Poetry – "People"

Still from Enigma’s music video “Silent Warrior”

by Jennifer Ann Margaret Patino

People are very quick to criticize
the warrior in battle
fighting for air
in his own backyard.
You can see his eyes
chanting to himself
‘is being peace too passive?’
These are the first to get
up from their couches
to tear curtains from living
room windows because
a stranger dared to
set a toe on your lawn.

I am blessed to be from a culture
that knows no ownership
but believe me, I get no
benefit from being me. I
knew what funerals were
before weddings. I can’t
even claim tears because
they belong to my ancestors
who lost everything. They
were never mine to begin
with. They have been hardened
and sold
in novelty and new age shops.
My ancestors. And
their tears.

Some people don’t seem to
realize that speaking out
so vehemently and against
your enemies just makes
you their mirror image.
There will be no solution
in hating your brother.
Nothing will come of you
accusing the silent of not
caring. One day you will
be shaken and feel defeated
so badly that you won’t
have words left either. No
one was out to hurt you
when they decided they
couldn’t play these political
games anymore. There
are more than two ways
to think. There are more
than two ways to feel.
But what do I know? This
system was never
mine. It never kept any
of its promises. It still
will never keep its promises.
You’re asking me to trust,
respect, follow, believe
people in boxes — on TVs,
photos, radios– whom I’ve
never met and let a
system you all hate
and complain about
lead me. You call this
my duty.

People have a habit
of demanding an apology
of those in their society
who do exactly what they do
but ‘smarter’, and ‘better’
louder, prouder.
Some preach equality
but only for a certain variety
or theology
or none.
‘Oh, God, what have we done?’

But what do I know?
What am I allowed to say?
I’m an outside observer
in every way.

Because I refused to choose
amongst all of you.
And then you all became
the same over night. I’ll keep
nodding and telling you it
will be alright.

Some people just need to know love.

Poetry – "Queen Collected"

The Collector by John Fowles (book cover)

Queen Collected
by Jennifer Ann Margaret Patino 

The queen is bound
   and restless
How heavy is the crown
   that bears the head
Her windpipe is a hexagon
The throat contracts
   when nervous
Hers is alabaster strong

She is decorated in ribbons
   that once tied pigtails
All wrapped up with
   nowhere to go
She is a maiden
   who lost all her lilies

   Pencil thin – – her skirt
   gives nothing away – –
   arms behind her back
   he keeps her netted

She is a fluttering feather
   in a cage
He is a rat who fears rage
He isn’t brave enough to be
   a king
Not hers, though it is his kingdom-
   his domain to dethrone
   and de-reign

The queen is a statue,
a guardian of grace
   in his garden,
a broken-winged butterfly
   caught in a gale,
a menace when she smiles,
a delicate whimper,

forever frozen
forever frail

Author’s note- Inspired by “The Collector” by John Fowles

Musings #1

Clio, muse of heroic poetry & history by Pierre Mignard

“These poems aren’t hard to find
when I just describe what’s
in my head. No need to
try for the grit. No need
to try to paint fiction.
Just pave the way with
prose. Poetry likes to pretend
it has rules so we never
run out of ways to break
them. They allow the poets
to feel sane and structured.
We want to feel accomplished
after spilling our guts
and that our souls are in
tact after we’ve bared
them to the reader and
then stuffed them back 
inside ourselves so we
can regurgitate it into
something new and
different over and over
again. So be gentle
with the poets. We 
beat ourselves to pulps
willingly enough already.”

-Musings #1