Naomi B. Patterson

My Kansas author for the month of June, 2002, was Naomi B. Patterson, a retired Clinical Psychologist who lives in Topeka, Kansas, and writes a monthly column, Personally Speaking, for The Topeka Capital-Journal, which appears in the Heartland section of the paper on the second Thursday of each month.  I had come to know her as she had become active in the local chapter of the Kansas Authors Club, and what had provoked me to include her on this web site was that she had self-published two books of poetry, the first, Living Out Loud, in 1999 (which was then submitted by District I for the Kansas Authors Club Coffin Award last year), and then Thinking Out Loud in 2001.

__  __Cover of Living Out Loud____Picture of Naomi B. Patterson____Cover of Thinking Out Loud
____________________________NAOMI B. PATTERSON

I am featuring her again this month because she was the most distinguished member from District I at the state convention of the Kansas Authors Club in Hutchinson in early October.  She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for her published work as a writer, and for being a consistent winner in Kansas Authors Club contests, winning the greatest number of points for both 2000 and 2001.  She continued that tradition this year by winning three 1st place prizes (out of a possible fifteen): in Narrative Verse for “Quietus,” in Japanese Forms for “Harbinger,” and in Memoirs.  She also received honorable mentions in Classic Forms for “In Like a Lion,” in Rhymed Verse for “Nice Try,” in Whimsy for “Entomology,” and in Japanese Forms for “He Knelt at My Feet” (a Senryu).  So she continues to show that she is an outstanding writer with quite a range.

As illustrative of her work I offer two of her poems:  the first, the poem that won first place in free verse two years ago (for the way an abstraction is given immediacy through touches of personification):

Word of Honor

Promises are slippery things.
I saw one having second thoughts
slink wordlessly away.
Another, inconvenienced, fled
with tail between its legs.
One promise slept away its chance,
forgetting time would pass.
Another clearly meant to stay
but hydroplaned across
a pool of lies, then drowned.
Some are made with fingers crossed
or born when tongues are slick with love.
They seep through cracks of busyness,
or slip on whims of faithlessness,
while architects of promise
cross their hearts and hope to die.

The second, from Thinking Out Loud, just because I like it:

All the world's a metaphor.
The broken branch, the dying flower,
long white lines in the middle of the road.
A burning log, the howling dog, and spider webs.
Symbols burst through sidewalks,
fly like kites on silver strings,
pad across an idle mind or pound
like sleet on winter's roof.  Images compete
for life, impressionism framed in ice,
dripping on the brain.  We move into
a metaphor and make it our address,
peer at life through poet eyes,
dazzled by the world.

If you would like information about purchasing either Living Out Loud or Thinking Out Loud, you can get in touch with the author at:
Naomi B. Patterson
3505 SW Westport Drive        or
Topeka, KS  66614