About the Poet

I spent most of my life as a copper (cop was considered a derogatory term when I was first sworn in, not so much now), and I loved every minute of it. But allow me to let you in on a little secret. Police work is HARD on a marriage: for the cop and the spouse. Police often have a hard time separating their work and home lives. Sometimes the job insists on following them home. Feelings and emotions are squelched as a coping mechanism. As for the spouse, the strain and worry about injury or death pray heavily, as do rotating shifts, missed holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and children’s recitals, ball games, etc. I mention this so you might understand why my wife Sandy and I have only been married for thirteen years.

We live together on the outskirts of St. Louis, Missouri, with our two daughters: one of them is a small Doberman pincer (Tigger), and the other is a huge Weimaraner (Fiona). Between us, we have eight grandchildren. I love her, the grandkids and the dogs more than life itself, and I am living in the happiest period of my life.

Thirty-seven years as a cop made me yearn to write something other than police reports. I have read classical poetry (Shakespeare, Robert Burns, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sara Teasdale, etc.) for years. Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s How do I Love Thee, http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/how-do-i-love-thee/, is my favorite poem of all time. About twenty years ago, I began writing the occasional poem and showing them to a few close friends who I thought wouldn’t laugh at them, at least not to my face. They were on par with some high school kid’s doodling. I longed to do better, but avoided writing for pleasure due to the lack of the spelling gene. I had to wait for computers to contain spell-check before trying to write seriously.

Later, I played around writing a couple of novels to the point of trying to find an agent. After piling up enough rejection slips, I let that dream go.

About three years ago, I shattered my elbow while at work and had to retire from the job I looked forward to every day of those thirty-seven years. For the first time, I could concentrate on my writing; although the shattered elbow causes the little and ring finger of my left hand to type some really strange stuff once in a while. I was writing in a couple of personal blogs, one political and one of a personal, family nature (with a readership of around three), but I still wanted to do that poetry thing.

The Poet’s Quill was created as a place to hone any poetry skill I may have. I’m writing this after the first three weeks of the Quill’s existence. Already, I have learned how little I know—almost nothing of modern poetry. Here, I will stumble, fall, get up, and keep experimenting with verse. Already a few new friends have been found, and they are gently guiding me to new heights. It would be my pleasure to someday be called a poet.

16 Responses to About the Poet

  1. I love your blog. I would like to invite you to a May Poetry Challenge
    I am hosting. I hope you decide to join.

    My blog link: http://verseinanutshell.wordpress.com

    The rules to the Challenge: http://verseinanutshell.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/welcome-to-the-may-poetry-challenge/

  2. Arash says:

    Hi Mike.

    Thank you for your comment on my blog. I decided to visit your blog and after a quick look around, I found myself absorbed by the following lines, from This Day Found Me,

    “I never noticed the time passing,
    yet it did.”

    Quite simple and just right. The subjectivity of the first line is beautifully countered by the objectivity of the second line. Whether we notice time passing or not, it does pass. And the second line comes in there, and it’s so short and almost unnoticeable. But it’s there. It’s decisive. When I read it out loud, it sounds a bit harsh perhaps because of the shorter vowel lengths and the consonants “t” and “d.”

    It’s how the time passed for me when I was younger. It just did, imperceptibly.

    Good work.

    Arash

  3. Helena White says:

    Hi there Mike,

    Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment. I’m new to the blog-sphere and I am still trying to find my way around. Hope to see you again

    ♥ Helena

    • Mike Patrick says:

      Thank you for stopping by. I must say, your blog does not look like that of one new to the blog-sphere. It is beautiful and fits so well with the poetry you post.

  4. Poetry, my friend is like a second being
    It is you, but if you don’t think, you’re seeing
    It is never right or ever wrong
    It flows so sweet like a gentle song
    To be needing a certain way to word
    You might want to try to fly like a bird
    Poetry, my friend is freedom of dream
    You are the vision, the water in the stream…

    Just let it flow…

  5. What an interesting person you are :) I love your blog and look forward to reading more of your work :)

  6. Marian says:

    Glad to meet you. Your comment over at my house makes me want to call you Mike of the Night. Looking forward to reading.

  7. Janet says:

    Beautiful work! You had me with the first poem I read…can’t wait to read more!

  8. Mike, After all this time I finally noticed this page and came looking. This is a great page. I discovered a few new things about you that I had not known. You, yes YOU! are the one I accredit with teaching me how to”polish” poems. Since knowing you, my poetry has grown leaps and bounds. I swear, if by the a chance in hell I ever get published (hehe), YOUR name will be in the pages. Thank you Mike for your support and constant praise.

  9. Jacqueline says:

    Really enjoyed reading about you and your writing journey. I can tell from your “About” page that you are an eloquent writer and have a deep passion for the written word. I’m guessing that you’re like me in that writing is like breathing–any type really: a text message, a blog post, an email, or a comment. There’s something in crafting language to express the deepest yearnings of our hearts and souls. Look forward to reading more, and although it’s none of my business, maybe try resubmitting the novels or self-publishing. The publishing industry has changed a lot, and it might be the right time for your work!

  10. Caddo Veil says:

    Oh, WOW! Am I glad I stumbled upon this today! I’m marveling about your story, and I share your view that this is the happiest period of life. I’ll be back to read more later, and invite you to stop by my place–the welcome mat is out! May God richly bless you, your family, and your new writing career!

  11. Caddo Veil says:

    Hello again–wanted to tell you I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Visit my blog for details, etc!

    • Mike Patrick says:

      Thank you for the honor, Caddo, but I don’t really do awards. They seem to take time from writing, and I never have enough of that. Thank you agian.

  12. siggiofmaine says:

    Mike,
    Since my computer had a “spell”…well, I did something to it that rendered it useless for a few days,I haven’t received the Poet’s Quill emails….I don’t know quite what to do, unless it is unsubscribe and then resubscribe…am in withdrawals and did a search on my computer and
    not at thing since January. Sigh. Your blog shows me subscribed, and so does mine. Double sigh.

    My email is siggi1944@hotmail.com

    Peace,
    Siggi in snowy Downeast Maine

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