Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Through Wavery Glass

—Poems and Photos by Joyce Odam, Sacramento

(after "A Fantasy", 1925
Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, 1876-1939
The Russian Museum, Leningrad)

In the dream, the red horse is
afire with muscled energy and light,
with the love of flying.

In the red horse dream, there is no fear.
The dreamer flies—over the small village
that holds them away from the sky.

In the dream, the boy is the man,
gripping his knees to the horse
and locking one hand into its mane.

The man looks backward—
backward—to where
the night is too slow to reclaim them.

The horse has no wings but they fly
into another waking—
whatever follows is too slow. They escape.



I went on a soar—
        dreaming all night.
Lit the moon with my boldness.
        I was made of light.
I was made of cold.
        Did not fear the height.
The billow-gown I wore
        was my travel kite
through the luminous skies—
        the darkness so bright
I knew my way through
        with a vast dream-sight.
The sky was so deep I knew
        it was all right
to be there—like a thought-bird—
        as if I might
become winged—find word
        where throat was tight
with word resistance.
               The dream would invite
me again, I thought, as everything blurred.
               As everything went white.


Time is caught standing still—
waiting for me to catch

up—a flock of white birds
caught mid-flight—suspended

under the half moon where
I hold them with my eyes.

Such mistiming—what pulls
us apart—the twilight

moodiness?—your hurry—?
I turn to you to say

something—but you are not
held in  the same moment—

words slip between—goodbye
floats off into silence.

The caught birds release and
fly into the dark trees.



last summer about this time
I yearned for rain
tried to bring the heavy thermometer down
with hourly eyes

this year the wind is here
rattling the trees and conjuring up
malformed clouds in nervous skies

the crowds at the fair
have brought no sweaters
so they hug themselves
with shivering summer arms

today I have heard
the dark-throated birds go by
leaving scattery secrets of silence behind them

the dog is so young on his chain
he howls his innocent prayers into the
aftermath of sirens
believing this will end
the continual sound in pain

the calendar thinks
it has turned in a dream
it hangs in confusion upon the wall
recounting itself to find its error

if there is rain I will not know how
to love it this soon
one must make ready a long time
for first rain
must really need it

now I can hear cold footsteps in the leaves
but there are no leaves I tell myself
and look through the wavery glass of my house
and yes there are the leaves

(after “Flight of Birds” 1955, Morris Graves)

terror-force of movement
the skies intruding—a collage
of birds becoming a wingless blur
taking on the shape of one comet-fall
through ultimate migration

                           which way forward?

and which way back?

                       the skies change
making a hole  (  )  to fly through
now they are each—fraction of other /
each one leading / each one following:               
        ? how             
                                  remember  them ?



His dream shatters around him;
the weeping women in the mirror, gone; the thousand
golden sparrows of sunlight, flying away from him.

He senses the deep loneliness that surrounds him.
The walls suffer his staring and deepen their
shadows, morning flowing backwards into night.

He looks at the clock and closes his eyes—listens
for the tiny songs of the birds—the women’s weeping,
and begs himself back into sleep.



from the rose,
how pitifully
he leans
his gauzy wings
and flounders
web-thin arms about
to find
the beneficent
Here is drama
singled from
immeasurable life,
here meaning
worthy of
the least compassion.

(first pub. in The American Bard, 1964;
Frog Perspective Mini-Chap, 1994)


Today's LitteNip:


the cloudy eloquence of sky
with its boundless whispering . . .

the somnolent winds that gentle down
into welcome breezes  . . .

the long gaze
into the changing pull of distance . . .

the sudden flight of twilight birds,
releasing around me . . . .


—Medusa, wishing you luck with a challenging Seed of the Week: The Ham-of-the-Month Club