Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Petals in the Throat

—Photo by Joyce Odam

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

The hawk of sorrow hovers in the sky.
Its shadow swells and fills the air with

elaborate possession. It knows where
we are, and it will wait. We feed it

sunshine and lies. It is not dissuaded.
It wants our love. We feed it bits of it

from year to year. But the hawk of sorrow
wants it all. It rests on its patience with

an old, perceiving eye. It knows where
we are, though we put houses between us,

though we send up occasional doves
to arbitrate, and fierce kites of menacing

shapes and size. The hawk of sorrow
merely shifts itself in walls of moving light.

It starves. It wants our love. Tonight
it will come down to claim the last of it.



—Joyce Odam

We were standing on tip-toe
trying to look over the high wall.
The light was thin
and two white doves were cooing.
There is a curse of red in every
black and white, you muttered—
fiddling with your camera.
Something red
caught at the corner of my eye.
Rain came down,
refracting the lowering sunlight.
Little white flowers, tinged
with rosy sun-flare, were making
sad wet shadows on the wall.



(based on Book of Art Noveau Postcards, The Posterists’ Postcards

by Alain Weill, Paris, October 1977)

—Joyce Odam

She balances white doves on the tips of her fingers.
Her loose hair tangles in the wind.  She floats into
the energy of light that envelops her.  She looks at me.
But she is disappearing into time—that old distance.
She wants me to follow.  Her doves flutter away, then
back to her, when she mentions this.  She holds herself
still for my answer.  This is to tell you that if you don’t
hear from me again, I am in the heaven of her promise,
which I believe with all my heart.  Be happy for me.

—Photo by Joyce Odam

(based on Claude Monet: Gare St Lazarre-2)
—Joyce Odam

Owl I cannot see—myth to my ear,
think I hear, when doves coo— near,
and lonely—that’s how an owl must be.

I sense a flutter, which I feel is owl—
secret and low—seeing me as but a form
to pass in swift erase of sound.

I feel its shadow freeze with mine.
I’ve heard of owls—know they exist,
I often hear a dove coo, and think—owl.


(A Rainis Sonnet)
—Joyce Odam

You ask me why the windows go so dark;

I tell you there is no more light to lose.
You pull the shades to their old measure-mark,
I watch the night take on its somber hues

as one last flock of doves flies from the trees
with flutterings of white that seem to spark
and then go out. We feel the moment freeze.

This is the day we entered with such praise.
It dwindles down like all the other days.


—Joyce Odam

She holds
two doves: one close,
one to let go, what she
knows of holding: life is two doves.

Death does
the holding here—
the erosion of time,
She contemplates the doves. They are
her doves.

Stone girl,
stone doves—held by
her fierce love—trying to
grasp meaning—her refusal to
lose them.

One dove
whole, one broken,  
they hold close to her—life
does the healing this time. She lets
them go.


Our thanks to Master Chef Joyce Odam for today’s fare. You can still see Joyce’s photo album, Celebrating 88, on Medusa’s Facebook page. That’s the good thing about those pages—they stay there forever. Scroll around and find all the wonderful albums that our poets have sent us.

The Seed of the Week is Under the Boardwalk. What goes on under the boardwalk? Remember the old song? Are the goings-on salacious, or sad, or celebratory? Which boardwalk is it? Santa Cruz? (See Cynthia Linville’s current photo album on Medusa’s Facebook page for inspiration.) Do you have memories of your own, or fantasies…? Or is it about the sea-creatures who scurry around? Maybe Poseidon and his mermaids are having a Labor Day BBQ. Anyway, take a trip under the boardwalk and tell us about it; send your results to kathykieth@hotmail.com   No deadline on SOWs, though—click on Calliope’s Closet up at the top of the blog for our very long list of previous SOWs and Forms.


Today's LittleNip:

that sound that doves make

soft flutter of their talking

petals in the throat

~ Joyce Odam 



 —Photo by Joyce Odam