Poetry – "Pow Wow Season" #NaPoWriMo Day 30

Day 30:

Pow Wow Season
by Jennifer Patino 

We come to rely on the guarantee
that we will see each other eventually
Every Spring, sometimes Summer
We wish it were more often, it’s kind of a bummer
Powwow weekends, our time to dance
To remember who we are, to fancy freelance
Traditional food, laughs and stories
Reliving past reunions and youthful glories
It’s how we urbanized ones plug back in, reconnect
It’s where seven generations intersect
The drums stay with us, pumping through your heart and mine
We carry our people with us, on the Four Winds, until next time
Author’s Note: It’s the last day of NaPoWriMo! It went by so fast! I feel like I started to fizzle out this past week on the poetry front, but in all fairness, I was writing a lot of prose. I’m glad to have finished what I set out to do by sharing a longer poem each day here on the blog. Thanks so much for all of the support, and to my fellow Napo participants: We did it! Woo hoo!

I chose to do the optional prompt today, a poem about something that happens over and over again. I, unfortunately, won’t be attending any powwows this year but every chance I do get to go to one, I love it. I miss when all of my family used to attend them together, but we’re all scattered all over now so it’s hard to meet up at the same one. Anyway, I chose to write about a powwow, specifically the last one I attended, last April. Powwow season is a season in itself for indigenous people. 🙂 They’re always a good time for me.  

Happy May everyone! And don’t worry, I’ll still be writing poetry and I’ll be working on some new things to share so stay tuned! 

Poetry – "GirlGlobe" #NaPoWriMo Day 29

Day 29:

Photo by Lee Miller

by Jennifer Patino

Globes of the past,
   the non-existent future
Reflections in mother’s pearls,
   pastel, pretty, pink
Newborn baubles,
   fresh—prime for shucking
Defiled oysters,
   globs of grey matter
Placenta rose
Living things,
   we all wore living things
Glass was sand
   between toes
Glass stuck in soles
   of dancers’ feet
Twirl into tomorrow
   despite the bleeding,
Despite the unwillingness to move on
Crystal orb memory,
   sharp, clear, dangling down an ancient, wrinkled neck
Blush-cheeked, deep cherry lips
   uplift, berate, and sing along every dawn to the radio
Scream, whisper, and shake
   you so you’ll learn right
The gem didn’t fall far from the crown,
   but it shattered all the same
Sweep the glitter under the rug

Poetry – Two Poems #NaPoWriMo Day 28

Day 28:

by Jennifer Patino

“She has long nails,”
      I heard my mother’s voice
A soft rustle;  sigh

“She’s never been able to keep long nails.”

It was like a coma
but I knew I could open my eyelids
      if only they weren’t so
      oh, yes

I was a Medusa
hair replaced by wires hooked up to machines
      (they sucked the life out of me)
trying to find, yes, trying to find
the source
the spark
of my shocks

And who was looking down on me but me?

Alongside the others
surrounding the bedside

Sooner or later,
I can scarcely remember,
      everything faded to black


Said She
by Jennifer Patino

Said she:
I have two new boys
One likes long hair, one likes short
So what do I do?

Poetry – "Taste" #NaPoWriMo Day 27

Day 27:

Whiskey kisses taste
of dread. Intensity with
tinges of terror.

Author’s Note: I wrote another 3,000 words today for a WIP and am feeling even more burnt out than yesterday so here’s a little haiku for today’s prompt about taste. Napowrimo is almost over! I want to try to get the other two companion pieces to “Before” written, but I don’t want to force it so if it they don’t happen in April, I know they will come to me eventually. As always, thanks so much for reading!

Poetry – "Mountains" #NaPoWriMo Day 26

Day 26:

by Jennifer Patino

In the time before the buildings covered the scenery…
You could view Mighty Mountain’s majesty–
maybe they were purple,
Does anyone really know?
Faith can move mountains,
So why not buildings?
Maybe make them invisible so we can 
Author’s Note: I sort of did the optional prompt today: a poem from the perspective of a person from the future of now. I don’t really believe in time or a future. We never see the future. It’s now when we get there. I can look at things and see the past though. Always. I can remember how things were. This piece is about that. I’ll admit I didn’t put too much effort into today’s poem since I wrote over 3,000 words for another project already, but I do like this one. I can picture what I thought of when I wrote it and I hope you can too. 

Poetry – "The Grapevine" #NaPoWriMo Day 25

Day 25:

The Grapevine
by Jennifer Patino

in the grapevine
formed the
perfect seat
for a tiny me
would outline
cookie cutter
so I could see
buzzed all around
Tucked away,
I felt so free
In a secret cove,
a backyard canopy
Climbing arms,
wrapped me up
and comforted me
gifted me a world with
a skylight to the above
A space to call my own,
a hideaway to love
from my tiny dreams
in fruit
sweeter than it seemed

Author’s Note: I used the optional prompt today: A poem about the emotional relationship that people have with particular kinds of spaces. This is about a grapevine I had in my childhood backyard that had a perfect little space for me to sit in. I imagine I thought my deepest little kid thoughts there. 🙂

#MicropoetryMonday April 17 – 23, 2017

Micropoems from last week! Enjoy!

