—Joyce Odam, Sacramento
stiff and brown
she could not
of what season
instead of tears,
or some moment
meant to keep
forever in its joy,
in her winter book
and leave no trace
(first published in Acorn, 1977)
THE ALBINO PEACOCK
beside the Fool,
the peacock strolls the grounds
and in the moonlight, rounds
the courtyard pool—
and lonely prize:
white peacock of the King
the Fool leads on a string
for the Queen’s eyes.
once say how she
pitied what the King kept
blinded—how she had wept
it could not see
(After "The Toy Shelf, Ruby Bird" (postcard) by Lewis H.
I cannot manage light, so I use the dark. In collage
so fragile that I dare not touch—all of it message—all
of it plea, with me for answer. I try to rearrange the
pieces that are there, stuck in their places of resistance.
Hiding. Hidden. Serious memories, high as a child can
reach, on shelves carved out of closet-cloth: a tapestry
of what is left behind.
THEIR PERFECT LOVE
They love each other. Notice how they pose:
two as one, perfection in their eyes.
They kiss in public, heedless of the stares.
She yields to him. His arm about her shows
his ownership. They are each other’s prize.
Poor and foolish? Neither of them cares.
Love conquers all, so how can they ignore
the truth of this? They’re trusting to the core.
They’ll revel with the highs, and skip the lows.
They’d rather trust than forfeit. That’s their plan.
They bond the tighter to resist their foes
with no persuasion more compelling than:
You get the thorns with every perfect rose.
But if love cannot break them, nothing can.
(an Alfred Dorn Sonnet, first published in Poets Forum Magazine)
NOSTALGIA IS A BITTER JOY
a bitter joy.
is a price to pay.
O then! O then! O then!
and poke around
the entered mood
Things ain't what they used to be and probably never was.
—Medusa (with thanks to Joyce Odam for wrapping up our discussion of Keepsakes. It's a good thing she asked whether I'd gotten her poems, because no, I hadn't. Be sure to ask if you don't get a reply from me! Joyce will be reading tonight at the Sacramento Central Library, 828 I St., 6pm, with Katy Brown. The reading will be over at 7, in plenty of time for you to head over to Davis to hear Dennis Schmitz at Bistro 33, 8:30pm. See our b-board for details.)