Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On This Planet of Ours...

—Photo by Joyce Odam


—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

I go to the moon

for the first dream—
how far and round.
I fit.

I lie down and sleep.
A round dream enters my mind,
like a moon. I fall,
then fly.

After I have flown/fallen
a great distance, I enter your sleep
as a dream. How curious—
to know you like this.

(first pub. in Chrysanthemum, 2001) 


After SNAIL—Federico Garcia Lorca
—Joyce Odam                                                     

Love brings me this puzzle:
It says, solve me,
I am a one and only—
yours if you want me.
I will take forever or never.
I am made of loss and longing.
I am the first and the last.
I am made of memory and
forgetting—I will change you.
Do you know me?
Love brings me this puzzle.

(first pub. in DAD’S DESK,  2011)



—Joyce Odam

the rooster
wakened birds


refrigerator hum
the cat
batting its toy across the floor

in my neighbor’s sleep
his all night

-light is hung
like a star
in his dark green tree

in a farther tree
the first crow-

on a yonder street
the first

(first pub. in One (Dog) Press, 1998)

 Photo by Joyce Odam

The hurt of this…

the way it is ordinary,
as if it had no realization
of what was, and never is again,

layers and layers
of what takes the place
of life and its first drift of

sunlight over a gray day,
opening again
into another tomorrow—

a flash of yellow,
as if that bore
some importance here—

maybe only a shift of leaves
outside the window
as if a memory just happened.

 —Joyce Odam



like a vibration of music,
or a flicker of rain

light caught but unheard
outside the window

like a token of shadow
when a face turns

the first vibration of the air
toward the rain-light

—Joyce Odam

—Joyce Odam 

What is first in the light

that over-dims?

What is the dimness
that the light betrays?

What force against what force
redeems what it repels—

this against that, and not for?
Oh, the quarrel—mind and thought

in torment that desires itself.
Why mirror this?

Light and dark at melting points
pour through each other.



(from Mixed Voices:
Contemporary Poems About Music)
—Joyce Odam

It was a thin music
on a white page—
it was hidden inside
a book cover—
it was just waiting
for my green pencil,
the one I happened
to have in my hand,
the one with the blue eraser—
and it was silent until now,
waiting for a random word
to begin it—
I never heard it before;
it was stolen—
I was its thief,
but I was jealous—
I had been reading
poem after poem about music—
I wanted my own:
flute, piano, voice, harmonica,
and my old guitar
that I sold,
and the way I must be
my own sad audience—
reduced to radio,
cassette, CD—
then this little thin
strip of paper
that just happened
to be there
when I thought of this.


Thanks to Joyce Odam for today's tasty fare, including photos from her birthday bouquet. Our new Seed of the Week is On a planet like ours…  This one is wide open: you can talk about strife and hatred and people who want to leave so badly that they go walk on the moon. You can talk about love and human kindness, or basketball or crocodiles. It’s up to you. What happens on a planet like ours? Speak to me.

Mo Hurley writes:  Only FOUR days left to reserve your space for an AMAZING California Poets in the Schools poetry fest, "Passing the Gift Forward," a full weekend of readings and workshops with something for poets, writers, and teachers—as well as Poetry Out Loud poets and Youth Poets Laureate. The annual CPITS Symposium will be held at IONS Institute high on a bucolic ridgeline near Mt. Burdell, on the Novato-Petaluma (Sono Marin) border on Sept. 14-16. Super economical Saturday Day Passes (including a fabulous lunch): 32 spots left. Join us Saturday for a full day of writing workshops—from creative writing to arts grantwriting/publicity workshops. Or drop by for a reading. Or become the reading. The panorama alone is breathtaking. Walk the labyrinth. Listen to the hawks cry. See cpits.org/events.htm; contac Tina@CPITS.org to reserve a spot. CEU units available.

Today's LittleNip:

—Joyce Odam

What, indeed, has become
of that old love—existent for all time
in the nurtured heart—that pit of memory.

What power it pretends—
pressing you to it
like a heartbeat shared.

Forget it. Or remember it. I don’t care.
But quit assigning it the first position.
It has forgotten you.



 —Photo by Joyce Odam