April 5, 2016

Three Poems by Dale Patterson: "on jade melmac", "old harry’s greed", and "rockhound"

Dale is a visual artist and poet living in Indiana. His work has been published in many online and print journals; the most recent appearing in: Pilgrimage, The Tower Journal, The Museum of Americana, The Lake, Short Fast and Deadly and Midwestern Gothic. A more complete listing of Dale’s work can be seen on his website http://dalepattersonart.com/

on jade melmac

my clod-hopper boots on a path
near the end of the day

across the tilled fields distant hills sink
pales of grass

matted beneath fawn
slender in girth

freeze and thaw
earth breaking down
into a table

by the stove
flatware and plates

fork-tender meat
falling apart into sunset

old harry’s greed

plagued with
grasshopper legs
twisted cane
for support
he intrudes on
his neighbor’s
small garden.

he shovels-in
of cherry tomatoes
one then another
in widening grin
slobber and seeds
filling the gaps
between teeth
with gratuitous red.

knapping his beak
like a piece
of grey chert
a blackmailing
a witness
who offers
stone silence
to glean
in the devil’s
own spittle.


sparse grass,
exposures of bedrock
to an incline of shrubs
that brittle-twigs
welts on her legs.

blonde hair
rumpled in swelter

she summits the ridge,
lake superior.

each water-washed
roundness of stone
like a red-bellied snake.

picking one up
she gives it a name.

another she kisses,
examine its depth,
an iron-eyed agate
she will keep
for the rest
of her life.

~Dale Patterson

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