Patrick Frank

Patrick Frank
Asheville, North Carolina, USA
September 26
I am a poet-essayist-singer-songwriter, and advocate for the poor, with a teaching and counseling background. I grew up in Florida, now live in Asheville, North Carolina. I also lived in New England 20 years. I love nature, music, and poetry. I am married and we have three adult-kids between us and four grandkids! I am interfaith, leaning toward Taoist, Celtic, and Native American spirituality, and an "Obama Democrat." My book of song lyrics (Back to the Sun) and mv book of essays on creativity (On the Blue Ridge Line) can also be found on Amazon.



Patrick Frank's Links

The circus tent is coming down
leaving this bedraggled town

The clowns sit on their wooden crates
playing poker, the trapeze artist
is painting her toenails
The barker is barking, imitating the dogs
The big boss counts the money
in his double wide

The elephants are strung together
with thick ropes, the trai… Read full post »

MAY 13, 2014 3:58AM

Don't Cling to Beauty

Don't pick the flower
Don't cling to beauty

The beautiful live their lives
unencumbered until they die

There's a little wine bar downtown
where unknowns share their poetry
And why not?
with everyone trying to be a celebrity
or rise to the top
Its all about making money, or is it?
Maybe for some, it's about sharing
their spirits
Maybe it's about breaking through
the walls that divide
Maybe it's just about sharin… Read full post »

MAY 10, 2014 5:51PM

Resisting Negative Attributions

Someone who I barely know blurted out to me, "You're in poor health." That stung and later made me angry. That sort of negative attribution is not helpful--the opposite. Besides, I am not simply in "poor health" I  have very healthy parts and other parts that seem to be breaking down.… Read full post »

MAY 6, 2014 8:25PM

The Cosmos Within (poetry)

sun going down
peaceful feeling

The stillness of approaching night
calms my spirit, healing my body

I hear cricket sounds
maybe in my head

Does it really matter?

Inside and outside are one
The entire cosmos within

MAY 6, 2014 9:22AM

The Good Side of Individualism

My column published in the Asheville Citizen-Times today:


Listen to authority figures, but in the end, you must decide for yourself, in accordance with your own considered judgment and personal conscience. An authority figure can be dead wrong, as in the case of the ferry captain or crew telli… Read full post »

MAY 6, 2014 5:49AM

My Religion (poetry)

As life goes on, problems come and problems go
You fret over them and cry inside, then one day

you take the bull by the horns and deal
You face the music, you face dark spirits

face them down. Face the dark spirits down

As life goes on, you find good and beautiful… Read full post »

Playing in the Minor Leagues
You do your best, never mind the pay
You ignore the size of the crowd
You lift up your teammates
You dream of the Big Show
You deal with groupies
You visit hospitals and schools
You keep your chin up,
oil your glove
You take extra hitting practice
till your hands are raw
You feel th… Read full post »

Lily's looking out at the world
with meditative cat eyes,

teaching me how to look out at the world

the world so green and lush
with everything not cut down

the world in danger. but there remain
people of hope and deeper reflection

there remain people of conscience

how would people, grassroots people
surv… Read full post »

I am thinking about how self-therapy, specifically poetry therapy, can help or harm its functioning. I have always been awake of its benefits, but now am beginning if poetry therapy that focuses on traumatic stuff can have a negative effect of increasing anxiety. I usually try to include positive, re… Read full post »

MAY 4, 2014 11:29AM

The Crow (poetry)

The crow cries out his warning

In dawn light, the sky is white


The leaders have vanished

Grassroots people remain


Bad leaders destroy good leaders

Grassroots people remain


Grassroots people stick together

Help each other in time of… Read full post »

Relax into the pre-dawn
Turn on the music
Read, write poetry
Stop picking the sore
You will just make it bleed
and if totally into pain
How can you give anything
How can you create
How can you free the mind
How can you get down to the truth
How can you face the future
so uncertain
We don't know what tomo… Read full post »

