Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Touching What is Lonely

—Photo by Joyce Odam

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

the hailstones
through the screen door
we hug at the doorway, hello,
we hug at the doorway
we never reach
the rainbow     oh loss
oh loss
wanting what I want
extent of yearning
humility of acceptance
watching the train
rumble by
reading the graffiti
in abeyance
the time between our last visit
and the next
travel this way
travel that way
way is everywhere
all night
the shadows speak to one another
the dark listens


—Joyce Odam

Something bends, the night is lonely:
the shivering moon
in the cold water—

the spread of dark—
a lone walker turns a corner,
is gone forever: how do I know this?

—Photo by Joyce Odam

—Joyce Odam         

The ghost gives me up.  It can no longer
bear my love for it.  I have given it
more loneliness.  It cannot forgive me.


We may never return to each other now.
Glass is fading between us—
Death’s pale mirror—its receding face.

Published: Lilliput Review, 1998



—Joyce Odam


Mother, I approach you on the road;

you are looking down,

picking your way carefully,

looking at the stones and flowers.

I am wearing a yellow dress.
I wave to you and begin to run.

But you, somehow, are receding—
keeping the same distance
between us—never looking up
to help me reach you.

Thanks, Joyce Odam (and Pat Pashby), for today's contributions to the Kitchen!

I remember ice-cold rainbow popsicles sold along 
Highway 99...
I remember going to sleep out on the sunporch, 
the sound of crickets...
I remember the drone of the rotary fan going back and forth, back and forth, 
back and forth...

This poetic fragment uses both our new Seed of the Week: Before we had air conditioning, and the rhetorical device called the anaphora, which is to begin each line or sentence with the same word or phrase. I listed the anaphora as our new Form to Fiddle With, but it's not really a form, just a technique. Still, it's hugely popular in poetry and I'm sure you can think of several examples. (For a boost, see www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5770)

Your SOW doesn't need to be in this shape, though; just see what your muse comes up with when you think back to the days of no air conditioning—or to areas of the country/world where it isn't common. (And if you're too young to remember such things, then whip out your poetic license and imagine!) Or maybe you'd rather root around in the past: see Calliope's Closet in the FUCHSIA LINKS above for all our previous SOWs and FFW. Send the fruits of your sweat to kathykieth@hotmail.com. There are no deadlines, of course, on any good writing...


Today's LittleNip(s):

—Joyce Odam

Never touch what is lonely. It will not
heal—it is a vessel to fill, but only to
the brim. Do not let it spill, or the
touch will mean nothing—
and nothing will be

(first pub. in Brevities, 2012)


—Patricia Pashby, Sacramento

Sage Joyce Odam says,
"Do not give up your power."
Wise poet, wise words.


—Photo by Joyce Odam