Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Only Joy


We catch the ball of light
under the twelve stars
of some mysterious sky-symbol

and throw it to each other with
such skill that it shines in the air
leaving after-streaks of motion.

Blue was never this kind,
not even the soft blue of twilight,
not even the cool blue of dawn.

Auras of silver surround us,
guide us over the wet sands
by this phosphorescent ocean.

Whispers muffle around us—
those presences again.
Our hands are the

deliberate hands of dancers;
our bodies follow, and we
cannot be silent about our joy.

The hours have more measure
than the moments.
We know a moment of pure religion.

We are bodiless…   Sexless…
Mindless even…
in this simplicity of movement,

this participation
in the surreality of thought…
this fanciful abandon…   This play.

(first pub. in Interim)



Tonight, in the tweak of time, life enters
like a thief, taking what I am. Never mind

the hours waiting for my dreams,
the sweet hours of morning with their

and schemes.

I am not willing,
though I doze, and nod, and waken

at moments—lost—and not of counting, 
which is odd. I have a clock and calendar,

I have plans, small as they are,
not like tireless sands of sleep,

mindlessly drifting—over and over,
through the same container that I am.

I free the night,
I free the weightlessness.



Lovers, lie back
in that filtered boat of light
that swirls about you.

Dip your fingers in the darkness
as into the supporting depth of water
under the drifting boat.

Rock to the floating rhythm.
Let the ripples of light move around you
      like curiosity,
let the dark blend you together.

Be the melting.
Be the curiosity.
Be the imaginary boat on the imaginary

Light is everywhere and is not imaginary.
Darkness supports the light
and is its substance.

You are in the boat of air upon the emotion 
     of water.
You are in a lake of happiness,
these first moments will last you forever.


As thin as Oriental paper—or a white rose—anything sheer—not melting—not even for loss.

As far away as memory—not to be hurt—like an albino wing that must not be touched, no matter how soft the intention.

Don’t we know how damage happens!

Any mirror will do, as long as we can see what we want—

like now—the kiss you send me—the surprise of it—your shining mouth, sensation of glass.

(first pub. in Tule Review, 2001)


Only if the moving waters calm down—Rumi

out of thought-range
eyes closed against interruption

holiest of moments,
self in deep repose

a soft sway—a listen to
far away words of music

who knows what they say
music of mind

swirl of stillness
all forces surrendered

the patient dove releases itself
from your darkness

your small world resumes
original scale

only the feeling of  joy,
only joy.


Our thanks to Joyce Odam for today's poems and pics, riffing on our Seed of the Week, Tiny Moments of Great Joy.

Richard Hansen the Other sent me a poem entitled "Trash and Treasure", which we'll post along with a feature of him next week. (Yes, there used to be two Richard Hansens in Sacramento, although I suspect you may have heard that Richard Hansen of The Book Collector fame has very recently moved to San Diego. See his Facebook page for more info about that.)

Anyway, let's steal our new Seed of the Week from Richard the Other and write about Trash and Treasure, which reminds me of Christmas, actually—the gifts we buy, the food we eat, the exchanges we share with others… What will your holiday season be like? Too much trash, not enough treasure? What kinds of things are you seeing around you? And is it too late to change them? Send your poems on this SOW to kathykieth@hotmail.com No deadline on SOWs—and no deadline on changing trash to treasure, every day of the year.


Today's LittleNip:


flurry of snowflakes
    flutter of motioning leaves
         single drops of rain-light

all of these . . .

—Joyce Odam