Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Contentment of Promise

—Poems and Photos by Joyce Odam, Sacramento


I heard the birds singing today
under my sadness
and I said,
Should I believe in spring?
Permit feeling?

And the birds were oblivious
to my thought
and they sang in the tree
by my house
where I hung clothes
under a cloudy sky
and I said,
Should I believe
in possibility?
This singing is so pleasurable.

And the birds
sang through my reluctance
to permit joy to enter my heart
and I said,
Should I permit my heart to
open to anything again?

And the birds
continued singing
in the tree by  my house
and I said,
Should I linger at this chore
and enjoy the singing?
And the birds continued,
oh, continued, singing.

(first pub in Acorn, 1996 and Senior Magazine, 2002)



The solstice now.
Weak light of winter.

The year turning heavily over,
like a bear in a cave,
the days of linger past beginnings.

Strange words lining up in the mirror.
A faceless day,
an old yearning—

yearned once again.
We approach the new
and turn a bit sadder.

What a weary thought to think,
so we sleep the harder.
An old bear in a cave has dreams like ours.



we assure ourselves of that,
warmed by the thought.

The CD is slowly mourning its music
like an introduction to an ending.

Only the shy say things like this with
hesitation and uncertainty,

which are both true.
It is a sad now—

a dim realization—like hope,
unwrapped once again inside the heart.

Something will be, something waited for
and loved for its promise. Meanwhile,

winter strikes back with a fierce shadow
that blots out the cold sunshine.

I’ll take what I get from this strange
little scenario: a contentment of promise.


hidden behind foliage
emergent as with wings

partly featured
partly shape
without shadow
light and
slippery dark
one hand clutched to a tendril
leaves breathing around you—

how you push into being
revealing your arrival
into mood
and restlessness
conveyer of energy
and love—

oh, you are ready for all of that
best hurry through your phases
made by water and color to create you

(After "Spring", Watercolor by Claude Ponsot)

(first pub. in
Living in the West, March/April 2014)



It was for you I wore this heavy gown
and brought this gift.

It was for you I grew this thin
and tough as the resisting, jealous wind.

It was for you that now
I grip your hand with such a grip.

Don’t fall away.
Don’t turn aside.

It was for you I learned
to control the erosion of my face.

You’ll not learn who I am until
you look with fear and love into my eyes.

I am the power now. It is for you I touch
your weakness with my claim:

it was you who called me,
and I came.


Today's LittleNip:


twirp twirp    twirp twirp
chitter  chitter  chitter
chip     chirp
twirp  twirp    twirp  twirp
thrun- n  thrun-n  thrun-n
chitter  chitter  chitter
chrrrr   chrrrr   chrrrr
chirp     chirp
chee-er  chee-er  chee-er
chir-r   chir-r   chir-r     chir-r
chip     chirp
twirp  twirp    twirp twirp


—Medusa, with thanks to Joyce Odam for today's delectable fare in the Kitchen, toothsome goodies based on our Seed of the Week: Sure Signs of Spring. Our new SOW continues the theme; this one is She's Nesting! Could be about birds, or bears, or babies of any ilk. Could also be about humans—those urges we get around this time of year for gardening, spring housecleaning—or enticing a mate. Send your poems/photos/artwork about nesting of any kind to kathykieth@hotmail.com/. No deadlines on SOWs, though; ferret around through "Calliope's Closet" at the top of this column for SOWs of the past. Poems and visuals sent to Medusa's Kitchen do NOT have to be about the SOW.