C.N.P Poetry 

  • Cathexis Northwest Press

TO JAMES, MY BROTHER

By: Martha Patterson


James, my brother - I ask you on the phone

Do you ever wake up feeling life is unexciting?


Me, with my cigarettes and and news on the radio -

And backyard with the ants crawling and trees


Softly whispering in the wind, like brooms sweeping -

I sometimes feel that life is hopeless and forlorn -


But you, with your reading of James Bond novels

And the skiing down a mountainside in danger,


In escape from a ruthless, murderous criminal in

“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” by Ian Fleming -


Does life seem adventurous and worthwhile then?

Forget it - never mind - I’m a lackadaisical wastrel


And I will never ski down hillsides in the Alps

To evade a monstrous, cruel enemy in snow -


I live in silence with my New England neighbors

And lead a quiet and not unusual and suburban life!




Martha Patterson's work has been published by Smith & Kraus, Applause Books, the Sheepshead Review, Silver Birch Press, Pioneer Drama Service, Syndrome Magazine, and others. Her 27-story collection SMALL ACTS OF MAGIC will be published this year by Finishing Line Press. She has degrees from Mt. Holyoke College and Emerson College, and lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She loves being surrounded by her books, radio, and laptop.


"I wrote this poem while reading one of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels. These were books my brother told me about years ago, and it's true they're very exciting to read -- and they make an ordinary life seem rather dull by comparison."