—Joyce Odam, Sacramento
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.
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.
(first pub. in Poetry View, 1976)
BEING CALLED HOME FOR SUPPER
The gold summer pretends to be forever
as does the climbing tree—the limbs
span out—vow to protect
the climbing boys; the boys possess
their new territory—dare
to the very tips,
the thinnest height,
the leafy sky—
dare to the vertigo,
while the tree grows,
and they grow,
a whole day older—
and the gold leaves loosen from the sky
and the boys turn to evening silhouettes
and confess each other to timelessness
and call through the ending day
their shrill goodbye, their day’s success.
APPLAUSE FOR AN OLD ACTRESS
She still wears her stockings rolled with dime store
garters above her knees
and tells us of the cherished disasters and triumphs
of her ‘olden days’ with a throaty wheeze,
and oh she laughs uproariously, and oh she guffaws
loudly, at the bawdy memories she frees,
and oh how the whole drunken honest beauty of her
privacy in public reverie does please.
“The clearest way into the universe is
through a forest wilderness.”—John Muir
Follow the music of the trees.
Follow the music of the birds.
Follow the music of the
that pull you deeper
into the waiting universe
of mind, and heart, and soul,
to where the promised love is.
(first pub. in Poets' Forum Magazine)
TOWARD THEIR HAPPINESS
The lovers move forever
toward their happiness.
A field of flowers
Their faces lean together,
and their words escape
TWO OLD LADIES SING TO THE WINE
two old ladies sing to the wine
they sing to the song
and they sing to the rhyme
and they laugh to the singing
and sing it again
and the wine keeps bringing them
and they laugh to the hours
and fill them with wine
and they sing together for old time’s sake
and they shout to the singing
and wail to the wrong
two old ladies all night long
singing their old nostalgic song
(fist pub. in Red Cedar Review, 1993)
Thanks, Joyce, for today's Kitchen!
Our Seed of the Week is Midnight at the Oasis. What the heck goes on there? Intrigue in veils and beads? Or just the sound of howling winds and camels snoring? What kind of metaphors can you wring out of shifting sands and crystal moonlight and, as Joyce calls it in her first poem, the "darkly beautiful"? Send your midnight musings to email@example.com—no deadline on SOWs.
And don't forget our News-SOWS, those ever-changing snapshots of this wonky life in the 21st century. Or bust your brain over Forms to Fiddle With; this week it's the alouette. See the green board at the right for all these scoops and more.
MUSIC WITHOUT DANCERS
in music, then.
We are not really dancers.
Let us sit here together instead,
carefully looking at each other
(first pub. in The Third Leaf Has Fallen, Mini-Chap, 1968)