Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Movin' On

Today's photos by Katy Brown, Davis

—Joyce Odam

The wall in the hall has a way in and a
way out. The wall stretches along itself
unhampered by the doors.

No one walks there. The hall
is too long. A shadow tried once,
but kept fading into the wall.

The carpet is quiet and vacuumed.
the baseboard has no scratches.

The rooms behind the door
have always been empty.
They are only for the stories.

It was always long ago.

It is always now.

I think I lived there once,
but only my mother remembers
and she won’t tell me.

That is me playing at the end of
the hallway with the toys
I still keep hidden for protection.

I think I remember.


Thanks to Joyce and Katy for today's offerings. Sacramento County's Adult Protective Services are moving their offices, so Katy was slave-labor forced to move during the Labor Day break (ironically). Every parting leaves some sadness, though, so Katy took these photos of the now-empty offices, triggering our Seed of the Week: Movin' On. Divorce? Retiring to a desert isle? Empty-nesting? Or heading some new place mentally, not physically? Movin' on can be good or bad, or anywhere in between. Tell us about it, and send your poems and art/photos to kathykieth@hotmail.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. No deadline on SOWs, though; go to Calliope's Closet under SNAKE ON A ROD in the skinny blue box at the right for all the SOWs we've dug into in the past.

More to chew on:

Submissions for the autumn issue of the Song of the San Joaquin are now being accepted. The deadline is September 15. Please see www.chaparralpoets.org/SSJ.html for more info and submission guidelines.

The Modesto Slam on Rye poetry slam is now the third Wednesday of each month. The next one is September 15 at 7:30pm at the Prospect Theater, 520 Scenic Dr., Modesto (sign-ups to read start at 6:30). See www.slamonrye.com for more details.

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

Take nothing for memory.
Let fly the hurts that linger.
Erase the scars—
the flesh will tingle.

Perfect the stare, its inward look.
Permit the darkness its reforming.

Reshape the new
lest it contain
the shape of knowing.
Let nothing do—

let nothing through.
There’s nothing owing.


—Joyce Odam

Tangle of hairpins
in a coffee jar . . .

and your hair so short now,
your thrift so valuable.


—Joyce Odam

What is the hunger of lilacs:

early and vain,
sweet as yearning,
too soon for readiness,
too late for regret,

I remember them with all my heart.

—Joyce Odam

The room I left was empty
except for the memory of sorrow.

Sorrow lived in the shadow
that existed in the mirror.
The glass shifted and I shrank back.

The room had six walls if you count
the ceiling and the floor.

The window belonged to
the doorway and the doorway
belonged to the hall.

I belonged to the shadow
but the shadow no longer loved me.

I broke the mirror and let the shadow go.
The window broke my face
into shards of reflection.

I left the room and entered the hallway
which had an exit.


Today's LittleNip:


Cinderella, you said.
And we laughed
and let midnight
come and go
on the clock.