Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Those TIny Savants

—Photo by Joyce Odam


sparrows maybe
as tiny savants of distraction
and be so led

from ground
to tree
through air

at disturbance
or some nervousness of

at one with survival
and I

merely watching
enchanted by their quickness
their disinterest in me as foe

as threatening presence
as anything at all other than
shape or movement

so I keep a patient stillness
to give them no reason
to fly from me

(after "Etude" by Ted Kooser)
—Joyce Odam, Sacramento


—Joyce Odam

The soul is a caged bird:

Let’s say this is so.
And you want the bird to sing

and be joyous in the cage.
And you want to own this bird
and praise it—over and over—

for its singing. But
it will not always sing;
sometimes it will claim its
own silence as a separate power.


(after "Dark Birds, Dark Sea", 1959, Milton Avery)
—Joyce Odam

Midnight birds in a dark blue river,
held by a spreading path of moonlight,
their gold beaks shining
in the shimmer-silence of the hour.

They seem too shadowy
to be real—as if painted
by a midnight child
in love with midnight’s deep blue color.

(first pub. in Brevities, 1999)


—Joyce Odam

It was the pale bird in the dream that I remembered.
It flew down a shaft of silence and found my window.

Glass broke in my mind and I shattered.

The pale bird entered my broken dream
and bled and bled its whiteness clear to the horizon.


COLD BLUE (an Octo)
—Joyce Odam

Today I look long at the birds:
winter sparrows in a dead tree,
waiting for green—waiting for spring.

Both tree and sparrows etch the sky
of such cold blue—teasing the eye,

waiting for green—waiting for spring.
Winter sparrows in a dead tree:
today I look long at the birds.


Today's LittleNip: 

—Joyce Odam

Blue bird, sky bird, fiery-winged
against the lowering sun,
causing the horizon to catch fire

and the moon to rise—
blood red—
and near—
soars into the red moon
with a cry that is a prayer.

(first pub. in Brevities, 2011)


Thanks to Joyce Odam for today's poems and pix, wrapping up our Seed of the Week: Our Feathered Friends. Our new Seed is Wild Winds and Cheeky Breezes; send your poetic thoughts (poems, art, photos) to kathykieth@hotmail.com

My apologies to Caschwa (Carl Bernard Schwartz) for inadvertently truncating his poem, "Goaltending", yesterday. Herewith is the complete poem:

—Caschwa, Sacramento

The ball is heading
Into the basket
Too late to interfere

The fetus is in its
Third trimester
Too late to interfere

The corporation has grown
Too big to fail
Too late to interfere

The church has hired
Molesters to steer our faith
Too late to interfere

At risk youth
Get thrown in jail
Too late to interfere

The experiment in democracy
Doesn’t always work
Too late to interfere

A fortune teller’s product
Is entertainment
Too late to interfere.

The threat of global warming
Might just be valid
Too late to interfere.

Bankruptcy is chosen
Because there are no other choices
Too late to interfere.

Instructions to a sesame seed:
Don’t stop now,
You’re on a roll.



—Photo by Joyce Odam