Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Maybe Tonight, With Wings

—Poems and Photos by Joyce Odam, Sacramento


I settle down again to words,
those offhand things

that come to mind and urge me
to respond and connect my thought

to their presence. And in such disorder.
How to capture? Which one first?

They have such beautiful shapes and
meanings. And they mean—

and they mean—everywhere at once.
And I try to hurry my hand

with its scribbling pen that goes
illegible, while my mind

stays clear. Oh this is it! This is it!
And I must capture it. And off they go,

while I gather—frantically gather—
before I lose what is scattered there.


It was the last hour. She would enter it
before time disappeared.

She planned carefully. Programmed her thoughts
for the dreams. Anticipated.

Every night it was the same: The helpless
chaos of her mind, going haywire again.

Sometimes she dreamed of a vast body of water
where she drifted toward a cold blue shore.

Trains were the worst, standing empty, or always the
wrong ones, trains she didn’t want to get on, but had to.

She always looked for the exit of the dream
to escape in. Sometimes there was the falling.

Once a wide plateau, atop a sheer cliff; at its center
a tall file cabinet—only place to hide, which was a coffin.

It was a long time since the flying dreams, losing
altitude, all those wires. Maybe tonight, with wings.

           After "Still Life with Ginger Pot II" by Piet Mondrian

Lines break apart to explore the center, which is calm,
which is ‘thought’ in moment of clarity, where a round
thing defines—is defined—a union of answer and question.
The lines maintain their design of being—whatever they
are to meaning, which is not immediate—or meant,
which is only chaos of beginning and continuance. All is
relevance seen by blindness, forming the center truth, which
is and is not, what you thought—curved and perfect—
circular—on the ledge that supports it safely, will not let it
topple into the compositional chaos of lines around it, that
allows it the revelation that reveals and protects it.



We sit in our quarrel chairs.
One of us is weeping;
one of us is wrapped in a
web of silence.

Everything shatters around us
though the room does not change.

Discordance hangs like insanity.
Chaos thrills to our contribution.

The chairs pull apart
by the force of our difference.

We are spinning in helplessness.
We are on our way to emptiness
which opens and closes
behind us.


Surreal force enters, finds Love,
begins its dissolving.

The altered one is turned to
pure abstracted light—

in love with shadow
but without words.

The absorption
is complete.

Now the force
crumbles, becomes chaos.

Damage slides between them.
They become two, forget each other.

(first pub. in Noir Love, Rattlesnake LittleBook #2, 2009)



They leave the day behind, turning their backs on the
house, the slow river, the edges of their lives. They
lean into their going without regret or longing for
surprise. They are through with the old direction. They
head for the memory of home. But such a slow leaving
holds them in a drawn-out illusion of movement as if
they fade into a future that does not receive them. They
do not turn around, though the river becomes a stream,
barely murmuring over the stones. The light is losing its
effect upon the softening landscape. Life seems at rest here.
They have been departing for such a long time, yet have
barely moved from their beginning.

Today's LittleNip:

(The Hubble Photos)

The building sky, so measureless and deep,
deeper than time—deeper than dark or light,
this sky so full of God in his vast sleep
—this abstract God, creating all that is,
even now, out of his churning mind,
the teeming energies that continue to wreak
their splendored violence, revising all that was
—the awesome void without a depth or height,
his chaos dreaming forth for time to find.


Our thanks to Joyce Odam, today's Master Chef, for today's fare, and a few notes, besides:

•••More of Joyce's handiwork may be found in the latest issue of DADs DESK, Sacramento's only large print poetry journal, edited by Carol Louis Moon. Contact her at dadsdesk2@gmail.com for a copy or a subscription.

•••Also new on the "shelves" is another issue of the online journal, convergence; see www.convergence-journal.com/spring15

•••Trina Drotar has posted some photos of the newly-emerging Poet Laureate Park at the South Natomas Library; see Anja SacmetroArts on Facebook. This was Julia Connor's project when she was Poet Laureate, and was designed by Troy Corliss, with poems by Sacramento Poets Laureate Viola Weinberg and Dennis Schmitz, Jose Montoya, Julia Connor, Bob Stanley and Jeff Knorr.

•••Erin go bragh! Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with our new Seed of the Week: Green, whether it's nature, money, being a newbie, envy, or....? Send poems and pix about that or any other subject to kathykieth@hotmail.com/. No deadline on SOWs.