I learned today I lost a friend, one I’d never personally met: Viv in France. For some unknown reason, she liked my poetry blog. That part was mutual, I liked hers.

The first message I ever received from Viv came in the form of an apology. She had read one of my poems and found a misspelled word (not an unusual occurrence). She apologized for her arrogance in pointing out the misspelling, but felt it spoiled an otherwise good poem.

From that humble correspondence, we became poetry friends. She became my unofficial mentor and proof-reader. Rhyme, half-rhyme, meter, punctuation (or purposeful lack thereof), all the way through a myriad of poetry forms, she was there with me. There is no way for me to express how much I learned from her, how much she influenced my writing, or how much I’m going to miss reading the beauty and wisdom that dripped daily from her pen.

Several years ago, I went back to the beginning of her blog and read everything she ever posted. Early on, I signed up to receive everything new she posted on her blog. Checking her blog daily was like my morning coffee: always delightful, whether a poem, information on a new quilting project, or a full-blown rant.

When changes in my life took away my blogging time, I continued receiving occasional emails from her; just checking on me and encouraging me write more poetry when I found some time.

Today, I clicked onto the latest posting of her blog, only to find out it was from her family, notifying her readers that our precious friend had passed away.

Not sure how I’m going to handle that yet, but I know that Viv is okay. She’s at peace painlessly walking new paths and examining new species of flowers. It’s to her family and her many friends I address my prayers. Would that we could all have a life as joyous and meaningful as hers. Not only was she blessed, she blessed everyone with whom she came in contact.

Mike Patrick

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments


It is difficult to break off the rust after not writing for a while. I am finding it odd the direction my mind turned after being force-fed a constant diet of Christmas music, movies and advertisement since the middle of November. The Weekly Wordle came up with the following words to use in a poem: prison, cloak, become, lens, goods, cash, pursuit, skirt, wild, Venus and beloved.

Bah, Humbug!
by Mike Patrick
Bah Humbug2
You come to me in your prison cloak,
wild and disheveled,
daring to knock on my door.
Your eye, an ugly lens of longing,
measures my wife: my Venus, my love, my life,
like shopworn goods on a merchant’s table.

Nothing awaits you here,
no cash, no love will you find;
but know, if in your pursuit, if you dare touch
the hem of my beloved’s skirt,
I will become the same as you,
and wear your prison cloak.

Posted in Free Verse, Poetry | Tagged , , | 1 Comment


Perhaps it is time for me to tiptoe back into the poetry stream. I left The Poets Quill to return to work, and my work is done. I return as a more deeply spiritual person . . . tempered by tragedy.

During difficult times, I have always looked to the heavens where clouds inevitable showed me the majesty of God. The darker my problems were, the brighter the clouds that greeted me. Odd, but that has been a constant throughout my life.

by Mike Patrick

I’m a cloud person, Clouds 20 percent
Always have been.
I love them:
So ephemeral, yet eternal.

Clouds march,
They drift,
They threaten.
On good days, or one’s worst days,
They explode in color at dawn and dusk.
Beauty only God creates.

There is no need to search for silver linings.
None are needed. Not by me.
Enough beauty resides within the shifting shapes,
Within light and shadow’s changing face,
Enough to capture even my feeble artist’s eye.

Step outside and look up.
I would share the proof of God with you.

Posted in Free Verse, Poetry | Tagged , , | 7 Comments


I must apologize to my regular readers. Since I’ve gone back to work, all my time is filled, and any time I have for writing goes to writing bid proposals; however, I sill subscribe to a lot of you and I read your posts daily. When I received the early release of Brenda’s Wordle for this week , the words (hips, marrow, crocuses, stillness, massive, secret, flower, grief, window, perhaps, hand, clatter, colors) took off running and I couldn’t stop them. Please pardon the rough draft appearance, I’m working today too, and will not have the time to clean it up.

Wonderful words Brenda.

by Mike Patrick

Slowly she crossed to the window,
sliding her hand along the counter,
using it as a cane.
Those damned hips don’t let her move like she used to;
and the weariness,
steeped in to the very marrow of her bones, didn’t help.

Still, she crossed to the window
as she does every morning.
Outside, the crocuses were still in bloom;
nestled in the flowerbed he made for her,
their purple colors reflected pearls of dew.

She stood unmoving in the stillness of the dawn,
gazing across the massive lawn
at the stone standing under their elm tree.

She still longed for the clatter that woke her
as he made the morning coffee.
Fifteen years he’s been gone,
and she had never been able to keep her grief a secret.

Her friends had tried to get her to move on,
find someone new.
Perhaps she should have,
but one love is enough for anyone;
at least, that is the way she saw it.

Posted in Uncategorized | 22 Comments


I’m cheating on this second post for The Sunday Whirl’s wordle #33,, with the words: amorous, subtle, inkling, laden, genuflect, vanilla, mission, bark, crusted, precipice, December and trivet. I thought they were the most difficult words yet and the use of the wordle words felt contrived in my first attempt. I’m cheating now because I have read all the other submissions, and each added another spark to something boiling in the back of my demented mind. Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore.

Flickr image by johnengler

by Mike Patrick

It was Friday as she walked the mile to the Mission church
just as she had done every Friday for thirty-eight years.
Reverently, she genuflected and crossed herself
before the statue of Jesus hanging on the cross.

She wept. Her tears flowed every December
as she thought of His upcoming birthday—
but this December was different—her tears were different.
As she lit one of the aromatic vanilla candles she’d brought from home,
she wondered if Jesus could forgive her of her sinful thoughts.

For thirty-eight years, no man paid attention to her.
Now, Señor Pérez had been making subtle, amorous advances,
and Señor Pérez was the most handsome man in the village.
She had an inkling what he wanted was not her hand in marriage.
It made her feel strange; she longed to be a woman
but her heart was laden with guilt.

