Patty Seyburn

Box with Fork: acrylic on panel, 27 x 18.5 in. Celeste Goyer

Eternity has no currency here


Whether the mind

is a large medallion like those

centered in the Persian rug

(parrot or peony, peacock or Bird of Paradise)

(lotus, iris, amulet, jug)

or is more a common loon

that glides blithely then dives 

for bits of knowledge (though clumsy)

with a haunting tremolo, the sound of fog,


or even a blender drink

where all the constituent ingredients

fold into a single river of thought

with fruit parachuting off the rim,

the word never (from Old English)

has not evolved, has always denied

has never meant anything else

making it akin to the first pair

of tongs, pulled from the fire –

with what? Previous tongs.






To the Moirae


If you tell me where you live,

I will paint your house

with the freshest coat in a hue

that one day looks like spume

and one day looks like lilacs


I will hand-wash your garments

and suture their gaps.


I will sauté and flambé and blanch

and double the recipe so you can

freeze some and defrost after

a long day of thumbs up or down.


I will stay out of your way.


I will organize your closet so you

know what you own by color

and season so the morning’s

sartorial decisions come easy.


I will unsubscribe you from random

solicitations, land-line and email,

and follow up after 10 days to ensure

they dropped you from the list.


I will dust your spindle and chandeliers.


I will feed your fish and scour

the tank with good water, no soap.

I will leave a small ikebana flower

arrangement on your table

to promote balance and beauty.*


*You may think I am trying to curry favor. I need to cover all the bases. I am in negotiations with my God and have exchanged pleasantries with the life force of other traditions, besides the ridiculous amount of yoga I do, each practice devoted to asking for some version of grace – all I ask is a little extra consideration when it comes not even to me but to mine – they live so blithely not knowing we must be in a constant state of tithing and I do not want them to fear like I do, I do not want them to know.