Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Last Howl Of Our Sadness

Photo by Katy Brown, Davis


the sun will be lying
across the windowsill

and the cat will be
stretching herself awake

and the coins you left
on the table will be gone

for I am a thief
and poor as you

but you have given me

because last night
you pressed my hand

that was still wet
from the tears on your face

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento


—Joyce Odam

I tried to solve the night but the night was secret.
Nothing penetrates but restless dreaming.

Night without moon.
Or moon behind clouds.

Iconic moon.
Changeable moon.

Nocturne . . .
Nocturnal . . .

Like a cat.

Like black shadow of cat
brushing by.

No moon for fear. Howl
at the moon, full and near.

An echo of that howling.
Electric with tension.

A bristling in the air. An apprehension.
White moon of morning in pale blue sky

hanging there—
benign and patient, fading with the morning.


—Joyce Odam

girl leading a goat
on a leash
on a Sunday morning
in Pasadena

goat does not want
to heel
strains his
delicate mauve neck
against the rope

does a little
goat dance
of pull away

girl tries to coax
tries to teach
the goat
what she means
by rope

goat knows
but does not want
to obey


—Joyce Odam

I am unable to feel my shadow
on the white mirror.

I am wavering with movement not my own.
How cold I feel.

Death puts its arms around me and I weep
and am not comforted.


—Joyce Odam

wobble-voiced again—
old morning rooster

what does he crow about
—ruling the silence

the sleepless

with his unmelodic and
somehow plaintive crowing


—Joyce Odam

It was because this morning’s full white moon
shone in the window and I happened to look
and could not look away…

It was the endangered way a distracted bird
sat on the fence, so close, outside my intrusion,
and did not fly away when I stood there staring…

It was the studied, patient way a long-dead
picture stared back at me,
when I was in a reverie, and the clock stared, too…

It was the brooding way I could not answer my
own lost self that could not move, for the world
fell back, and time stayed frozen to my thought…

It was the unrelenting way some time-worn
heaviness became a weight that this day made me
wear—like a heavy garment made of grief…


—Joyce Odam

this morning the red sun came up
hung above two trees
created the new day
we took chances
we rescued a silver dog
but it was blind and deaf
and old
or was it just a silver dog
of our kindness
tonight the red sun will lower
into the black trees
through wide clouds
made famous by forest fires
where it will bury the last howl
of our sadness


Today's LittleNip: 

—Joyce Odam

The 6:30 bird
twirping nearby . . .

a late owl
with its mournful voice . . .

all so tentative—
all so brief and lonely . . .



Our thanks to Joyce and Katy for today's caviar in the Kitchen. Katy's ladybug photo segues into our Seed of the Week: Small Joys. Our current Poetry Trap is about finding the small things and letting them trigger poems in you (see b-board on the right). How about the small joys: small blessings, small mercies, tiny treasures hidden under the leaves? The big joys will get our attention, but sometimes the small ones get overlooked, and that's a shame. So send your poems about those small joys you've tripped over to kathykieth@hotmail.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. No deadline on SOWs.

Tiny wildflowers
—Photo by Katy Brown