—Joyce Odam, Sacramento
(after the Art Work of Jaune Quick-to-See-Smith
in “A Breeze Swept Through” by Luci Tapahonso)
I - She Enters The Ritual
It is windy.
She must fly or fall.
She holds two bouquets of black flowers
in her upraised hands.
She wears two feathers
in her hair.
A black moon rolls under her feet
like a playful ball.
The Energies fly beside—
her, the horse, the dog,
all—fly with the startled birds.
The first scribble forms.
II – She Becomes Artist
Great Circular Scribble
on the edges of art—as if to deny
her angry part of what she loves.
Stick figures cavort,
with random asterisks for stars,
and a border—
black and dense as suppression.
Who is she—with so many angers
and so much need?
Little black rows of dots proceed . . .
from figures to border . . . back and forth,
as if a map; and always, her finishing touch
imposed—those circular scribbles.
III – She Leaves Herself
One of her runs away.
One of her stays to suffer.
She is a love poem to herself.
She runs past a dark doorway.
The curved moon laughs when she weeps.
Little mountains climb under her feet.
She floats in the tired sky until she is healed.
Of what, she cannot say.
IV – She Revises Her Absence
The horse has been taught to climb the stairs.
A fallen rider chases the horse up the stairs to
The jagged night is full of dreaming.
The poor moon is caught in another scribble.
The small horse neighs.
Everything turns to explanation.
V – She Becomes Who She Is
Now the dance—
only she and the scribbled sky.
She throws everything to memory
with its restrictions.
The horse sleeps as she leaps in freedom
from all restraint.
The black sun whirls out of control.
Stars and ancestors whirl with it.
She calls on the colors, Orange and Blue,
to complete the drawing.
They scribble like a child:
Free Spirit… Free Spirit…
two blue moons and elongated orange—
ghost of black sky.
She leaps into the scribbled energy
with all her love.
NEW YEAR'S EVE
—D.R. Wagner, Locke
We feign a surprise that the end
Of the year has slipped itself
Into the calendar and has
Made a terrible ruckus about
Acknowledging the fact that its reign
Must come to an end.
It seems there is nothing we can do
To stop this from happening.
We choose to make loud noises,
Display fireworks, drink and sing
And make all manner of fiesta
To encourage the year to end
And for another to begin.
But what really happens
Is that the sun appears to go down
For a night and then comes back
As it always has, in the morning.
We enjoy this deception, wish each
Other a Happy New Year
And build another room for our past.