Monday, August 23, 2010

Wading Through Today

Busy Bee
Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

What do I know of images, which are scenic at best,
made of appropriate colors for their time, made of
shape and symmetry in flash of brief reality?

What do I learn from scenery it compels my
collecting eye, that it diminishes from me as I pass
in time or car? What do I lose that I cannot contain

or take with me—that belongs to itself, and not my
love of it—like that stationary brown horse in the
field, or that hawk suspending in the timeless sky?


Turtlerama last Saturday at the Belle Cooledge Library was small but well-attended, with lots of kids ogling different-sized turtles and tortoises. ‘Way cool. One of the good things about living near a big city (which Sacramento is, whether it thinks so or not), is taking advantage of quirky happenings like the Banana Fest or Turtlerama; artistically, I find such things inspiring. Next on the list is Honey Bee Haven: Officially opening Sept. 11 (from 10am-2pm), Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven in Davis is now available for visits and strolls. It’s a half-acre housing more than 6 million bees, representing up to 55 species for study at UCDavis’s Laidlaw Honey Bee Research Facility. Honey Bee Haven is located on Bee Biology Road on UC Davis’s west campus. It’s open to the public daily from dawn to dusk, and admission is free. Take I-80 to Hwy 113 north; exit at Hutchison Dr. and go west to Hopkins Rd., then rt. on Bee Biology Rd. Info: Honey bees in this country are in the midst of many troubles; think good thoughts for them.

Check the b-board for what’s happening this week, including
William O’Daly featuring at ArtSpace, 459 Main Street, Placerville, 530-295-3496, Free. In El Dorado Art Council’s (EDAC’s) new space, Red Fox Underground will feature William O’Daly reading new poetry and translations in this (happily) revived reading series. After the unfortunate demise of Raven’s Tale Books in Placerville last year, the long-standing Red Fox reading series went in search of a new venue. EDAC’s own search for an appropriate physical space, which spanned 10 years, came to fruition in the summer of 2009, and now both EDAC and the Foxes’ reading series have a well-designed, handsome home. Come visit the new gallery and listen as William takes us through various geographies, relationships, perceptions and cadences, tells a few stories, and celebrates community support for the arts. He’ll be reading from his own poems as well as his translations of the Chilean Nobel laureate, Pablo Neruda. An open mic follows the featured reader; sign up before the feature.

[In looking at the El Dorado Art Council’s calendar on the website, I see presentations by Sacramento Pal
Kit Knight, Artist in Residence at So. Lake Tahoe, too. Check that out!]

Other events this week include two events at
Luna's (both Thurs. and Friday nights), Escritores or an Upstairs read-around in Placerville on Weds., and two Terry Moore events this weekend—plus Londonberry at SPC tonight. Details on Medusa's b-board, the skinny blue box at the right of this column.


—Joyce Odam

It was the lift through the wings of sorrow
that drew us upward, and we allowed the
transformation, and did not know ourselves…

we were awe and vanity… a train poured
between us with its haunting… I would have
spoken of this, but it was gone…
You were indifferent. “Look at this,” you said,
and put your finger to the glass surface of the
mirror, and we broke like water.
Abruptly, I come back to the moment – or
near enough. (How long had I been gone?)
I looked around, and someone lowered a glass,

and someone was saying something just before
the laugh, and someone was turning toward me,
urgent and consoling.


C H I L D ~

I hear you crying
in the frightening world
of yourself,
but unless you come to me
I cannot make anything
easier for you.

If you let me,
I will hold you for a moment
and you will feel better.

—Joyce Odam


—Joyce Odam

The horse jumps the red gate poles
with ease, and being proud,
holds himself there
while the cameras take his picture;

and the rider, high and weightless
in the stirrups,
feels the held moment
and balances with the horse;

and the white flag holds its flutter
in the breeze, and the halted shadow
on the ground, waits to reconnect
when the hooves come down.


—Joyce Odam

Wading through today,
I gave you a smile—

two strangers on a
path of dark weather—

you startled for a moment,
then returned the smile


—Joyce Odam

Now that I living in the moment—
all my forgetfulness assured—
vague distances of past to present,
the present borrowing no future,
all excruciatingly of the moment,

—the very now—the now forever—

speak to me in the now
and I will answer;
I may forget you in the later
as I have the then,
though sometime remains familiar.


—Joyce Odam

The power of the moment
is not that it's here
but that it’s gone.

All over the cold mornings
the far sirens are sounding,
hot and loud.

The curtains speak to nothing
but only hang still or flutter-in
for my quiet staring.

Such a day is this one
with its sad brink
upon which I do nothing.

(A Triversen form)
Title poem from chapbook, The Power of the Moment,
1998 by Roger Langton, Red Cedar Press (of Colorado)


Today's LittleNip:

—Joyce Odam

we each get a century
we each get a year
we each get a moment
to be here



Photo by D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove