Naomi Patterson



Naomi  Patterson


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Naomi B. Patterson
a retired clinical psychologist, has published three books of poetry.  They include:  Living Out Loud, Thinking Out Loud, and For Crying Out Loud.

She has won or placed in several contests and has been the recipient of numerous writing awards including a Kansas Arts Commission mini-grant, Oklahoma State Pen Women award in poetry, 2001 Book of the Year Award--Topeka Authors District 1, and Annual Peer Award, by Prairie Poetry. 

Patterson’s poetry has appeared in Inscape Magazine, Byline Magazine, Mediphors, Massage Therapy Journal and Topeka Woman.

She enjoys volunteer teaching with "Kansas Authors in the Schools" program.





It whined all night,

pestered me to play,

banged shutters,

slammed doors,

howled down the chimney,

daring me to come outside.

Not one to bypass challenges,

I headed east, while

fifty mile an hour gales

sped me down the walk.

My flimsy shadow soared ahead,

its helter-skelter close-cropped hair

standing on end.

I held my arms like giant wings,

a child, pretending flight.

Then turning west, to face the foe,

my timid shadow crouched behind,

hiding from the blast.

One giant unexpected gust

froze my stance,

like children playing statue.

Immobilized but for laughter

that wafted down the street,

I curled my toes to grip the earth,

to anchor me.

The sun, squintingly brilliant,

acquiesced; eclipsed by wind…

wind that stung my face

and blew away stale residue

of yesterday.




thunder teases heartlessly

making sultry promises

it doesn’t keep.

Lightning flicks seductive tongues

against my bedroom wall

and then retreats -

while clouds, grown fat with moisture,

hang heavy with intent.

We wait for rain that doesn’t fall --





All poetry on this page
© by
Naomi B. Patterson, 2006 




If you simply must dance


wear something.

Even if you choose the patio

where morning glories climb

to shade your feet and cool your step,

where half the world can’t see…

wear something.

The other half peers wide-eyed

through languor and lace curtains,

tisking tongues at nude jetes,

frowning at your naked arabesques.

Appease them with a flowing scarf

made of flesh-tone gossamer,

streaming ribbons in your hair,

or satin shoes that leap all by themselves.

Don’t hide among the blossoms

or take your dance inside.  Just…

wear something.



October Chase


Poems swirled past me in the street

bright leaves from autumn’s journal

blown aloft by Kansas wind.

Hands pulled into sweatshirt sleeves,

I stretched my arms like scarecrow

wings to catch some bits of verse

or capture harvest cadence.

Wind-sock witches swayed from eaves.

Eager outdoor chimes marked time

with every gust. Few hunters

braved the breezy day.  Most crouched

in humdrum shelter, hiding

from the whirlwind, forgetting

there were sprightly poems to catch.

Notes on rusty golden scraps

escaped my grasp, absconded

down the street; fresh metaphors

in maelstroms twirled out of reach.  

My baggy sleeves snapped smartly,

promising a fruitful hunt. 

But all I reaped was one slim

verse, found tangled in my hair.

Poems elude the mesmerized,

we devotees of autumn,

disciples of the wind.

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