Tuesday, January 31, 2012

This Cold Wind

Two Textures
—Photo by Joyce Odam

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

this cold wind
lost on
my landscape
of one thin tree
in patient suffering

this cold wind
bringing nothing I can use,
except its cold,
disturbed hues of
its own howling,
except the force
of its own direction,
with nothing to hold it
but this bent tree . . .

let it go . . .
let it have its say
and go . . .
it is not up to me

(first pub. in Poets On: Coping, 1995)


(After "Sun Setting at Cannon Beach"
by Ursula K. LeGuin)
—Joyce Odam

you in your sky, becoming the sunset that I watch,
becoming the breezes that touch my face,
becoming the echo that follows the lone bird cry
becoming the motionless glide of its wing—
you, in your manuscript sky—taking up all of it . . .


—Joyce Odam

The wind blows color here,
red trees and gold,
the dying green and brown,
the brilliance of the air.

And it brings sounds:
sharper bird-song,
rustlings…      moanings…
something in the trees.

Wind’s voice—
I’ve heard
that voice before,
outside my window—

howling corners
of the house—
even in the silences
that build
to something there.


(after Franz Marc:
"Woman in the Wind by the Sea", 1907)
—Joyce Odam

The woman in the green coat
wrestles with her hat
and balance—
forcing her way
through the storm.
The winds
conspire to torment.
The blue sea gathers
more force
against the shore.
She struggles so—
her arms in a flail
—tearing at the air,
howling into the howling—
as if some fight she fights
would have it out with her.


—Joyce Odam

Strangely sensual without the body,
flattened into pure shining texture
for the observing room light—
her kimono—lying open on the bed.


In the late summer woods, a leaf has fallen
into a shaft of sunlight and lies, softly
shining there—its edges lifted by
the occasional small breezes . . .


(after “The trees in the garden” 
by Stephen Crane)
—Joyce Odam

There was a rain of blossoms
and web floated on the air;
the day’s breezes were gentle
and a great sighing was felt.

Sermons waited in cleared throats
of those who were on the verge
of finding what was unfindable—
only felt—by the lost and found alike.

All this was mentioned
by the misery of the loveless
who groped for what was ever gone
at their reaching.

Oh, good day of chance
and failure—
must I continue,        and continue,
and continue?


Thanks to Joycey for whipping up the wind, our Seed of the Week, for our Tuesday breakfast! Our new SOW is Lanterns in the Night—send your enlightenings to kathykieth@hotmail.com—and the Form to Fiddle With this week is, correspondingly, the lanturne. Check that out at thepoetsquill.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/lanturne-poetry-form

Some other items of note:

•••Open Mic Voices is a new online poetry forum: see OpenMicVoices.com

•••Donald Anderson writes: By visiting http://www.RainFlowers.org/ (that's flowers not forest) and browsing the links on the top menu bar or dropdown menus, and by listing on this event page ten things that can be improved on the website without repeating what others have mentioned, you will receive a 178-page color pdf (openable on computers that have the widely used free Adobe Acrobat Reader software) of ebook Moon Mist Valley, a collection of poetry and art, to your email inbox of choice. Deadline is Valentine's Day.

•••Swan Scythe Press is proud to announce a new book by Sandra McPherson: A Visit to Civilization. To order, go to www.swanscythe.com/books/visit_to_civilization.html or write to Swan Scythe Press at 515 P St., #804, Sacramento, CA 95814.


Today's LittleNip: 

—Joyce Odam

bush-shadow shudders
against white siding
rattling the wind’s name
under loose windows



 Two Textures, II
—Joyce Odam