She felt herself standing upon the crusted edge of Hell’s precipice.
She could almost hear the bark of the demons below
and feel the fire beneath the trivet reserved for her filthy soul.
Even with the fear of the eternal damnation, she was getting no younger.
In prayer, she considered the price of a night’s love with Señor Pérez;
the cost of becoming a woman.

Posted in A Wording Whirl of Sundays, Free Verse, Life, Love, Poetry, Religion, Un-rhyming | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments


The Sunday Whirl, for wordle #33, subjected us with the most difficult words ever. They are: amorous, subtle, inkling, laden, genuflect, vanilla, mission, bark, crusted, precipice, December and trivet. I tried to take them in any direction other than baking, but I’m not sure it’s possible.

by Mike Patrick

Flickr image by tin.G

Ah, December,
you arrive so subtly,
giving no inkling of the precipice ahead.
It’s taken a few years,
but I know you now.

Oh, yeah. I know
my amorous missions
are doomed to frustration
as my wife genuflects
before the gods of kitchen.

For your duration, December,
her only thought is of the smell of vanilla,
chocolate bark melting in pots,
and trivets buried under golden-crusted pies.
I never cross her mind.

She won’t stop
until every flat surface is laden
with pies, fudge, cranberry-pumpkin bread,
white-chocolate-covered pretzels, cookies
and things I can’t even name.

Be glad you contain Christmas, December.
If not for that one redeeming grace,
I would choose to erase your cold hand from my life.

Posted in A Wording Whirl of Sundays, Cooking, Free Verse, Poetry, Un-rhyming | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments


The music for each of the nocturnes can be found at

Nocturne #4
Written to: Gounod – Ave Maria (Meditation on Prelude No. 1 of Bach)
by Mike Patrick

When we talk at night
our voices change,
as do our words.

All I want to talk about is you.
I want to tell you about love,
but . . . you already know.

You know everything about me.
You know my eyes seek yours.
You know my lips.
O you know my lips,
as only I know yours.

You felt the softest touch
my hand can make
as I pushed the hair from your face
to see your smile.
So easily you stopped its flight
and lightly kissed each finger.

You have heard the beat of my heart
as your head rested on my chest.
You have to know
it beats for you.

But I wonder if you know
I could hold you like this forever.
Your smile, your eyes
and the catch in your breath
tell me everything.

Sometimes, it’s best
when we talk at night
and say nothing at all.


Posted in Free Verse, Love, Music, Night, Nocturne, Poetry, Un-rhyming, Unprompted | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments


The music for each of the nocturnes can be found at

Nocturne #3
written to the music of Faure – Pavane
by Mike Patrick

Flickr image by Cosmic Ocean

Somehow, he is more than a snowman.
His tiny stick arms
seem to move,
directing an unseen orchestra.

The falling snow,
filtering from the midnight clouds,
gently swirls to his direction,
bobbing and spinning
amidst the fireplace smoke
in a slow dance.

Once on the ground,
the flakes writhe and contort,
leaping and falling in unison
in a sensuous,
slow-motion ballet.

The moon, peeking through the clouds,
lights his walnut eyes
and reveals the meadow;
painting shadows and highlights
amongst the glittered white.

An invisible mouth
smiles around a corncob pipe
in satisfaction
as the wind dies.
The dancing snow
collapses in exhausted joy
before him.

The maestro’s wooden arms
conduct the final notes
as clouds skitter across the moon
and all falls still.

Only the night applauds.


Posted in Free Verse, Nature, Night, Nocturne, Poetry, Un-rhyming, Unprompted, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


Nocturne #2

Written to Chopin – Nocturne in B flat minor Op.9 No.1
by Mike Patrick

Flickr image by davedehetre

In evening’s silence
we tiptoe from the house
and leave mankind’s lights behind.

In the upper field,
we sit on a wooden fence.
Side by side,
with your arm around me
and your head on my shoulder,
we search the constellations
until you find the perfect wishing star.

You always pick a tiny star
no one else would ever notice,
one you think has been neglected
and looks lonely.
Your wish is always the same:
to always be with me.

I wish upon the brightest star,
the strongest, the healthiest
star I can find
and wish for nothing more
than an eternity of nights
like this;
here with you,
counting stars.

Posted in Free Verse, Love, Nature, Night, Nocturne, Poetry, Un-rhyming, Unprompted | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments


Poetry and music are interchangeable to me. I feel both on an emotional level. Which emotion, and the depth of that emotion, is controlled by the notes/words and their tempo. A short time ago, Margo Roby asked us to write a poem to music. Ever since then, I’ve been doing all my writing with classical music in the background. Recently, a friend wrote an acrostic to the word ‘evening.’ To me, evening music means nocturnes. Nocturnes paint night scenes suggesting a tranquil, dreamy mood. Many classic music pieces other than nocturnes also suggest the night to me: but then, I’m mostly nocturnal. I’ve made up my mind to make series of nocturne poems, inspired by Chopin’s nocturnes and any other appropriate music I find.

Nocturne #1
written to: Ravel – Pour Une Infante Defunte
by Mike Patrick

Flickr image by boston_camera

The night isn’t silent you know.
The wolf, the owl and the whippoorwill
each add their music to the darkness.
It’s sad music, but not lonely.

It calls to something inside,
something hidden from the light,
but it’s there—in all of us.
The lungs expand,
the eyes dilate,
the heart races.

Facing the breeze,
aromas explode.
The foliage whispers and rustles,
telling stories of strength and failure,
and we live!
We live as never before,
at one with our world
and the night.

The owl’s question is answered
as we join brother wolf
in his hunt—and live
to the music of the night.

Posted in Free Verse, Nature, Night, Nocturne, Poetry, Unprompted | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments