Tuesday, September 04, 2012

One Square Inch

—Enhanced Photo by Joyce Odam

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

I remember the billions of stars
on summer nights—the sky
dizzy with my staring up—
the sky clear as time stretching ahead of me.

I was a tiny swirl
of wonder—
on the
spinning ground—
my eyes took in the whole universe.

And once,
when the moon was strangely low and bright,
a boy said
that this night
was the end of the world—
that prophecy had come true—
and made me afraid.

And I looked for the sign that this was so:
and the sky went deeper
and blacker,
and the stars shook—
their light even brighter—
and the full moon
stared back at me,
and I ran to tell my mother.


—Joyce Odam

Repercussions of light,
residuals of dark—
meld of refusal and compromise,

life's crowding moments—
torn open by reach into distance
through hollows of deaf height,

howlings and ravings that fill and
fill—emptying voice and mind
into another world of you.


—Joyce Odam

Where is the sun in this range of shadows—
gray forming over gray—overlapping.

The world is so colorless today,
a landscape made of monotony,

a slow creaking of sound
in the imagination.

Small hills rise into nowhere.
Undulations of time leave their mark,

a slow erosion of pain and solitude—
each overwhelming the other.

How can one live here and not weep,
not with endurance, but with grief?

—Enhanced Photo by Joyce Odam


so far back to be now—
examine all that time and history?

What is there is gone: Was—
was—and is, still.

And do they still exist, the
Eve and Adam—

the perfection—and the blame?
And why are we

still guilty?
Many poets have come after,

and many artists,
and many makers of music—

and do the spheres still listen,
as we listen to the spheres . . . ?

—Joyce Odam 


—Joyce Odam

In the luminous room, shimmers
of lights—reflections on the wall—the
fish tank with the blue water and golden fish.

A glassed-in world—
tiny air-bubbles rising like
colorless balloons through thinning sky.

The ceiling light reflecting
back, until the room is afloat with
water-shadows—water-light—ceiling fish.

(first pub. in Noir Love, Rattlesnake LittleBook #2)


—Joyce Odam

It was the hollow world we entered
with our dream of entering—
with our knowledge of being there.

It was the far room at the end
with its wavering wall
that held firm for our entrance.

And then, the vast potential—:
we could paint everything with our minds:
mountains,   sky,   earth,   our own seas;

we could invent eternity.
How eager we were,
pouring over imagined blueprints.

Oh, the birds we created—
the marvelous jungles and cities,
children of no cruelty.

The weather was divided
into seasons with no extremes.
We balanced everything

to perfection . . . and then,
we left it there . . . slipped out of our world
before it knew of us.


—Joyce Odam

"Only if the moving waters calm down"  —Rumi

out of thought-range
eyes closed against interruption

holiest of moments,
self in deep repose

a soft sway—a listen to
far-away words of music

who knows what they say
music of mind

swirl of stillness
all forces surrendered

the patient dove releases itself
from your darkness

your small world resumes
original scale

only the feeling of joy,
only joy.


Our thanks to Joyce Odam for her usual wonderful poetry/pics fare today. We've had some "silence" poems lately: Joyce's "Nature of Being" with its Rumi quote, and Jeanine Stevens' "One Square Inch of Silence" in last Friday's post. So we'll take their cue, and make our Seed of the Week "One Square Inch of Silence". The busy season is starting; remember to carve some silence out for yourself.

By the way, if you want to access past posts and have forgotten how, just go to the end of the daily post (the cream column on the left side of the blog) and click on "Older Posts", then scroll down to the day you want. Seven days will be there; if you need more, click "Older Posts" again. OR—you can scroll 'way down in the blue box on the right side of the blog (the skinny one under the skinny green box) and go to Medusa's Rap Sheet; you can find every day of posts that way, too.

Another way to access individual poets/poems is with the white search bar at the very top left-hand corner of the blog. If you type in "Jeanine Stevens", for example, you'll see her lovely photogenic face. Then, if you scroll down, you can see all the poems she's posted with us. (You might have to click on "Next Posts" at the bottom of the cream column to see more of them.)

Speaking of poetry seeds, I just discovered the many prompts on one of the Writer's Digest blogs: go to www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides for a passel of 'em! Laura Davis (www.lauradavis.net/prompts) also has weekly prompts. The Guardian used to have monthly "workshops", but they seem to have stopped that in 2011. Anybody know of any other "public" prompt sites?

Oh—and we have a new photo album on Medusa's Facebook page: the first of Katy Brown's powwow pix from her trip to Michigan. Check it out!


Today's LittleNip:


There is always more.
Distance is not far.
There are no maps.
The world travels itself—
after    and after    and after.
We float in a dream.
Sky follows.
The night is full of light.
Moon-light—spreading wide
into thinness.  How far can
that be?  We can see back
to where we are—in memory.

—Joyce Odam

 (first pub. in Poets' Forum Magazine)



 —Enhanced Photo by Joyce Odam