Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Morning After

 Photo by Joyce Odam

tiny shadows on the window screen
imperceptible movement
black butterflies
vanishing from reality
fading pulsations of grief
knowing nothing of that word
only there to haunt

only there to haunt
knowing nothing of that word
fading pulsations of grief
vanishing from reality
black butterflies
imperceptible movement
tiny shadows on the window screen

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento


—Joyce Odam

time of no shadow.
we are vertical.
reverent to the silence.
standing in the sun like scarecrows.
our black-to-the-center eyes
holding the landscape together.

at midnight
we become flesh of darkness.
holding our arms out like we do.
stars on our fingertips.
night clouds in our hair.
our eyes deep with the suns of that hour.
darkly beautiful

(first pub. in Poetry View, 1976)


—Joyce Odam

My father is an old rumor.
Where is he now,

his lifelong disappearance
still disappearing?

Life goes one way by itself.
What if my life had held him?

Father, I name you ghost.
Ghost-Father. Haunt. Haunt.

(first pub. in Naked Knuckle, 2003)


—Joyce Odam

…something that lingers
not quite gone
diffusements in memory
hanging on
to the spent realities
like a tune that teases
of a half-remembered song

ghosts stay on
where they are wanted
they belong
to your disturbance
to your relinquishment…
as long
as you want them
ghosts stay on…

(first pub. in Aquarian Dream, 1996)


(Stefanile Triadic Sonnet)
—Joyce Odam

The paths meander in and out of sight—
the old house, watching, can’t see to the end.
The children love to play out there all night.

The windows watch the children wend and wend.
Something entices. The children want to know,
for moonlight flickers—all the pathways glow.
The old house worries. Windows try to warn
as nightly winds come up. Trees moan and bend.
The maze-paths deepen where the shadows blend.
Leaves fall like tears . . . the children are unborn.
Their mother weeps but can’t remember why.

The mother dreads another haunted dawn.
The house still thinks it hears the children cry.
The children safely dream the old house gone.

(first pub. in Poets’ Forum Magazine)


—Joyce Odam

Shadow-bird finds the deep canyon of sleep,
follows the thin directing stream
until it comes
to the vulnerable alley of night
with its haunt of houses.

The hurrying sky
pulls the clouds in the other direction.
Shadow-bird enters the restless dream
of a boy who is frightened of the dark—
cries out.

One of the windows opens and lets the bird
in, and the boy, out—
becoming Shadow-Bird,
remembering back to some
unwounded wilderness where it was not extinct.


(Couplet sonnet with repeat of first line)
—Joyce Odam

In looking back I cannot bear the view—
too many scenes still haunt me. Some are you,
too closely following with your burning eyes
gone sad and brooding. And I hear the cries
of all the weepings love has ever caused.
And I still cringe to count the many flaws
that keep me crippled in my crippled mind—
all the regrettings that you still can’t find
forgiveness for. How can this be so—
you made me guilty, what is left to know?
There is no penance, only love to rue
in looking back. I cannot bear the view.


Thanks to Joyce Odam for today's treats! For those of us who have had enough partying, this week's Seed of the Week is The Morning After The Night Before. And Joyce's first poem is a tuanortsa; the lines repeat themselves, only in reverse order. (Yes, "tuanortsa" is "astronaut" spelled backwards.) See "Forms to Fiddle With" on the green board at the right for more examples. Send your forms and your SOWs to kathykieth@hotmail.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. No deadlines on anything around here.


Today's LittleNip: 

—Joyce Odam

One can hear howling
out on the moor,
made of



Leaf with Berries
—Photo by Joyce Odam