—Joyce Odam, Sacramento
Everything tore from me, even myself.
I fell among ruin after ruin.
What I clung to disappeared,
and a great strength took me over.
My blood dried on the great stone
that took my pattern as its own.
Thus had we influenced each other
with the accident of our impact.
I fell into a sleep.
Was it an instant or a lifetime?
I awoke whole
and full of praise.
I drew a box of lines in the dirt
and called it home.
Others did the same.
We called our town survival.
It’s Love Week, and it’s fun to see all the valentines over there on Medusa’s b-board, advertising all the Valentine readings in our area this week. Michelle Kunert writes: I thought maybe a good theme for upcoming Feb. 14 would be "creepy love songs," including songs by The Police ("Please don't stand so close to me" and "I'll be watching you..."); The Backstreet Boys ("I don't care who you are, where you're from, what you did, as long as you love me"); and Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney's "The Girl is Mine." For more, go to www.huffingtonpost.com/alida-nugent/10-incredibly-creepy-song_b_810825.html#s226089&title=All_My_Life
Well, Michelle, love is creepy, indeed, and love songs are sometimes even creepier. But let’s expand our Valentine Seed of the Week to that love monster, Love Week. Send your musings about Love (including photos and art) to email@example.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. No deadline on SOWs. And if the subject of love doesn’t appeal to you, heck—write about something else! You know what a soft-hearted gal Medusa is…
And thanks to our Valentines, The Odam Girls, for today's poems and pix!
What of this blind faith of love,
with its discontent and its failed reach;
that it always knows
what is real, and what is desired
is real? Only hunger equates—
that hunger that is always there,
Hunger is all one has against need,
need that is always there,
like a moan that is uttered in silence.
Never mind impossibility.
Impossibility is only the beginning.
I wrote of love in a wandering sentence,
meandering dream-like toward fate
in a deep mirror with no face.
(How would I know you
if you were not real; how would
I know you if you were real?)
It was a moment caught and savored,
slipped out of unreality
to explore itself. I praised it.
(You who were the essence
had your own loss to mourn.
I was not part of it.)
It was only once, and I kept it forever
like a skillfully-created bird in a
(You were only love to my desire.
I was your jailer, my whole thought held you.
You bit my finger that tried to touch you.)
True to your desire,
I turned the mirror outward to free you,
watched you disappear in its eloquent reaches.
THE DEAF MUSICIAN, LISTENING
how he can hear
music with his mind . . .
how he bends his head
forward and closes his eyes . . .
how the tiny doll of music
hovers its wings and plays its violin . . .
how the very skies surround
and hold the music to a page of hearing . . .
(After L’Art Céleste, Odilon Redon,
French, 1840-1916. Lithograph, 1894)
There is a secret here.
and other eyes repeat—
hands close to hands
in swirling sound—
the distance and the reach.
Love waits—the air
a blur of desire,
the red guitar
afire with wanting.
How to inspire:
one word… one word…
enough for the mind to follow.
The moment waits—suspends—
quivers with expectation.
Eyes hold eyes—
holds the note pure.
The muse, in love.
THE COLOR OF FEBRUARY
February is gray.
And brief enough to bear.
And soon enough to be over.
Part of it sings for birth
and part for death
with its gray voice.
I honor February
for its innocence.
I give it what I say:
It is only a veil
that must be gotten through,
the way a room shifts—
and there is a door,
pale dark or pale illumination,
just enough to bear the message:
All is travail.
And all is hope beyond.
Reach for light. Now reach
Be as butterfly from cocoon.
Unfold your arms
from self’s dark room
into window-spill of light.
Let color touch transparency.
Let your radiance
stun the mirror.
the unreflecting walls
from your bright energy.