Poetry – 2 Poems – “The Lowly Place” & “Prayer”




The Lowly Place // by Jennifer Patino


I have scraped
the bottom of my barrel
to summon strength
to express
the fear I know best,
that one day
my illness will defeat me,
that I will be forced
to retire my pen
to eternal rest


I think of my muses,
my inspirations,
the best ones
who weathered
their own tribulations


I do as any sick poet would do,
submerged in word, struggling
against the ailing, failing body
to create anew,
I write to survive, to have a reason to
stay and play being alive


Giacomo Leopardi,
nearly toppled over,
arm dangling over
a creaky-coiled bed,
wishing he were dead
to end
the suffering
of being held back,
trapped in every aspect
by what the world saw
on his outside,
his true thoughts
on paper he never dared hide


Frida Kahlo, from her sickbed,
masterpieces, her tired head,
Her arms, strong to hold
the details,
Her heart, her pulsing entrails,
on a canvas overhead;
Beauty in suffering,
grace in despair,
life of torture,
breath of art,
return to air


Jackson Pollock painted his
pain on the floor, his
splatter poetry,
his constant cries of
more, more, more!”
and then,
no more!”
His demons banging
on his locked door,
The lowly place,
the floor,
where all poets,
artists, human beings
find themselves


And Edith Piaf,
the little sparrow,
singing to salvage,
and for salvation,
though her voice
did quake,
though her nerves
did shake,
I hear you in
the background,
my hand trembling,
my own blood
slowing at the sound


This is my sickbed,
my lowly place,
beyond the 10th Circle,
through the 9th Gate,

This is the darkened space
beyond the shadow
of my eclipsed face

Here is where it all lies,
surrounded by the voices
of every lamenting artist,
soothing my own cries

The end of the page is near,
my inkwell nearly dry,
All I have is here,
written visions
for a wandering eye




Prayer // by Jennifer Patino



I was taught the body
is equated to a holy vicinity

I can only hope to attain perfection,
a desperate attempt at mimicry

of the life of the Savior,
and His goodness,

I am not worthy to be called
a genuine reflection

of the Blessed Trinity,
Still I cry to Thee,

O, Lord, deliver me
unto Thy protection

as I suffer through hardships
to greet Your glory, Your resurrection



Poetry – “Ides”




Ides // by Jennifer Patino


Beware the Ides

“A toast
to all the slaughtered messengers
harboring secrets
for breeding centipedes,
wriggling pests,
Cowards who eat
their own festering nests”



Quote the best
visionaries in the soothsayer’s
make your speeches,
curse the salivating leeches,

do not cry in the
public eye

Instead, raise the dead,
find how to
put off mourning
by detaching
from your own head



Deadlines and headlines,
sales, highlighted fails,
click bait, checkmate

The fallen kings, the terrible things,
martyrs, blood in blessed waters,
killings, parts of Earth heating,
parts of Earth cooling, parts

Terror tightens,
stifles voices
with truth knives
and one-sided
choices, with
lives and
fabricated, ego-driven
and fountains of lies

Type faster,
the cyclone
moves on
and around,
leaving no time
to even bury
the dead underground


The Fallen

A golden adornment
glitters with diamonds
in the vast darkness

Betrayal slips,
a windpipe snips

and death tastes
like lost vices

Blood drips
and worshippers
of the idol’s corpse
bathe in it,

they cast his garments
upon new shores,

make new vows
of resistance

and sacrifices sound
like false belief
and insistence



The masses
raise glasses
and drink
to achievement

The widow
in shadow
struggles to show
signs of bereavement

The soothsayer,
the ruler,
the suicides of the assassins,
all ghosts
holding hands now,
having known
all this would happen



Poetry – “When They Said I Couldn’t Drive Anymore”




When They Said I Couldn’t Drive Anymore // by Jennifer Patino


The driver’s seat

is a space

occupied by control freaks


I gave it up,


without a fight


I focused on the lines

& how they blurred

into every other back seat


Newly upholstered, covered in trash,

from the ceiling, from crouched down on the floor,

from turning around to glare


High beams are too bright

& I am tired of having to explain

how I can only see in the dark,


How I can see the white deer

dart out in front of me

when I am stationary,


When I am pretending

to go out walking

because I gave up that seat


I told you I gave up control

to whomever took up most of my attention

& to whomever felt the need to be free


That day there was a crash

& I wasn’t in it, but I

felt it, & at times I still hear it


I can picture it

in every crosswalk

& in every blue flashing bulb


Someone once told me

that he lost someone in an accident

& I thought of that unnamed girl, too


I thought of my mother running

to check on survivors,

(were there any survivors?)