10 Suggests for honesty/openness in confrontation
*Discuss situation with someone you trust
*Pray or meditate first
*Be honest
*Be open
*Be direct
*Explain your feeling
*Listen as well as speak
*Keep a lid on yelling
*Offer suggestion for resolving any problem
*Find something to praise

MAY 3, 2014 6:49AM

Whdn Things Fall Apart

When things fall apart
but there is one ray of life
When anxiety takes over
and a sense of loss
Time to step back
listen to the bird cries at dawn
consider the passage of time
I mean all time
the eternal passage of time
striver to see things in their total context
reads native American poetry
the kind that is c… Read full post »

We all know there are life crises that have nothing to do with a deterioration of personal functioning--as a causative factor. But such a deterioration can be an effect. So we need to have good strategies for dealing with crises--especially when they are piled up on top of one another. It… Read full post »

After Recovery, Helping Others to Deal with Life Crisis


After recovery, you may have special expertise in dealing with life crisis. I am not saying that you must become a professional counselor. But in many ways, you do the best job of helping, formally or informally, when youRead full post »

Chaotic Life Experience Can Lead to Death


The experience of Ken with the fatal heroin overdose demonstrates that chaos in one’s life during homelessness can easily lead to accidental or deliberate death. (We do not know for sure if Ken intentionally took his own life.)

During theRead full post »

APRIL 30, 2014 12:48PM

A Man Named Ken

A Man Named Ken


There was a man named Ken who I met in the overnight shelter in Northampton. He was a tall man, maybe in his fifties, sporting a mustache. Ken was a medic in Viet Nam, also a heroin addict, but a caring individual. People wereRead full post »

APRIL 30, 2014 11:04AM

Not As Cool As We Think (poetry)

Some kind of damage
inside or out

Sometimes you can't hide
other times you can

We try to hide our inner feelings
they come out in strange ways

That's what you must realize
you're not as cool as you think
and neither am I

  Read full post »

APRIL 30, 2014 6:08AM

Stages of Rehabilitation

Stages of Rehabilitation


When you are homeless, and finally arrive at a shelter, it probably will not be the place where you can complete rehabilitation. But it can prove to be a starting point. At the Worthington Street Shelter I came into contact with a group called HealthRead full post »

APRIL 29, 2014 4:16PM

The Night I Finally Called for Help

The Night I Finally Called for Help


The night I finally called a shelter for help certainly stands out as a key memory during the homeless period. I was parked under a highway overpass not far from the mean streets of a Western Mass. town. I could hearRead full post »

APRIL 28, 2014 5:57AM

When People Go Away (poetry)

When people go away
sometimes it's a good time
to rest in the silence

grow quiet within yourself
not worry about people coming
or going

Listen to the cry
of a lone bird in the dark
before dawn

think about where you've been
and where you are, and where
life is taking you

Life is short, upon this planet
my… Read full post »

APRIL 27, 2014 12:00PM

Two Essays on Homelessness

Adjusting to Tacoma Park is like adjusting to homelessness in a way: adjusting to a radically different culture, heavily Spanish, with virtually now English spoken in this neighborhood. Of course, this is an imaginative exercise, since I am no longer homeless.


You can experience cultRead full post »

APRIL 23, 2014 2:59AM

Those without a Conscience

I guess when you've been pushed down enough you just have to laugh. Some people in this world don't care a bit about others' feelings. Psychiatry calls them sociopaths. I call them evil. These are the ones who, when they rise to the top, snub their noses at the folks struggling… Read full post »

APRIL 22, 2014 7:31PM

Dealing with Crisis

It has been a crazy day
preparing for trip to D.C.

preceded by a crazy dream last night
A spiritual reading spoke of crisis
but not something I can't handle

Now there is stillness in the twilight

I can't take my eyes off
yellow and green leaves

though in the fading light
they have lost… Read full post »