Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Ancient Messages

Bee at Weedflower
—Photo by Joyce Odam

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento
twirp twirp   twirp twirp
chitter  chitter  chitter
chip     chirp
twirp  twirp   twirp  twirp
thrun- n  thrun-n  thrun-n
chitter  chitter  chitter
chrrrr   chrrrr   chrrrr
chirp     chirp
chee-er  chee-er  chee-er
chir-r   chir-r   chir-r     chir-r
chip     chirp
twirp  twirp   twirp twirp


—Joyce Odam

I heard the birds singing today
under my sadness
and I said,
Should I believe in spring?
Permit feeling?

And the birds were oblivious
to my thought
and they sang in the tree
by my house
where I hung clothes
under a cloudy sky
and I said,
Should I believe
in possibility?
This singing is so pleasurable.

And the birds
sang through my reluctance
to permit joy to enter my heart
and I said,
Should I permit my heart to
open to anything again?

And the birds
continued singing
in the tree by  my house
and I said,
Should I linger at this chore
and enjoy the singing?
And the birds continued,
oh, continued, singing.

(first pub. in Acorn, 1996 and Senior Magazine, 2002)

—Joyce Odam

In late summer
I pinch off the yellow heads
of dandelions

that in spring were much too rare,
throwing the sun back, as they did,
to my dark eye.

This morning I
killed twelve of them
without a qualm

which had been learning
to populate
my lawn.

I am tired of
beautiful, weedy faces
in such overwhelming number

that so quickly
shake their heads
and fly their seed.

I must begin
to unencumber the endangered places.

—Photo by Joyce Odam


what would we feel—

what new sensation
for our lack of feeling . . .

what does numbness know of touch,
what not to trust of the brightest red,
the hottest yellow, the saddest blue . . .

how could we not bruise
the softest pastel,
the subtle fading against all texture,
the quietness of white . . .

and how not be overwhelmed by
the heaviest of tones that are almost black,
that throb in backgrounds  
and cut against edges of completion—
as against frames . . .

why would we enter    
such a strange unknown,
except for
some need that is never satisfied:
the wanting to blend—
become part of that which thrills us . . .

(based on "Another Spring Uncovered" by May Sarton)
—Joyce Odam

—Joyce Odam

Oh, to keep it simple—no more embroil our
discontent in public scrutiny or private enmity,

get past the sulk and rage that are habitual.
Let us both be weary of the war we wage—

no matter who might win or lose. It does not
matter any more. Let’s put the war aside

while we inspect this day for grace and purity.
The birds are singing in the trees, and I would

listen to them, and just feel the scented air and
light, erase the tension from my face, and yours.

Give me your hand and let us see if all is well
with things outside our lives. I feel a difference

in me—I want you to feel it, too— 
come with me while we can—It’s spring.


Thanks to Joyce Odam for today's delicious May Day post! Joyce's poetry is full of the senses—all five of them—and that's what struck me about Stephen Vincent Benét's poem which I posted last Sunday, how he used all five senses. So our Seed of the Week is All Five Senses: see if you can incorporate all five of them into a poem, and send your sensible results to kathykieth@hotmail.com. No deadline on SOWs, though:  find more of them than you can shake a pencil at up there on the green board in Calliope's Closet under the Snake on a Rod. While you're on the green board, scroll around for other writing prompts, too, like the News-SOWs. And Joyce's LittleNip today is a Sextilla, which is this week's Form to Fiddle With—also on the green board, along with a link to get you started.

Kate Asche writes that Sacramento Magazine has an article by Corinne Litchfield about the Sacramento/Davis writing scene. Check it out!

And we have a new photo album on Medusa's Facebook page; this one (by Michelle Kunert) features the Food Bank Benefit held at Sac. Poetry Center last night. Thanks, Michelle!


Today's LittleNip: 

—Joyce Odam

Days slowly lengthen; something turns
with new direction. All that yearns
feels for the surface—is renewed
as mental hibernation ends
and energies revive.  Life sends
an ancient message.  Spring is cued.



  Orange Weed-Flowers Against Logs
 —Photo by Joyce Odam