& I was frozen & smashed


Front bumpers, back bumpers;

To whomever wanted to go too fast,

or complain that I was too slow,


Again, you’re back in control

& I’m out of it;

I’m out of fuel for the fire of this memory



#FlashbackFriday – Poetry – “Symphony”


Symphony // by Jennifer Patino


There are those

who pray by the glow of

the kitchen light


in the coverlets of billows,

the moon beaming bright


The sky – a direct

reflection of God


The night – birds call,

the moth’s wings answer


A melody;




An answered sigh,

the desert’s bitter breath


The chill, welcomed

because it makes them


feel alive,

warm inside


They can hear the stars twinkling,

eyes of the angels winking


There are those who smile

in the dark

for they are never

really alone,

in tune with

nature’s music,


they make it

their own


Each note of life, a gift,

every being in rhythm

to uplift


Blessed ones, chosen,

singing silently to themselves


Content, unafraid,

because now they are safe


Love lives in their eyes,

faith is felt in their cries


Wisdom is found

where the true self lies


May 13, 2014



Prose – “March”



March // by Jennifer Patino


March comes when you least expect it to. You are still recovering from January’s freeze. There are icicles left in your eyelashes from all the crying done in February.

Crows start gathering in the garden below the picture window. The winds blow, but they are no longer howling. There is a tickle in your nose. Spring allergens. They’ve come to roost.

The sun holds on at high noon. It beats down on the suburbanites shuffling to lunch. It pierces your retinas when you head out to the garden for afternoon tea.

Bees buzz, replacing the wood splitters’ saw. March has its own frequency. You feel it just under your skin’s third layer. You can feel change crawling its way out. You can’t stuff anything back now like you did all winter because it’s melting now. Higher temperatures, lower mood. This is how it overtakes you.

It’s always going to be odd to others. Who can be sad in spring and summer when there are so many colors about? When you wear lighter and brighter fabrics? When you can swim and tan and barbecue and socialize and all of these things that so many others like to do? Everyone except for you.

The heat hurts. It stifles you. It makes you feel as if you are encased in needles and there will never be any escape from it. Your eyes are not like others. Yours see so much better in the dark. Yours shine in the cloudy grey of an Autumn day.

Your eyes can often see past that which is right in front of you. Sometimes this sight is fear driven. Sometimes others have convinced you that you’ve imagined some of what you see. Some of what you’ve seen. Other times, you believe God is showing you things. These are the things that make the most sense. These are the things you’ve stopped sharing because the whole world thinks you’re crazy enough.

Your body and mind both go through a transitional phase in March. There is a sense of cocooning that occurs. A shunning of all social graces. A tightening of muscles. A shortness of breath. A farewell to snowfall. A grieving of the longest nights.

You are a bud blooming too. Your brain starts to sprout, its own memory patch becoming overgrown too quickly by sinister and staticky weeds. There are beautiful colors inside your mind as well. Technicolor poms. Fireworks. Sizzling trails that start to manifest in waking life. These streaks of celestial whispers form auras around everything that lives and breathes. They cloud around inanimate objects. Man made luxuries. Rocks. Stones. Streams. You are entombed in a day glo dream but only during daylight. In sleep, you live a different sort of nightmare. You remember too harshly the summers that have passed.

You know you have no control over this. You’ve tried to get your grip on it. You’ve tried to wrestle it away. You’ve tried forcing yourself to feel as others say you should. You have taken every pill. Every potion. Done every breath exercise. Inhaled or ingested every remedy for forgetting recommended by everyone with something to forget. You have tried running but you never get very far.

It is no surprise to you that there are others out there, hiding, just as you are, who feel as you do. It is no surprise that those closest to you can often make you feel the most lonely. It is no surprise that most of your time spent is wishing you were someone else.

Daylight is saved during March. You become lost in March. Parts of you go missing. Parts of you return.

There is no butterfly that emerges at the end of this metamorphosis. There is no prize winning indigo rose emerging from the soil. There is no makeover happening. March is not your prepping time for your summer debut.

March is a signal. A warning sign. There are electric storms on the horizon for you. There are blackout shades on the windows. The crows peck at them from time to time.



Poetry – “The Masses”



The Masses // by Jennifer Patino


When we are broken and

breaking waves make debris

of our already shipwrecked selves,

we’ll grip any shore,

we’ll feel our cold fingers





Every sense of a solid foundation

has the strength to suck us into it


Sometimes we just need out

of the poisonous sea,

to return to dry land,

rest our fighting feet


We try to stay, stay grounded,

stay covered in blankets of


                                              (because dead life is pretty)


The roar of the swell calls,

summons, insists on us being



The call of the colossal

crashing digs into our skin

like our bed of sea urchin

needles, like the smell of

salt among deep aridity, the hope

of newness after miles

of plunging sand


Before the last of our bones

become driftwood, we linger

between the light of the rare

sunshine and hours and hours

of midnight blue and we





The bottom of this body of

antiquity is where you learn

to finally breathe




Poetry – “See, Stigmatic”




See, Stigmatic // by Jennifer Patino


On a grey stage,
curtains part
& one stands
as one
newly awoken
from a coma


    spackled forehead,
crimson grace


“they want the blood,
they want the blood”


    a holy place –
the palms, the wounds


The prickling in
the starting leg
means one’s time
is soon



a broken heart
& one grieves
as another
sleeps, slipping
into a coma


    dried garnet,
precious stains


“she bears the mark,
she says the name”


The slowing of
the hastened heart
means one’s time
is soon


Stand in ovation,
lie down in shock


    Blessed exsanguination
from a marble rock