#NaPoWriMo – Day 17: “Storm Signal”




Storm Signal // by Jennifer Patino


I am impaired
by a newcomer’s eyes, sunken emerald treasures.

I clutch a choked bubble
of fresh air, a pearl-lined pocket of life,

in the center of my throat.
Clarions blare in my heart,

but I choose not to run.
You are both angelic & terrifying.

Clouds circle overhead & I
think of the meaning of ‘uncanny’.


                                   They are lions,
these storm clouds.  I feel hunted.


You start to speak,
& there is no thunder in your voice.

My knees feel the ground give way.
My stomach turns to raindrops,

but I am shocked to be so soothed.
I cave in.  My head wraps

around your words
that you spill with such ease.

Yes, I’d like shelter.
Yes, I’m alright with taking your hand.

You make me feel human.
I can taste the puddles

cooling on the pave in the sunlight
already.  If there is a rainbow

spanning the fickle sky after
this spastic storm, then I will be sure

that this is the moment I fell in love.
If not, we will drift apart, & this day will be buried.

I hear a pearl drop.  A bubble
pops, & pride retreats as you lead me safely away.





#NaPoWriMo – Day 16: “Ennui”



Ennui // by Jennifer Patino


The fierce energy of the wind has left me

In its mighty wake,
I am in a state of hypnagagia

My flesh is wood that cannot be bent
yet my mind is workable clay
being shaped by disconsolation


I appear to be involved

It is stoic engagement,
an automatic arrangement

I exist within a sphere
of massive physicality
yet I feel superfluous


I am the sun at its peak

It seems so stagnant
as it projects its luster

My lackadaisical passions
are scalded away in a cleansing blaze
while I wither in tedium





#NaPoWriMo – Day 14: “The Plummet”




The Plummet // by Jennifer Patino


I’m trapped inside a vicious nightmare,
my own body a prison

How does one fight
something that exists
so deep inside?

To remove it
would mean to die
with lack of grace
like the rebel angels
when they fell

When they plummeted down to Earth
only to find
a new version
of a cyclic hell

Over and over,
and over again
choices echo
like whirlwinds

The only sound
answering back
is the howling
and the occasional
knock on the window
from a frightened
tree branch
that tried fruitlessly
to escape its master

The oak trunk
just outside
my battered window
stands tall,
stands proud,
stands strong,
stands its tilled ground

Its strength won’t let me go
no matter how
wicked the winds blow

Barely lucid & paled
are my eyes as they stare,

They find nothing there
but silence
as my innards sear and burn

Look closely and
you’ll see reflecting
off the orange lights, the turn
of my hallucinatory haze

A glimpse,
a shudder,
one gasp,
one tear

One minute turns in
to so many days

If this ship
is emptied,
with no one on board,
my ears will still hear
my own screams,
and the air
will still be
thick with suffering
you can cut through
with a sword

Pierce me now,
end it quick,
for the clocks tick
with every fluttering blink

The spectators choose
to stay blind,
they turn their heads
and count to ten

They pray for forgiveness
as I descend,

I am welcomed
by demons
disguised as men,
but a part of me remains,
surrounded by friends

Time stops,
it restarts,

and it will forever
begin again




* Author’s Note: Another revision today. This one was originally written in 2009 under a different title I wasn’t very happy with. This makes more sense & I have changed a lot of it. The added stanzas to the original give the poem more depth & I included more rhymes because it was losing its flow near the end. I remember exactly where I was when I wrote it along with the scene & the emotions I was trying to portray, & I believe I’ve done a better job articulating it now that I’m so far removed. I don’t even want to share the original here because it’s pretty awful! 😀 



#NaPoWriMo – Day 10: “We Are Unheard”




