Poetry – "The Peacock"

The Peacock
by Jennifer Ann Margaret Patino

Ignore the peacock alarm
clock–the ding-ding-ding 
bonus prize is the few
extra winks you’ll scramble
after.

Shut your eyes to truth
because your dreams are
more convincing liars.

Your own psyche is a
trickster because
some guy decided he
knew how all minds
worked and was so
full of himself he
claimed to unlock the
great mystery of our
own minds and the
fate of our ability
to function without
some idiot’s voice
in our head has been
solved and determined
already.

So stay asleep and let
someone else’s agenda be
your pillow. Let conformity
wrap you in security like
a blanket. Your desires
are cold, yes. They’ll
stay frozen.

The nightmare is warmer,
you see?

And before you know it,
true horror becomes what’s
normal and you really
never missed anything
at all.

-ding-ding-ding-

Look at the proud peacock!
He stretches his watercolor
plumage as he rises.
The wriggling earthworms
that crawled out of the
muck to try to greet the
sun for the last time
have all shriveled up
and died on the pavement.
He makes them martyrs
and decides to skip
breakfast.
He watches his reflection
in the toaster as he pinches
himself awake.

“And now you’re pinching
yourself awake.”

   The hypnotists,
   psychiatrists,
   your best friend slash
   therapist.

They are the mourning doves.
They are the dead earthworms.
They are fanning themselves
with your feathers
as you toss and turn.

The nightmare leaves scars.
The phoenix burns.

Poetry – "To the Ground"

“To the Ground”
by Jennifer Patino



When I feel disconnected,
I head outside & stick
my ear to the ground.

I block out the city sound.

I close my eyes & picture
Mother Earth in full
regalia. She’s dancing
to drumbeats deep within.

I hear the cries of my
people who protect
her veins. The prayers they
sing purify the poison
in her blood. The water
rushes in my head. It
crashes on my brain like
waves on rocks & I can
feel again.

I can feel the
the damp ground on my
face & the wind in
my hair.

I become a bird–

  ear & eye to
  the soil to get a closer
  look at my food source.

My life force. I let
Mother Earth cradle me
in her arms & I wrap
mine right back around
hers. The planet is a present
in danger. We must protect
it.

The hills & plains
together echo with the
warnings of the warriors &
the winds of hope blow
strong.

Stay mighty like the mountains.
Stand tall like the trees.

We are all the Mother.
We are all her children.
Even you.
Even me.

Poetry – "Battalion"

Artwork by Nikki Albert 

Battalion
by Jennifer Patino

I can out-write the migraine,
the vice-grip monster

pain is a horned beast

it’s weakness is my
will-power

I lie to the rest of me
about how the other parts
are doing
I hide away
in Nature’s Memory
Her seasons change on time
& her hawks cry out
in a language I understand

My wing is broken,
the wind on it stings
But I must keep flying

   Up & out of the force
   field haloed over my head

I want to peer down at myself
I want to put a name to the
battle where I admit my
defeat

The bright light
battalion charges
forward
I am forced now to
retreat