Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Brooms of Sunlight

Bracelets and Rings
—Photo by Joyce Odam

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

And who am I dreaming to become—
heaviest in sleep—lost in my own mind,
waking to a closet closing after me.
Where have I been,
and who,
and who were those others?

Start of the long day begins heavy
with a glance at the window
to see what sort of day I will enter.
What will I wear?
What will I do?
Which plan is more important than another?


(After "Unscheduled Appointments"
by Gayle Ellen Harvey)
—Joyce Odam

They cancel their little deaths
to matters of no importance—various
and thin—like ghosts, or shadows—

like those sounds they think they hear
in morning quiet after nights of vague
celebration—as weary as repetition.

Already they blur into voices that regret
dead loves with that humor they save for
sadness. Drunkenness gives them mercy.

No wonder they love—badly, or wrongly,
deceptively complex, what they need
for the moment—or lifetime. Later they

will elaborate on this—with reverence, even,
going over the broken memories—detail
by detail—until everything falls apart or fits.


—Joyce Odam

Take out this vial of tears.
Morning is late and full of afterthought.
The foolish dream is in pieces.
Get the broom of sunlight.

Morning is late and full of afterthought.
Did you not feel my heart breaking?
Get the broom of sunlight.
Sweep my memories into yours.

Feel my heart breaking.
The foolish dream is in pieces.
Sweep my memories into yours.
Take out this tub of tears.



We picked up all our dark dresses
from the floor.

We hung them in gaping closets.

We bore into
the burning eyes of the mirror.

We listened to the morning sirens
in their tardy urgencies.

We called name after name
into the fading echo.

We watched a silent crow
glide past our windows.

—Joyce Odam


—Joyce Odam

The night fish
swim in their dark pool
and are lovely for

as I imagine them
nudging to the surface

then drifting back down
in pattern
after silver pattern

with only
the bright moon
to illuminate them until morning

when they
become just part of the
rippling movement of the shadows.


(After "The Desire to Become a Storm"
by Armando Roche Rabell)
—Joyce Odam

I push through barrier after barrier with my life
which is crowded with intention and failure.

I am huge; I fit everywhere, for I am forceful;
I am my own jungle of resistance.

Trees crowd into me—
challenge my right to be among them.

I push them aside.
As long as I am strong I can do this.

At night I sleep among
the sleeping trees.

Each morning
we begin again.


Thanks to Joyce Odam for her "Morning After" poems and pix, and congrats to her and those other poets from Sacramento and environs for their wins in the Ina Coolbrith contest.

Let's take our Seed of the Week from Joyce's poem, "Fish Pond in Moonlight". What happens out there in the dark of night? Silver dollars of moonlight? The stealth of lovers? Or is it marauding raccoons? Send your tasty offerings to kathykieth@hotmail.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. No deadline on SOWs.

Our "Form to Fiddle With" this week is the lune; go to the green board at the right for more about that. If you've ever read my rant in Calliope's Closet (under the SNAKE ON A ROD) on the green board, you know I'm not a fan of translating Japanese forms to English, given how very, very different their whole concept is from ours. But, well, maybe we could mess around a little with the lune, since we're talking about moonlight this week. A little lunar lunacy. (Make every word count.)

Trina Drotar sends us this link to her Sacramento Press article about last Friday's Cabral tribute:

And some of you may have heard about Jane Blue's recent illness. Here is what her son, Michael Bissell, posted about it on Facebook yesterday: 

She slipped about a week ago and cracked her pelvis which was, of course, nasty, but not as bad as a broken hip. So while we were all worried about her recovery process, we weren't worried about her actually recovering. They moved her to a rehabilitation facility after a few days and she was on her way... —not happy, but recovering.

When I called yesterday, I was told they had moved her to UC Davis Med Center after a heart attack and pneumonia—which was a surprise for everyone. I won't go into details, but yesterday [Sunday] was not good and the doctors weren't sure if she'd pull through.

But she is pulling through—she's off the ventilator today [Monday], has fewer needles and is sitting upright and talking, even if in a rough, raspy voice. There's still a long ways to go, but we're all feeling a lot better today.


Today's LittleNip: 


this morning, its belly more vague
than usual, its water more fog
than mirror. Along muddy edges

the scattered emeralds of baby tears
are pock-marked from grubbing: black
velvet paws with long half-moons

have pried open damp earth, dug out
bodies huddled there in tight little
circles. . . Every night under cover

of jet and ebony, marauders descend
to steal the sleeping. Rustling
the eucalyptus as they crawl down

from their own dark dreams, they
rattle her bony fingers, then uproot
those who think they can rest—clawing

at the stillness, grubbing around
its edges, clouding up the pond. . .

—Kathy Kieth, Pollock Pines 



Note to D.R. Wagner: Yes, I'm getting your poems, but my letters to you are bouncing back.

Flower Dish and Mushroom
—Photo by Joyce Odam