Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Tearing at the Darkness

Depth of Blue
—Poems and Photos by Joyce Odam, Sacramento, CA

PRISMATIC GHAZAL                          

In the morning, the eastern sky fills my kitchen with
first light, so pleasing to the touch.

Stained-glass window-light startles the room. Crystal
is like that when it gets in the way of sunlight.

Sometimes a sunset spreads such a beautiful soft glow
it fills my joy with sadness.

Tearing at new darkness with my ruined eyes, I notice
how jagged everything has become.

Only the encroaching monotone stays the same, a blurred,
gray winter-light that will make no effort.

Oh, to see obverse darkness like that—as a sheet of
memory so powerful, nothing is written upon it.

(first pub. in Poets’ Forum Magazine, 1998)



When I was a cynic, young and sad and longing,
swearing all future loves I would disdain—
and you were a hero—no one to attain,
not even someone I could blame for wronging
my sweet innocence. Love was thought of then
as something which would always be a longing.

Love was a movie. I would be its actress—
all I could gauge by played out on a screen
larger than life—and I an awe-struck teen.
For secret hours I would pose and practice
romantic conquests so it could be seen
how you would love me, once I was an actress.



Here is where a stream of gold light falls across the morn-
ing like a prayer—like a path—like a silence more beauti-
ful than a chorus of sweet voices. It is alive with dust motes.
You breathe into them to watch them flurry. The stream of
old light makes no shadow. It is alive with purpose. You
enter and become warm and golden and fragmented into
billions of light spores—your own brilliance fills the morn-
ing with sweet joy.



Here is where the lonely bring
their lucid prayers to face the four directions
with devotion to the soul
and charm the gods with their surrender.

The hills roll out toward
the far blue mountains—
the churning skies beyond—
where all the winds assail with all the forces.

The lonely ones are pure of spirit now.
Nothing will save or harm them.
They know how to plead.
They learn to love.

 An Old Promise


We are sent to kill each other but we fall in love.
Whatever is wrong between us is confessed and
forgiven, though we have nothing to confess;
though there is nothing to be forgiven.

        I leave a trail for you to follow. It is an am-
bush. You dare not trust me. I dare not warn you.
Nothing is changed between us. We are old fash-
ioned, used to our old methods which others love
about us. We are always “The Entertainment”.
Tonight we are summoned again for our sadness.

 Faux Bird


as in the brevity of thought, as in the brevity…
of words that speak that thought…


…and then the long careful silence afterward…
while the mind…   reconsiders…


oh haste and hesitation…   which one obey?…
to have the say and…


wish not to have spoken…
or speak and be…    misunderstood…

what right have you to…
impose upon…   pleasing fragments of


…a lightness in the tone…    unguarded…
uneasily,  therefore…



and from a distance unrecalled,
the first warning,
a pleasing thought that tried to hide.

But the call was there,
sifting between the silence like dust.
I strained to hear it.

It had words, muffled and tender.
It had urgency,
and made a promise too thin to hear.

Had I time enough I would have followed
the first echo. I counted on the loyalty
of love that was as fragile.

Who was it? What in this terrible moment
of loss took precedence? What did I lose
that mourns so heavily in me now?

I search the golden end of every sunset,
feeling, knowing, and remembering.
But all the sunsets glow like this . . .


Today’s LittleNip:

—Joyce Odam

Come back to me
when the envies are put away
like guilty death.
We have torn all the darkness
and found no light.

We are sane.
Forgive us.


Our thanks to Joyce Odam for her luscious poems today! Her “Sweet Innocence” is a Dragonfly, devised by Edna St. Vincent Millay as: a b b a b a   |  c d d c d c  (1st & last words repeated in each stanza).

Our new Seed of the Week is Waiting For Daylight. 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. Do remember, though, that this is a family blog. . . .  sort of. . . .

—Medusa, celebrating poetry!

Joyce, writing by the sea
—Anonymous Artwork

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