Slick hot, glass bottom boat
Reptiles snapping at your toes
Moss drips like sweat, battling the bog
Lost in tropical fog


Many a late night
she’d spend pointing out to me the spot
in that sepia moonlit boulevard
where he proposed
& missing him so


Eternal life
was lonely
no matter
how many people
he met
Here today,
gone a century
later, his eternal memory
unable to forget


I’ll keep stacking up worlds
next to my bedside
as long as the dream weavers
keep creating them
I’ll bury myself
in their mystical pages
Under the stars,
it ended
The crickets,
my sniffles,
the only sounds
I’d hear your heart pounding,
but never again
Your safety, where you lay your head,
your muddied hem, how long & far you ran to get here, why you had to;
These things matter
Few things stir the memory
like the smell of showers
in the copper air
Some survive the storm;
We find them weathered,
but intact
Craving coffee warmth
Not to wake up,
because sleep is just a memory,
but to relive those humid mornings
with you in that pale bed
She pretended the gnats were pixies,
that the stars winked for her,
that the chill was only temporary,
and that he would be home again soon
I saw you in the olive trees
through eyes of your dreams
Your desire to be here
painted visions so vividly clear
Reality ripped at the seams
Listen to the old ones talk
& pretend in my head
to give my say
How quickly moves the wall clock
Soon they’re all dead
No one listens today
Can you hear it?
The soft whisper is you
Doubt tries to drown
But whose voices are they?
Which is more pleasant
to listen to?

I fear
the spider bite
I don’t see coming
The painful death
I’ll expect hides
in shadows
of everyday
I won’t
turn around

It doesn’t matter
I can’t do either
when my stomach
disappears, my chest
& the walls swarm me
like moths

Create in me
a wonder
for all vivid &
fragile details
All the cracks,
the imperfect,
the lost souls,
I am a vessel,
Back roads & alleyways
With you every adventure
was a circus show
You keep company w/ clowns
& fire breathers nip at your past

Shall I pity
or praise
the man
who dares
to try
all the secrets
I’ll never tell?
You were saving the good stuff
for our Roman holiday
We had no clue
how to act like they do
The natural comfort of
our true selves was fine
the natural order
The rules,
the destiny,
the way
the aftermath
The conclusion,
the finale,
the end
Your shelves
held centuries
of marvel
heart heavy
head light
upon a book
of your thoughts
& stayed
there all day
Empty vases,
stench of rotten garden water–
all that lingers after
weeding you out
You’ll never
my blossoms again
When you took my hand
the tear in my heart
I believed to be
hurt less
You opened me up
to new ways to
mend myself
Sifting through apocryphal garbage-
truth is always rejected
when it reflects the worst of us
We toss it
Integrity’s old news
I don’t want to keep
writing about the wind
It’s not bringing anything new with it
or taking me far away
It just sweeps in &
passes me by
Howling canyons
were my anguish
I couldn’t move her mountains
I only ran fingers through her hair
like creeping caterpillar dreams
I smell north on the wind
Crisp apple orchards
Calm lavender fields
The earth scent of dirt roads comes
& I’m off running again
My muse is a chameleon
Interchangeable, never constant
I’m tempted to tame her, him, they, all
But wild ways are much more fun
Rust tears line the porcelain face

Reflections in rear view mirrors
reveal buried resentments

of a silent shadow lament


Tossing laden burdens
to oceans
to be lost
on fate’s waves
Making wishes
on starfish
dotting the forgiving surface
of sand


Lead me in a dream dance
Pillows of clouds, perfect revolution
around an entire world of reminders of you, your poise, your beauty


are you musing
under the willow trees
picturing us, my apple blossom blush,
the canoe rides at dusk,
with me?


‘Sail away with me,’
The phoenix begs
Reborn, he was adventurous

So I fared seas
thru longitudes of time
& latitudes of memory


I inhaled the plague ridden air
after breakfast
of past transgressions,
abuses, & scars on grapefruit skin
My belly, full of regret


I would’ve bent time & space
leapt off limestone cliffs
swam virulent seas
discovered unknown stars with you
but you never asked


What are your colors of touch?
Do they clash with mine?
Do we blend well enough
for this love mural
we’ve painted on
abandoned skin?


