Patti Masterman


Pacing Out A Soul - Poem by Patti Masterman

The basement cell where Geronimo was sometimes kept
Had an uneven floor, said to be caused by his constant pacing.
I too pace the walls inside my mind, for it seems to be holding me
Though sometimes I can escape it, through imagination.

There are large boulders and remnants of pottery
Scattered throughout many places, proof of others,
Whose prisons were diverse times; long ago settlements,
Of names now forgotten or scarcely mentioned anymore.

The people were always less durable than soil or stone:
They flowed like liquid from area to area, seeking water, buffalo, prosperity.
Children were their true riches, and longevity their blessing;
If you didn't die in childbirth, you might live a long time.

I feel their artifacts all around me, half-buried in clay and sand;
Many years are like only a moment, to a planet one-sixth the age
Of the total universe. But the past haunts me, watching as it does,
From the eyes of all their children, still walking this earth.


Comments about Pacing Out A Soul by Patti Masterman

  • (2/9/2012 9:03:00 PM)


    Very good and intriguing; reminds me of some of the ancient western Indian lore that I so enjoy. (Report) Reply

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  • Martin O'Neill (1/20/2012 4:30:00 AM)


    I love the feel of this, Patti. You evoke a sense of the age of things, places and memories. There is a wonderful poem about the Indian Names living on in our land by Lydia Huntley Sigourney (1791 - 1865) . You reminded me of it. It is also part of a wonderful album by Natalie Merchant called Leave your Sleep.
    Look it up if you haven't heard it, it's beautiful.
    (Report) Reply

  • (1/18/2012 6:54:00 AM)


    Fascinating poem.. I love the ending.... (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010



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