Thursday, July 13, 2006

Patio Stones

His gaze never travels
the shortest distance between two points,
shoulders slink permanently
down ladder rung sides.
He answers to a name,
but usually “hey you”,
a day-labor check for beer and anonymity.
Dreams dulled with the shine
on the last good pair of shoes he owned,
memories are midnight hooligans
rolling his prostrate bones for sleep.
He’s multiplied in geometric progression
building every city’s future.
We walk on their backs
like gray, octagonal, patio-stones
kicking dirt in the cracks.


Anonymous said...

Hey you - nice poem. :)

Don Iannone said...

Not Nat Turner
but his very distant brother Ted.
You know--
the one who married Jane,
and turned Atlanta suddenly profane.

Nice one, Pat.

Osquer said...

such a weighty poem

steve said...

I really like this one, Pat - could immediately see the guy - and the expansion out to the many of them. Reminds me of some of Langston Hughes' images. Nicely done.

Nea said...

ohhhhhhhhh, this reminds me so much about a brick layer I knew once, he had built a wonderful downtown structure in Los Angeles, the architect got all the credit, he only laid all 2,000,000 stones.

J. Andrew Lockhart said...


floots said...

like most of us
i have a few footprints on my back
so this one rang very true
good stuff pat

Poetry by Kai said...


i gotta treat for u...on my blog but aurora said u might get hungry..

ozymandiaz said...

Many of us can relate to being on the bottom of the totem pole, but few consider the dirt beneath.
Wonderful work.

Poetry by Kai said...

aa said "stay away from the sweets"

thank u.....

polona said...

many guys like this one around here, too...
so well written, pat!

Poetry by Kai said...

check out kai's sweetened entries...

STAG said...

Nice work. Very evocative.

Masago said...

I was at one one of 'em...

Queen Neetee said...

You write such soulful poems that blink and twitter like a neon sign. It's impossible for them to go unnoticed.

Wonderful, again.

David E. Patton said...

Great ending. i really like this poem.

Jon Cox said...

Wonderful as always!
I really like:
("We walk on their backs
like gray, octagonal, patio-stones
kicking dirt in the cracks.") VERY well done! :o)

dsnake1 said...

great poem, pat!

whitney said...

Your word choice is so impressive...I guess that's why you're a poet, though, huh? :o)

Plus Ultra said...

Last three lines very strong, hey you miss the haiku I crafted specially for you, check out the Quiet Heart...!!!!

Pat Paulk said...

Hey you-nice comment!!

Thanks Don! Ted Turner is a very profane, egotistical, low life individual. Other than that I find him a very charming guy!

Osguer, thank you!!

Thanks Steve!!

Nea, they always get the credit and never break a sweat!

Thanks Andrew!!

Thanks Floots!! Me too!

Thanks Kai!!

Ozymandiaz, some call it a bed. Thanks!!

They're everywhere. Thank you Polona!!

Thanks Stag!!

Vaughn, you're a perfect example of the cream rising to the top!!

QNT, and your comments are a wonderful power source!! Thank you!!

Thank you David!!

Thank you Jon Cox!!

Thanks Dsnake!!

Whitney it is so good to have you back. Thank you for the kind compliment!!

Plus Ultra, as I said on your site, that'll teach me to be in a hurry. I thank you for the wonderful poem!!!

Wink said...

Liked the imagery Pat!

Russell Ragsdale said...

Pat, the compassion in this was wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I could see the laborers, especially the ones we tend to forget or ignore.