If given the choice, I’d melt into this dwelling space where former flames
once licked your face

Keep an ear
out for smoke alarms


Bound by smoke
tendrils that linger
after the fire
burned out
by your hazy memories
& the smell of danger
in your blaze


Forget who we are
Dive into the dark

An angel lands softly
on bare shoulders
disguised as an
ache in the heart


The core of the soul vibrates with the beat of the strong heart
I see you & feel a deep knowing transcending beyond belief


Lilies against the slate wall,
a grey glow permeates ashen bones

These were empty eyes of teachers,
instructors who erased us long ago


your silks sashay, feathery grey
bloodshot moonstone eyes
peering my way

dead girl, risen, scorned
points crooked finger


polishing up lamps
that hold sleeping genies
they’re wishes for another,
so I can’t indulge
or divulge treasures
until time is right
Maddening, the minutes
that stretch eternally
The moments when
you’re just a fading shadow
These are the times
I am beastly and unhinged
The edge is your Heaven
One toe off the tightrope
The other beyond the veil
There’s no crash landing
Only you jumping without a net
Into bliss
He’s a forest of self-destruction
picking brambles from his cuffs,
tearing through scratching branches
I’m a rainbow he never finds
Our minds couldn’t take
the black on red
black on red
black on red
Sensory overload
pumping dread
wired head
I sing a mighty rainsong
to put out your raging fires
New dawn birds
scream to the rigid oaks
You turn to mist
and surround them

A hairline crack
in your glass armor
I’m not saying you didn’t try
to place barriers to protect
your coal heart
You struck
the match
too soon
You hurt me more
than the spinal headache
that ravaged me for days
You tortured me with silence,
then threw me under a bus
driven by malice
Jungle-haired, safari khaki clad
You went wild after a taste of
warm vanilla sugar
Outrunning lightning,
cutting us down
with a rusty axe

between false teeth
flowed old wisdom
young rosebud ears
perked at the opportunity
to hear the final words
of the dying sage
because a whole day alone
and an approaching thunderstorm
together are dangerous
when fictitious phantoms
battle in the brain
I imagine you live next door
You don’t ever knock
& it’s fine
In fact,
you’re on your way over
right now
We’ll talk til the tea’s gone cold
There’s no keeper at your gate
You claimed to appear
out of nowhere,
born of thick walls & narcissism
Your guard
has already
stood down
You enjoy the comfort of misery,
watch sad documentaries
of things you can’t control
I’m not judging
I’m filling the empty spot
next to you


We grew apart
like rival co-stars

No one was watching
this movie though

Or maybe they were
a little too closely

Either way, it’s over


Today’s forecast
didn’t predict
the flood of
exciting things
to look forward to

I’m amazed by
the power of
not having
any expectations


Guilty pleasures
Are there any other kind?
Your venom tipped arrows
missed their mark this time
Shameful desires
Crossing the line


I’m here
for the breathtaking view,
not for you

A vengeful bitch
placing us on balconies
so often

I’m not falling
for it again


Out of body,
a desired destination

Gotta gotta gotta
get away, get away

This is a bad time
I’m running on fumes
of better days


To achieve ageless skin,
why not scrape every bit
of flesh off your face
A blob of blood & bone,
it won’t get
more natural
than that
Love and lightning,
a shocking affair
Electric beginning
soon blew a short fuse
Ending in a blackout
and dead filaments
Tell me
in living words
to revitalize/
resurrect me
all that makes
you feel dead inside
We’ll write a new chapter

Courtesy of G. Michael Vasey

The girl in the mirror
reached for me
A reminder I
could not hide
from the darkness inside
of me no matter how hard
I tried
Doom gloom contagion

Passing on paranoia
with a sneeze that gives
away your location

You found yourself
followed by fabrication

Surrender is closing in on me
 The brief hesitation before giving in
  that’s all you were after
  chasing billowing bedsheets
Tame the wind


You give me
jellyfish legs
but I clumsily swim
through your clouded
by your
shark’s gaze


Blush of pink rose
upon Winter’s cheek
was kissed by Spring lips
causing the old man to
turn to shimmering dust
til next year


I hope you feel our unspoken
as strongly as I do
I hope you know
I wring my hands
because yours are too far away to hold


When hope hits,
heads heavy with shame
rise to the lush ivory sky
A new day,
a new world
Clouds carry love
instead of drifting by
You weren’t a bully girl,
but a broken heart tired of it all
You held your playground enemies
crushed under a steel toed boot

Preteen years
The awkward
misshapen growth
Waiting around
for the flowering beauty
that supposedly
happened for every
young girl 
Flicker of madness,
Open armed emptiness
crumples to the floor
like discarded clothes
A burning, a blaze
Desire in flames
Attraction wasn’t a law
There were no rules
We were just random magnets,
probably polarized,
melting together
& willingly
in true love
So many shades
to the upper level canopy
Mother Nature
wears this
beautiful globe
Her moods
control the color
most likely
we roll along,
floating on vapor clouds
The ground isn’t safe
We belong
in the air
Outer space,
inner grace
My sister was steam
disappearing too quickly
the moment we took notice of her
My sister would boil over,
spew viciousness
& fade to the wind
Once upon a time, a melody played
in the forgotten garden glade
A maiden sang along with Wren,
happily, in the shade
of floral glen

