp of rainforest
perfumed around all
flowing past that place

you two
shiver first in recognition
later in memory     distance
crossing time        glances
locked one to the other

Creativity

Forty-six new poems in as many days. This is life-altering for me. I’ve never done anything like this before. Sitting down and being intentional with writing. Creating something new each day and not worrying if my creative well will have/will run dry.

For all of you who have watched this unfold, I thank you. I’ll keep doing this for as long as it happens.

 

Creativity

 

Always it starts with the room.

There is a table, a chair, and light enough
to write. Sometimes a pen, ink like silk
and fast-flowing, lolls across a lined pad.
Other times a sleek art of a machine waits.
Its keys that perfect matte, finished
to be a temptation for the hand.

It is clean and even-tempered this space,
this invitation. There is no room for anything
else save you and all that demands a life
only you can give. Even now your fingers
tremble, poised above polished squares.
Something gathers itself. Setting the first word
to print, you become its engine.

 

Palette

We perceive a world that we own. We lay claim to the things around us by putting our mark on it. By naming it. Did you know that our naming a thing makes it possible for us to see it? I learned that from a cool book called Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay.

I thought about that book all day as I wandered Sarasota’s Selby Gardens and explored the pearl of a garden and its Andy Warhol exhibit, Flowers in the Factory.  Awash in the myriad hues of flowers, I did not realize I too was my own exhibit — L’Oreal Color Riche Shine 928 Gleaming Plum and Maybelline The Loaded Bolds 830 Violet Vixen.

Intrigue

they watched her
as she moved
they couldn’t help it
dark flame in daytime

all brown planes
symmetry in flesh    
men   women   all
compelled to speak

anything for her
to turn that gaze
of deep earth, speak
royal purple to them

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Part 3)

Once, years ago, I was accused of being stubborn. I prefer to think of myself as unsinkable.


YESTERDAY, TODAY, TOMORROW


iii. tomorrow

the morrow is before us

we abide however the day goes
there is life and we are in it

all fire and heat   the engine
that is our heart moves us forward

who can say all is for naught
if our fleshly mettle holds another morn

************

If you’ve followed my month of poetry-making, I offer you my thanks. I’m so glad you gave me a little of your time.

I’d love to hear from you all.  Please take a moment to give me a little feedback in the comments section here, drop me an email, or on my Facebook page.

Which poem was your favorite? Should I keep making poems here? Do you have any poetry or writing questions for me?

Let me know. And thanks again for reading my work.

Elegy

I hadn’t a clue what to say, what to write about. I tried looking at writing prompts at the NaPoWriMo website and at Writer’s Digest. Both prompts — an elegy and a roundelay, respectively — seemed unnecessarily difficult considering there are only six more days before April and NaPoWriMo end.

But as poetry is wont to do, it came.  And in an elegy, no less.


Elegy


6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. 8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.  – Isaiah 6:6-8 (KJV)

 

my mother visited my office today            I almost didn’t
recognize her but she’d have forgiven me, I know

unexpected       she came dressed as a family friend
their faces so entwined I almost didn’t see her there

the eyes were not the same ones I see in dreams
different: voice, brown skin, flesh pressed tight in embrace

we sat down and I laid my cut bare in the telling
how it came to be, nestled just under my collarbone,
left of my sternum, a blight blessing visible to all

how my heart stopped and started, stopped, stopped
and started, started again according to its own algorithm

words burning my mouth for freedom with no room
no air left for the other story sitting opposite

I’m sorry, sorry                I wanted to say         manners demand
a place and audience for the guest sharing the stage

all of it: one ending and the beginnings’ of other ends 
wrapped in shaded laughter was heard, understood

a deeper moment of gravity tied up the conversation
and I saw her, my mother       she spoke to me
in the voice not her own

                                             You made the right decision.

What I Like

I hate filing taxes.

I hate math and I hate the IRS. (Well, I don’t really hate them. I just dislike them intensely.)


What I Like

uneven edges of book pages
soft gilded whirring of humingbird wings
happy laughter in the distance
iridescent soap bubbles riding wind
straight-edged roads with clear sight lines
well water after a long thirst
your hand’s weight