We Are Unheard // by Jennifer Patino


Uncomfortable silence
crowds a room

We practice savoring it

We fight our own
urges to cancel out
such a sacred sound

Yes, we can hear quiet

To some, it is the source
of a thousand screams

For others, it is all
they know

Exhales show emotion

Pull apart a breath
and you’ll find a reason
for its existence

Inhales are essence

Heavy air can birth
new reasons to stay alive

Trust is standing
to needlepoint
and not blinking

No words are needed

We speak in shudders
as audio waves appear
on our skin

We listen

The moment passes
and our peace shatters

There is a return
to jarring
white noise
that overtakes us

We become background music
to blend in and we
go unnoticed
by the roaring crowds

We are synchronistic hums
who duck under light fixtures
as dissonance
drones on and on

We are waiting
within the hush
for the next break
in the rush





#NaPoWriMo – Day 6: “He talked to me through the radio”




He talked to me through the radio // by Jennifer Patino


These programs with accents, breathy static,
just like his when he had to talk to me from the kitchen,
voice low & secretive

We were only talking football, still he’d tell me
they were always listening, always watching

There was no need for specifics, ever
Too many details would spoil the plan,
his philosophy

I kept it short
“Yer short”
The most obvious was the least insulting
He wouldn’t hurt a flea
let alone

Now I’m hearing this guy
who sounds just like him
& I curse his disconnected phone

I’d say,

You really did it, didn’t you?
Went off grid to live our dream
of mystical experiences, universal oneness,
& really making a difference in a dying world,

didn’t you? I imagined you were this artist
on a radio program talking about a love
of shadows & subjects in motion

I thought it couldn’t be you because you lived
for the stillness, for the breath of contentment
when there was no noise but the wind

I think you must have run away with it,
landed somewhere, that you live in a tree now
& you just might be looking down on me







#NaPoWriMo – Day 5: “Names”




Names // by Jennifer Patino


When I believed
in the motherhood option
I webbed names together
I wove them into frayed messes

I once dreamed of a refrigerator
with a child’s crayon drawing on it
A name was prominent,
& I remembered being told
it wasn’t possible
to read in dreams

Yet here was an unborn child’s
display of affection
signed in backwards letters
just for me

It was the first one’s middle name,
the second shared a middle name
with the third’s first name

This is how I have to do it,
for what’s in a name?
Too many reminders
of my wrong choices made

I put that drawing in a mental drawer
with old apology letters
& dried rose petals
I locked all the names away
I stopped waiting for them
I’ve since stopped looking for them

especially late at night
when I feel the ache of missing
things that were never possible for me

I wonder how you all are,
all you little sons

Your nameless faces,
your promises,
your leavings,
your empty goodbyes





#NaPoWriMo – Day 4: “Melatonin”



Melatonin // by Jennifer Patino



I see nothing through the blackness and then voices filter through crimson mists


blue lights turn on one by one


I am in a cabin and my Grandfather is chasing a bear out the door

He does this repeatedly, no one can see him except for me

The others keep letting the beast back in and suddenly


It’s snowing and I am outside
I can see the green of the shutters,
the treeline I swear I was familiar with at one time

There is groaning and gurgling
There are blood blisters forming on my icy wrists


The bear is pouncing on me, mauling me


Snow is silent
Like my screaming




Later I am piecing together
cut scenes


Strangers ask me the most difficult questions


I see myself on every surface
I panic because I don’t think
I’m supposed to be


seeing myself,
here, like this


The brick wall is lined with other sleepwalkers
We are at a train station
I have no idea where we’re going


They are not mirrors


They’ve only stared into them for too long


like I did


when I had to prove to myself that I was real





psychedelia is not too fun when you are unprepared to wake back up




This is my old street


I can tell by how the pavement feels beneath me


Carnations cloud and clutter my vision


I am still picking petals from my eyes


I think it has been four days since I slept and I am not afraid


I have been to worse places


The bear waits for me on the corner,


I keep walking


it’s growing


further and further away





Vivid mimicry


a flashback


a bad dream


a demented memory




My Grandfather has been dead for years                 He could not

protect me

The bear is in a world I won’t enter by my own free will anymore


it still has parts of me



I see fog


I smell sunlight


I think I have awakened now


I think I might be awake now


I think I can get some sleep now