His sinister sense of the river
caught us in a snake trap
Too attuned to troubled waters
we escaped before venom ran deep


Kiss away sadness

Temporary reprieve
from the tidal wave
of treachery
descending upon us

Love is the answer
& peace we crave


Stunned by the plot twist
  The knife in the back
   of the scorned lover
    t w
  i s
    t s
It’s only the beginning of this tangled web


made in a state of
made rain clouds clear,
the light of truth
shine brighter,
& soothed hurt ears
My mother dreamt she forgot
the songs to sing to save the world
She awoke for the first time, she said
Really awoke
She sings them every day now
It’s the nameless I can’t forget
The supposed nobodies
with their lives on the line
who feel they aren’t
owed anything in return


In lines
they marched
lugging baskets
of peace trinkets
They gave
gifts freely
For that was
their way
No need
for showers
of praise


when we witness
a broken spirit emerge
from an empty shell
a fraction of what might
need fixing within us
may come forth


While the mind is away,
the mischievous muse will play.


A dreamscape

      r    l    i    g
         o   l    n

   w    a       e    s

        of ecstasy


Some nights
in the stillness
we reminisce
about the chemical
California sky
the city culture sounds
the soot filled deep breaths
of Van Nuys


I feel a rush
from the brush
of wind on my face
in a turquoise space
Ocean breeze all over me
Sand washed from my eyes
so I can see


Treasure the passing souls
who have no hands out
Say hello
Find a friend in suffering
who stays strong & silent
Let them know


When fernweh strikes
the lonesome heart
a prayer for a storm
somewhere is answered
No matter the outcome,
he’ll weather on & on


More than
a little curious
of what lies beneath
the eyelet sheath
of the harem dancers
making magic
on moonlit streets

My one wish
would be
to unsee
all the
you sent
to me
is scratching
at the surface
of Spring
I can feel
desert heat
clawing the bitter
core of me
there may not be much juice left in this battery
that’s helping us blast the old summer jams
from far corners of our memories
Housing a restless spirit
leaving blush tracks on
my skin from within
The sun’s glory
causes a withering,
a wilting baby flower
Climbing crumbling stairs of eternity
like time is concrete
& you can control each step
We falter, fall
as forever ticks on
to the night bugs
I’ve missed you
Keep me company on warm, hazy nights
but keep your distance
I have enough fright in my life


Well, it looks like I’ll
have to indulge in haiku
for the entire day
No, I won’t tell you
what it means. Can’t my verses
keep their dark secrets?
Lone feather message
sent right to my door on the
leaf blowers’ jet stream
All night, the picking
Wickedly beautiful brain
Wake with filthy hands
He let me put his
photo in my locker under
‘Great Men With Beards’

Joy of rolled up sleeves;
Dig fresh space in the garden
for new hope to grow  

Amber glow invades
the room. I hold tight to night
under the covers.
Bundle of blooms bathes
Afternoon rays nurture growth
Fragrant upbringing

The scent of the
perfumed letter he won’t forget
once she’s up and left
Making a name for
oneself that’s different from
the one they gave you


VSS (Very Short Stories):

Gathering strength from stories survivors
bravely share, I tell mine.

“Good patients get outdoor privileges!”
cackled Medusa nurse. “Just wait…”
Waiting. I’d watch the sky shades change from the window. I’d press my hands to the glass to remember your coldness.

“Don’t touch it!” I cry.
It was too late.
Ben pulled the stick out of Lacey’s neck.
A gushing velvet bloom took over everything.


Your touches warm me more
than blankets on chilly nights.
He got his way by
invoking the lower lip tremble.

Swarming ants stacked up to glimpse debauchery through party window. 

WIP (Works in Progress):

Her ghost always sits between us. We passive aggressively blame each other for her death every moment of our miserable lives.
He was cast as the murderer. I felt sickened by how excited I was. His vibe was always bright, cheery. I wanted to see darkness in his eyes.

“Presumptuousness is quite an unflattering look on you, my dear.”

I became obsessed with associations. I was made guilty by them. The simplest, most normal things equated danger & misery to me.
I preferred us rolling down the hilltops to us wading through rocks, but that’s how this twisted love goes, I suppose.
“I’m not going to recite this whole movie with you again.”
“Oh, come on! It’s a long car ride!” He pouted.
“Fine.” I sighed.
Have a great week, everyone! It’s almost May!