#OctPoWriMo – Day 31 – “The Mysteries”



The Mysteries // by Jennifer Patino


I was brought up
and raised on mysteries.
Gitchie Manitou.
Great Mystery.
Who are you,
Heavenly Father?
I ask the same
of my earthly one,
whom I never knew
until I grew.

The Sorrowful Mysteries.
The “whys” of youth,
the sky was simply blue,
you’re wrong in all you do.
Acceptance. Accept this.
My existence alone
was an answer
to all I never knew.

Being alive
was a reminder
of a lost love,
and a Creator
I begged to be kinder.

The Joyful Mysteries.
Why I smile, why the tired
body has a way of waking
up the mind.
The importance of signs.
Patience paying off.
Suffering collecting its tolls.
But a young heart,
pounding like thunder,
running in fear across
the country,
can be forced to slow down,
can grow old.

Love was always waiting
past the Western mountains.
Cold turned into gold.

The Glorious Mysteries.
I meet myself unexpectedly,
in the dirt, in the cracked
mirror, on the table.
There were guides who misdirected
me. I ran in circles and
relived vicious cycles, shaky
and unstable.
I was saved and the why
I’ll never know, and the
forgetting I’ll never do,
and “Glory! Look at you!
The morning sun shines
through beige hospital blinds
and I see you, God,
Love, God, Father,
I hear you.

The only mystery of
faith I can proclaim
is how I held on so
tightly to the fact
I’d see your face someday.

The Luminous Mysteries.
You were the light, dear
Spirit, I speak only through

Little girl, little wondering,
little fright, little truth

Enlightenment and
clarity do not mean
answers. A mind trapped
to Earth can’t hold it.
Thoughts leap and fly,
sometimes Tricksters lie.

My ancestors know,
they’re not bound by time.
Last I checked in,
they were all doing just fine.


It’s over! I can’t believe it! I hope you enjoyed reading my poems each day for October. If you were a poet participating this year, you’ve made it! Awesome! Be sure and check out the OctPoWriMo blog to read many others’ amazing contributions! Thanks so much to all prompters, poets, and readers! Now, I’m going to enjoy my Halloween and REST. One more submission to finish before I take a big break from new writing. (Unless the muse strikes, of course. 😉 )



#OctPoWriMo – Day 30 – “Forbidden”



Forbidden // by Jennifer Patino


Speaking was forbidden
Fighting back, banned

“You’re a girl,
you’re not allowed to do that”

Those discussions
at ten years old,
they had depth

One loose thread
led to the next

and the next time
I wasn’t able to scream
I remembered
how quickly
I could pretend
it was all a dream

This wasn’t helpful
at all as an adult

Tense chested,

“And what do you think?”

The whole room blurred,
and these strangers took on
familiar faces

I’m sorry, I was brought up
to believe there were no
safe spaces

Ridiculed for my tone,
my deep voice,
my inflection

My way with words,
my whispered pleas,
my long winded introspection

I mute myself now
when I feel reactions
of those who feel
I’m a burden, a distraction

I’m a talking doll
shaking at loud noises
with a never ending stream
of incessant inner voices

Hush now, you’ve shared too much
And it’s never going to be enough




#OctPoWriMo – Day 29 – “Symbols”



Symbols // by Jennifer Patino


I gathered up some of this inspiration,
traded empty sheets for these scribbles


the format started forming symbols
of the ancient alien language I can only read in dreams,

now I can say they are coming from somewhere else,
now I can say that a possession of sorts is occurring,

and it’s necessary
for the sake of sanity,
which is art



#OctPoWriMo – Day 28 – “Listen”



Listen // by Jennifer Patino


I hear them round the circle drum song,

their voices in harmony


One love

One vibration


This is where we belong

This is where we were gifted

This is where we’ll end up

This is where…


the smoke clears and we see

brilliance in every treetop,

sunbeams giving birth to rainbows,

hearts on sleeves, oversized

abundance of love,

of gratitude,

of a present we can be peaceful in


This is our gift, friends,


This is our home,

our Mother,

our sky filled with wonder


and then the stars sing,

drumming ceases,

hearts continue the thrumming,

the earth flow,

the blood, the water,



and they listen

we listen…




#OctPoWriMo – Day 27 – “Georgia”



Georgia // by Jennifer Patino


Do you remember Georgia?

The state

the girl

No, not Georgia, the girl

The girl in Georgia?

No, that was a guy in Georgia that night

That girl


That time we went to Georgia

to pick up that girl

No, I know that girl’s name wasn’t Georgia

I know she was in Georgia

I know what happened to her was the same thing

that happened to that girl named Georgia

Anyway, I was thinking of Georgia

That girl, the state, and the girl named Georgia

Everything about Georgia

Amber waves, hair, cornfields,

the way pale hands could shake like that

The scent of forest everywhere

How we made all those jokes about peaches

Yes, I do remember that girl nicknamed Peaches,

but we’re not talking about her

We’re talking about

all we’re not supposed to talk about

About that night

down in Georgia

at 3:14 am

And the phone call

you almost didn’t answer

I know, I know

I can’t say her name don’t you see?

We left her behind

in Georgia

And now she’s another

lost and forgotten one


* Author’s Note: I went with a rewrite today. I’ve spent a few hours doing some editing of last month’s work and outlining my next project, and this poem (and the memories associated with it) stood out to me. I polished it up and decided to share it today since I’m out of spoons and need a break. This poem is about a few different situations involving connected individuals, and conversations that never happened but probably should have.



#OctPoWriMo – Day 26 – “Giiwitaabatoo”

PiotrSiedleckiArtwork by Piotr Siedlecki


Giiwitaabatoo // by Jennifer Patino


My mind is a combination
of intersecting circles
that form together,
a cycle
running on
an unreliable clock

My mind can reach
all time, and no time,
and all at once
if I let it       If I let
it run too far away,
away from me

My mind builds barriers
to keep hoops from
interlocking       Everything
comes full circle       What
goes around comes around,
my mind knows this

My mind can break chains
on its own and sometimes
converge with another
fleeting, floating stray
and I just go with its flow
and breathe circular

I learn from each
rotation       I grow
and change like seasons


  • Giiwitaabatoo –
    s/he runs around in a circle
    in Ojibwe


#OctPoWriMo – Day 25 – “Equinox”



Equinox // by Jennifer Patino


Will you recall the moments just before

the scene changed?              Most likely

the aftermath will be in the forefront

of sinister memory               Darlings,

starlings            Away toward winter


Clouds ruined every view you

carved and polished perfectly

out of a sky you felt safe enough

to rely on           You can’t dance

anymore or else you would


For the rain       For the icy snow

For the migration of old thoughts

to new thoughts       For the desire

to relocate from wherever your

shadows reside


Tell yourself this is unforgettable

And then spend a lifetime struggling

to remember fragile details       Those

delicate displays that transformed you–

your unavoidable equinox