Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Time's Piano

Waiting For The Music
—Poems and Photos by Joyce Odam, Sacramento, CA


It is the music in the water when I look in
the moon flows through my hair
fish dart through my eyes
my hand meets my hand and the world trembles

I take the cold to my body like a dream
a star falls
I watch it float
a black leaf drifts down over my shoulder

(first pub. in Rattle, 2004)


After Blue Mozart by Raoul Dufy

It is the music, soft and sad, that leans forever
on the light—the ambient shadows close and
listening. It’s but an echo, a recall, the room

defining what you hear, the ghost that listens
by your side. Note the dust on time’s piano,
how the light leaves nothing there, how the

pale light from the window shines upon
the keys. Dusk is always full of longing.
You must bear it. Close your eyes against

the heavy, heavy, yearning. In the corner,
out of hearing, sorrows magnify. Let them
have the thoughts you send them—blue and

lovely in the gloaming—out of time’s own
voiceless praise. Time continues. Music stays. 



Quick as the dance of loneliness, say—or a slip
into time as the sliding backwards into a mirror,

say—or only a sway and sad sway to a music
taken out of the page of some deep memory, say,

and the arms of another dancer—eyes of the other
dancer—body of the other dancer—that harmony

of movement—slow—and—so—beautiful to feel
against the ending—say—of some love

that was almost there—but only in the music.

 High Glee


Mind in muse :
summer by the sea,
a rented cottage,

music pouring out the door—
our young excuse for being careless
with the long sweet days;

the way we squandered them to life,
like summer’s driftwood
on that changing shore.

 Lullaby With Heart


We never learned his
name but one night
in a ho-hum bar
in he came
and took a chair and
from his coat
pulled out a music-saw
ignored us all
and began to play
with such slow effort
to obtain
and then sustain
true tone
but how he tried
and he was
almost good
we were
so charmed
we sat and listened
as each wrought sound
trembled from
his heart
and his work-hands
in home-spun art.

 I Won't Dance

(For Ann)

You know how the dance must be :
futuristic,      slow-motioned,
before a large mirror

in a silent room,      beyond the music,
which has stopped.
And the hours stop

too, and you dance through
whatever you are feeling.
Hypnotic,      somewhere else,

somewhere long ago,
and you dance because
you are movement without music,

only your own interpretation,
what you feel,      beyond yourself,
as if being danced for the room-space,

and for the space in the mirror, which
cannot dance without you. You are
the life of the mirror,      and the dance,

and the impulse
that compels you
to dance with yourself in the mirror.



What is loneliness if not a boy and a gull,
or maybe the lack of a boy, and a lack of gull;

perhaps the cry of some creature, wanting
in; or just the sky, empty of anything.


Go to the first memory.  Make it
gray. Prepare it for your resistance.       


Recreate the scene.  Make it anything. 
Create a storm.  Hide the boy.  Lose the gull. 

Paint over everything
with a slow feeling of joy—at last understood.


Today’s LittleNip:

After “Lifescapes” by Emanuel Kirakou

Oh player of sad music that hurts
my heart—I need to feel what you
make me feel—music that holds me

so still, so haunted—oh player
of sad music, too beautiful to
bear—this is what I want to hear.
(first pub. on
Medusa's Kitchen, 2-10-2010)


Our thanks to Joyce Odam for today’s musical poems and pix, talking about our Seed of the Week, Music. Our new Seed of the Week continues  in the arts: Dancing! Send your poems, photos & artwork about this (or any other) subject to kathykieth@hotmail.com. No deadline on SOWs, though, and for a peek at our past ones, click on “Calliope’s Closet”, the link at the top of this column, for plenty of others to choose from.


 Celebrate the poetry of dance!

Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.