Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Width of Forever

—Poems and Photos by Joyce Odam, Sacramento


arc me into long flight
indiscernible curve
no thought backwards

pin me into staying
I with my
butterfly shape
and moth journey
and no love for velvet

circle me deep
of one continuous spiral
I who am always falling

brace me with edges
I who collect things for boxes
and fill them with dust and
never open them

scribble me sane
I with my loud dark line
all in a tangle

blot me with slow surrealistic white
in drift of easiness
tender phasing into dream flight
fancy me the soul of a bird
no song
no care
vision me everywhere

(first pub. in Cellar Door, 1979)


(After "Snail" by Federico Garcia Lorca)                           

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 DADs DESK,  2011)


Quick Impressions (After Frank O’Hara)

I sink back into tall green grasses.
A soft breeze bends the grasses over me.

Sky-clouds form,
and reform. Voices call my name—

my name that I do not want to hear.
I will not remember my name.

I am in my dreaming.
Awake. Floating in the sea of grasses,

I, and the motioning green shadows,
borne upon the width of forever.

I will never come out.
I am green grass and green shadow.

Even the sky makes room for me—
all energy—one wide presence

without form—
everything alive in my thinking.

A child wants to be alone with child-self. 
No voice. No calling.

(first pub. in Living in the West, 2013)


I feel to my center, which is unborn. 
I cut myself open to know myself.
I become two others.

I look for patterns.
I am tested
and torn. Everything

is moving 
the same distance
away from me.

I think in whorls.
For healing
I must get to the lapidary.



I am your sad lady—transparent in
the wind. Your web floats free from me
yet I can’t leave it—I am that kind of
darkness that stays, that never fills.

I wear the costumes you bring
that do not fit me.
They fray when I walk. They tear
when I turn to answer you.

I remain in the visible circle.
My feet are sewn to the ground,
my arms are heavy
when I raise them toward the edges.

Why do you love me?
I am unkempt from struggle.
Those paths upon me
are not the known ones.

I follow the hopeless birds
with their innocence and light;
they tangle in the sky
as if there were webs in it.

I am standing still
in my dress made of water.
It moves when I move.
I flow with movement.

I breathe against the circle.
The web glistens. Sunlight
is drowning against the mind of
the bird that flies right through me.

(first pub. in Epos, 1975)



You have brought me a love poem,
and I learned its words and sang it back to you.

Your prayers were chants of sorrow.
You made me learn them, and now I pray for you.

You make circles and circles, which I enter.
They are both vanished and deep. Where am I.

Your eyes pull downward, and I find drowning
and a dark sleep. We are so old here.

Our eyes have turned to a grave of sadness.
The other mourners have left, and we no longer weep.


Today's LittleNip:


In the center of my mind
a little child is
learning to be me.

She is as old as my death
and she is blowing out
our birthday candle.

(first pub. in
Whole Notes, 1997)


—Medusa, with thanks to Joyce Odam for her poems and pix about last week's Seed of the Week, This is Me... Let's celebrate butterflies and moths with a new SOW: Lepidoptera, either the ones flitting from flower to flower, or the kind that settle in the pit of your stomach, or....? No deadline on SOWs, though. Reach into the past by clicking on Calliope's Closet (our inner fuchsia page at the top of the blog), or reach into the future by making up your own SOW. Be sure to send it to the Kitchen, though, at kathykieth@hotmail.com. The snakes of Medusa are always hungry.....