Tuesday, March 06, 2018

A Tiny Burst of Singing

Blue Madre
—Poems and Photos by Joyce Odam, Sacramento, CA

Dear little songbird,

this morning you
gave me one small note
to capture my attention

I stopped
and the day stopped
and I listened—

holding time like that
in a tiny burst of singing

(first pub. in Medusa's Kitchen, 9-9-2014)

 Bottomless Blue


of pre-dawn
just after night’s blue rain.

Winds of no color
break through the night,
sending the dark green trees
and leaves into a flurry.

Even so,
small chirping sounds
of softest yellow
burst here and there.

A squirrel scampers
along a frail board fence
outside the listening window.

I hear all this through
a slow, reluctant waking,
gray threads of
dream-fragments tearing away.

Then comes
the soft gray blue
of morning : 6:00 a.m.
Just like the clock dial said.

(first pub. in Song of the San Joaquin, Fall 2017)

 A Distance 

(After a drawing by Wayne Hogan)

Sheet music in
reads the sky—

sings the notes
to the man
with a cloud in his head

who gestures back
in music:
one arrow

and one piece of moon
create mystery—
all is harmony here.



Now we enter the pink maze. It is summer. Colors
intensify, blur together. We are part of the blue
madness that dominates, confuses. Yellow has no
power here; one end is the same as the other. The
center is nowhere except whichever part of the map
we are on. Shall we panic? Not yet. All is beautiful
here. Kaleidoscopic. We are caught in each fixed
position of the turning.   

 Yellow as Yellow


Now you touch me with poems;
words scatter all over me
till I am drenched and heavy. 
This was not what I meant . . .

Now you assault me with
words I am too slow to catch.
Shall I trust my mirror? 
I look through my mask of

ruined sequins and finger-marks
to my anonymous reflection,
your magnetic words adhering
to the glass—who I was

shivering in salt-light—
a sound of sea-waves rushing up
behind me, one last seagull swooping
toward me with its cold, metallic cry.



You touch the gray light
at the edge of that dark word.
How you speak—

so dense and deliberate. 

Is it regret you say—
so heavy with pleading—
promising everything . . .



Things of the moment charm my senses.
I am open
to sounds and colors,
the rustling of flowers,
how shadows waver for attention.

An enchanted hour forms around me,
or some slow mood of gladness
that cautions me with fear
of losing what I imagine.
Reality has never been like this.

What is happening to my senses?
Is it love? Is it the 'you' of recognition
that tries to respond, though only conjured?
Shall I let myself be overtaken by this sham
of happiness? Can I bear such guilt?

 Flower Hat


barely   touched
a piece of cake
left on the table
on a plate
with a wet
tea bag
the cake
with frosting
in thin strips of
drizzled design
a floated napkin
rippled under
it   and
under the napkin
the paper plate
held down by the
pale   dry   white
of the dried-out cake
by the crusty drizzle
of sickly frosting
by the
near   flight   of the
floated napkin
the   tea bag
is the
true thing
I   don’t   know   why


Today’s LittleNip:

—Joyce Odam

I have set an apple on the table
for you to look at.

Hence, table : flat surface
covered with white cloth,
background : a black diffusement.

All else is not employed.
What color is the apple?


Our gratitude to Joyce Odam for today’s colorful poems and pix, with their echoes of our Seed of the Week: A Touch of Color. Our new Seed of the Week is “Suddenly…”. 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.

And a reminder that today in El Dorado Hills at the library, the Poetry Off-the-Shelves read-around will meet from 5-7pm. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about this and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.


Suddenly Potatoes...
—Anonymous Photo
Celebrate the poetry of being in the
right/wrong place at the right/wrong time... 

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.