Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tiny Seconds of Joy

Sandy Thomas and Joyce Odam 
at The Ophidian Reading
November, 2010
Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Tom Goff, Carmichael

Bottle-message, slim
shape—space-time portal?: between
glass slides

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

Messages of time wait in the clock,
pretend that nothing moves.

Life in suspension
is not lived.

Reduce the mind to nothing
and retain that nothing forever.

Snap back awake now.
Take up the old suffering hour.

Flick past the tiny seconds of joy.
You are not immune to anything.


Thanks to Joyce Odam and our other contributors for today's Kitchen buffet. It's a good time for poetry in Sacramento and environs; check the b-board almost every day for new postings of events, books, journals and other poet-phernalia. Tiny Seconds of Joy, says Joyce—so let's make that our Seed of the Week in this soon-to-be season of friends and holidays and—hopefully—at least a few tiny seconds of joy. Send your poems about joy (or anything else!) to kathykieth@hotmail.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726.

By the way, Katy Brown took a passel of wonderful photos at the Ophidian release party last Wednesday; more will be forthcoming as soon as I sort them all out.

SnakePal James Lee Jobe has the Monthly Poem on Poet's Lane at www.poetslane.com/. Cynthia Bryant, Past Poet Laureate of Pleasanton, moved East several years ago, but she continues to maintain her lively poetry site, proving that the 'Net keeps us together even when distance keeps us apart. Check it—and JLJ's poem—out, and send her poems, yourself!


—Joyce Odam

I took her land and made a map,
drew little homes upon it
and arrows to where I wanted to be.

I had no land like that. Mine was
packed and unpacked in little suitcases
until it grew as small
as sand in a tiny sand-bottle.

I never knew time could crumble
like that. I moved the miles around until
I found one I wanted to keep.
I stayed-put until my roots went deep.

I named her land my land.
I made a flag of her scarf.
Her initials became my initials.

—Joyce Odam

out of your letter
comes the mustiness
of where you are

smoke and dampness
rise heavily
from the envelope

I know you now
in a dark place
full of stale existence

how can you tell me
you are happy
and all is well with you

(first appeared in The Wormwood Review, 1971)


—Joyce Odam

Little polite lady
waits patiently for the traffic to
let her back across the street,

her hands folded primly to her sex,
her white hair
netted to the breeze.

She has learned to be patient.
She wavers on the curb
like an indeterminate leaf—

her chance comes—
and she hurries over the lengthening
asphalt shadows of the trees.

(first appeared in The Back Door, 1971)


Today's LittleNip:

—Joyce Odam

Gathering up the old fruit of those
delicious trees . . . Scattering
the bird shadows before they form
their own starvations around us . . .
Hunger is not the only message here.

(first appeared in
The Lilliput Review)


Joyce Odam
Photo by Katy Brown