Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Journeys of the Moment

—Poems and Photos by Joyce Odam, Sacramento

“That the science of cartography is limited”
                                   —Eavan Boland

Sometimes I have to read you again,
old map, to find you.

Once you were clearly marked.
A real place.

Many roads led me hence,
through the old thither and yon
of distance...   of time...

Sometimes I have to read you
again, old map, to remember you.

Roads that were mud-tracks...
roads that became highways...
roads that became lanes of freeway...

Sometimes I have to read you again
to simplify you.

Some roads still dead-end.
Some roads brag no ambition.
Some roads claim the same old place forever.

Sometimes I have to read you again,
old map, to locate all those detours.



None of this is real.  Each map is faulty,
untrackable, hard to refold once certain

mountains are crossed.  This one fakes
a malady of summer desert.  Red seems

to predominate the boundaries that slide
against blue oceans, unnamed on any map—

clue after clue of no help—a map that uses
camels instead of newer technologies.


“Life and time are a spiral, then, rather than
  merely a circle with its endless repetitions”
                                            –Roger Housden

To be a spiral, then—be the turning—
the entering and evolving—be the
going and arriving in the
spiralous motion—
                          be the
             distance and
the staying—
since one is the other and it
is you in your own momentum
of existence. I knew this spiral when
falling asleep as a child. I knew it then
and it frightened me. Now I know it as the
journey of the moment into nothing and all is
one sensation—a dot on the map.


two circles— dancing—
various to one another

somber—dancing slow
—tedious and without

except for the dancing

a circular dissent—
sustaining to one another

—almost primitive
a comfort of demonstration

protest,    protest,    protest,

eyes down—
arms at sides—

moving past one another
in stable unison—

in friction of purpose—
tireless beyond what cannot be changed



though I want to know,

without clarity of meaning;
I want to know

in validation
for the concept agreement

of my intuitive sense
of language,

in the
range of complexity;

I want to know its otherness—
the new truth—

the distance

its variance of meaning
that never quite pins down what I ask.


PRAYER NO. 333GM1000

O most abstract holyism,
this century
perfects the stereotype
to a coded sanctuary.
Key-punch a prayer
for our identity.
Do not alter Self
or the Machine
will have to punch new holes
in your godly-card.
We cannot accept
new images for old.
and do not change
that book of fables;
it is haunting
the way it is.
We have looked into science
and died.
We need
the ghost in the soul
and an archaic mystery
for the uncomprehending mind.

(first pub. in Trace Magazine, 1967)


Our thanks to Joyce Odam for today's poems and pix! Roses. Valentine's Day. It all smacks of desire. For our new Seed of the Week, tell us about your desire—for a person, place, thing, career, publication, enlightenment... The human capacity for desire is limitless and endless, it seems. If I Could Have Just One Thing: that's our new Seed of the Week. Surely you have some longing in your life to write about! Send your heart's desire poems to kathykieth@hotmail.com; no deadline on SOWs. 

Tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday, Jan. 29, 4pm), Melissa Studdard will interview Sacramento Poet/Writer/Translator William O'Daly as part of her Tiferet Talk series, sponsored by Tiferet Journal—A Global Writing Community (Literature, Art, & the Creative Spirit, tiferetjournal.com). Tiferet’s mission is to explore the nexus of literature and spirituality. Ms. Studdard, a poet, bestselling novelist, and Tiferet editor, has previously interviewed Krista Tippett, Kanta Bosniak, Andrea Polard, Alfred Corn, Robert Pinsky, Natalie Goldberg, Helene Cardona and John FitzGerald, Molly Peacock, Jane Hirshfield, and other revered poets, writers, spiritual thinkers, and teachers in meaningful dialogue about ways to access the truths of our lives, access creativity, and balance magic and craft. Listen to the interview at www.blogtalkradio.com/tiferetjournal/2014/01/30/william-o-daly-tiferet-talk-with-melissa-studdard


Today's LittleNip:


and curlicues.
White space.
Outside the lines, little escapings:
Leaf shapes.
Cracks in the idea.
Intentions moving in other directions.
Fuzziness and clarity.
Exactness does not matter.
Continue or stop.
You’ll know when.