Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Peace Be

—Poems and Photos by Joyce Odam, Sacramento


Peace be to the morning
with its cool announcement of arrival,
pale and thin, on wings of nothing . . .

And peace be to the fading of night
that takes away its dreaming and its sleep
or its long wakefulness . . .

Peace be to the mystery
of whatever is there— or not there—
that turns such pages . . .

Peace be to the memory
and the forgetting of all that needs to be
forgotten and remembered . . .

And peace be to the moment
trembling on the brink of the next one,
and to that mystery, peace, too . . .
(first pub. in
Say Yes, 1999, andA Sense of Melancholy Chapbook,
Rattlesnake Press, 2004)


We are all
even where the dark
is finished
and the paisley
some in white stockings
some in gray
with the stray sunshine
heavy upon the year
for the fashionable dressing
of poetic demands
even as we try
to gauge
the seasonal
nothing so clear
as memory in its revision



The night we lay in pairs on the small slope
of hill, in the rain-mist, the whole sky above
and around us, full of its stars and mystery,
and we under its distance, happy to be

a quatrain of poets, lending our voices
to each other, intimate strangers for
this little while out of the night
that gave part of its self to us . . .

and we lingered, oh as long as we could,
we lingered, beyond language and
bearable thoughts that seemed
to let us agree . . .

the light rain was a happiness—
four strangers who knew each other . . .
unless one of us broke the circle . . .
unless it rained . . .

(After "We come to the Forest Museum" by Taylor Graham)

How easily I recall the dark and pungent
smell of green, the instant coolness,
the shadowy depth, the mystery
that overcomes the known,
the little sounds, heard and imagined.

Here is calmness, mixed with a slight fear :
Where is where in all of this—
pathless and deep,
the sun streaming down
the trees—

the patience—the intense listening—
the humble reverence, realized—
the nostalgic way
the forest claims a part of you
every time you leave it.

(first pub. in Poets' Forum Magazine)

(After The Collected Poems of Weldon Kees,

Who was Sarah—who was John,
that they were dedicated
in a book of poems,
the poet dead now—
missing from his life,
a mystery to solve—
and leaving us to wonder:
Who was Sarah? Who was John?

(After “The Spring and the Fall”
by Edna St. Vincent Millay)

Love with its fever, love with its praise,
love with the stubborn way it stays,
not to remember—not to forget—
or grieve—and yet, how it betrays,
like a stone in the heart that feels no pain
where all the deepest scars remain.

Love with its fever, love with its praise,
love with the stubborn way it stays,
never remembers what went wrong—
even the songs—each tender phrase.
Whoever suffers thus must know
when to let go, when to let go—

go where it will in the scheme of things.
Love is not meant for sufferings.
Every heartbeat still obeys
love with its fever—love with its praise.
This is the hardest thing to know:
to lick the wounds, and just let go.

It was a time before known time,

call it the past, or long ago,
to suffice—
call it ‘humor the imagination’
so poorly nurtured . . .

how else become the bearer
of words, with their story,
brought from
memory’s own shadow,

to be talked about and shown
with great elaboration and desire,
tears mourned
when it was gone, or broken,

or otherwise vanished
from the place of shining—
the story becoming  
mystery now.


Today's LittleNip:

(after "The Mediterranean" by Dufy)

For the sake of blue
Dufy would draw              
beyond the true

simple mystery
and need

to see
let go the rules.


—Medusa, thanking Joyce for today's tasty fare, and noting that our new Seed of the Week is Discoveries. Send your poems, photos and artwork to kathykieth@hotmail.com; no deadline on SOWs.