Empty Lake
By Patty Mooney

Morena, when they pulled up
your plug and you seeped
away, leaving hundreds of fishes
drowning in the desert air
I wept for the lost blue of you,
the place my eyes would seek
from the mountaintop.
They left a crater of blisters
where gnats now gather
and birds circle, confused,


I don't mourn the cold place
By Patty Mooney

where foxes and minks blend with the land.
I escape into poetry, wrap it like supple skins
around me, give in to the feel of luxury,
only for me.


A family of eight
By Patty Mooney

At fourteen I had no consciousness
of my expanding power, my soul
a mere spigot of tears. I had no
connection to myself, performing
the works of a slave: surrogate
mother to five siblings, absent
parents: mother steeped in retreats,
father smudged with newsprint
from two daily editions.
How easy to lose oneself
in a family of eight.


Ghost of Harry Washington
By Patty Mooney

After Aunt Lucie died,
Dad took the red-eye from Detroit,
stumbled out of the gate at midnight.
Next morning I drove him to the funeral.
"How are you, Dad?"
He grinned. "Business is good, volume is up,
profits are high, conditions are favorable."
Something his boss said 30 years ago.
We lapsed into silence, his shelter, my shroud.

A day after, winds whipped
the ember of a tossed cigarette
into the biggest fire here in 30 years.
The sky filled with the cinders of 10,000 acres.
And Aunt Lucie's departure.
After two days, when the sky seemed blue again
Dad and I walked out to the deck to drink our coffee.
A peregrine falcon lay lifeless, warm from the sun.
Dad sipped his coffee.
"What do you think it means?" I asked him.
"Business is good, volume is up,
profits are high, conditions are favorable.
Harry Washington said that."

"What do you say, Dad?"
His eyes poured into mine:
"I love you, babe."


I've been writing poetry since the early '70's. My works have appeared (or are now being featured at:) Pierian Springs, Thunder Sandwich, Eclectica, Stirring, Fairfield Review, Freezone Quarterly and many others. I live in San Diego where I create video with my partner, husband & co-business-owner, Mark.


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