Monday, August 02, 2010

Whatever We Are Waiting For

Age of Innocence
Painting by Jeffrey Jones

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

A woman
in a white apron

and a hat to shade her from the sun
sits in the day’s warm light,

hands in her lap, palms down,
mind-drifting to a place

that takes her from herself.
And the day shuts down.

Her work is waiting—
it waits behind her in a long field;

her work is waiting
in a house full of windows

that glaze their eyes
in the day’s warm silence

and also seem to forget
her work is waiting.


Thanks, Joyce, for the poems, and thanks, Carl, for the photo. We're still "waiting"...

Be sure to check the b-board (and for some of this week’s NorCal poetry events, including our “Other Events to Watch For” section under the Beat-Snake. Lots going on, even during the lazy days of August.

Sal Buttaci writes: A week ago I received THE VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD for my site ( and was asked to forward this same award to 10 blog sites I felt deserved it too. As it turned out, I found 12 of them and decided to bend the rules a little and give THE VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD to all twelve! Your blog site was one of them. (See One last thing: the award for my site really belongs to Anthony Buccino, poet and writer extraoadinaire, who set it up and maintains it for me. Thanks, Sal! Salvatore Buttaci has been a SnakePal from Day One. In addition to contributing poems to Rattlesnake Review from the very first issue, he was very instrumental in keeping our high school journal, VYPER, active before he retired from teaching. See the May 1, 2007 Medusa post for more about Sal and his poetry. (Anthony Buccino, by the way, was featured on July 3, 2008. Check out his website at

CPITS Science Into Spirit Symposium in Petaluma, Aug. 27-29:

Join numerous poets and presenters for a Writing Intensive Workshop and Reading at the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma (, sponsored by Cal. Poets in the Schools. Registration deadline is August 13. Go to for details, reg., bios of the many presenters—all that good stuff.


—Joyce Odam

(After "Correfour" by Amy Lowell)

I reprimand you for your careless words
when I am suffering beyond your casual love.

I’d have you look at me
with great tragedy on your face;

with sorrow waiting in your voice
for my words that surface.

I am falling through your laugh
that scatters discord through my insecurities.

I’m desperate for your forgiveness.
What have I done to deserve you.


—Joyce Odam

albino peacock
stone woman in fountain
statue of love
carnival night
and sighing flesh-woman
entering the blue garden
in shadow by the pillar
lover watching with mask removed
lace collar caught in moonlight
they will not meet…they are shy…
rose petals flutter behind her
as she strolls
albino peacock
ambles beside her
assuring their lack of vanity
waiting too long by the dark pillar
lover is held
in tendrils of Bougainvillea.


—Joyce Odam

(After Age of Exploration by Russell W. Gordon)

In lavender light, the old rules fade
into their
of fact and fiction.
Books lie open
to the spheres of knowledge,
waiting for the candle to burn down.
A tiny moon,
small as a moth,
wanes thinly
on the sky's far wall.
A sea of black ink
fills a small ink bottle
for all the words that will be written.
The books
pile higher.
The open pages
age and crumble.
The table groans and bears the weight.
All balances with all.


—Joyce Odam

how fast we speak
in passing
how are you
and thank you
in passing
and smile
in passing


Today's LittleNip:

—Joyce Odam

I will look at
wet buildings, all day long . . .
I will consult windows
for change, or what stays the same . . .
I will measure the hours of the rain
while I wait, for whatever I am waiting for . . .



Photo by Carl Bernard Schwartz, Sacramento