Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Dreams' White Soaring

—Poems and Original Artwork by Joyce Odam, Sacramento, CA


She is untitled as usual. She is too blue for explanation,
as if left between dances, or looking to be forgiven
for one of her follies.

A figure comforts her, sad and ugly, left over from some
dark thought in a self-hate mirror, finding its way back
to her—a collage of longing. The poor artist

struggles between them—growing insignificant at the
power of his art, having lost control of his creation.
Only now there is this terrible love

that will face every barrier of shock and disapproval.
Only tragedy will result. How can he save them now?
Their eyes have made the connection.



She is one whose perfection is ruined.
Patina.    Hairline cracks.    Faded color.

The artist would turn in his grave and
she would weep, or rage, or merely sigh,
depending on her temperament.

Museum-goers marvel and speculate—
admire the frame,    the light,    the detail,
study her eyes and make up the story there.

Meanwhile, the aging is part of ageless time,
she, of course, long dead, and the artist, too.

But the straining canvas under the image
struggles to retain the early skill of capturing
what, even now, is growing ever more elusive.

 Rain or Shine


It is the way you treat light—
trial of all its properties
magnet of its releasements.

You own the word,
own the darkness too,
make it find you.

You rim the dark with light—
one against the other—Blend
and Separate.

Your will, a surrender to art,
form out of nothing
Dark.    Light.



If she is posed before a window for your art, and you, in
charcoal effort, give her a certain beauty that she does not
have, because she is a sullen model, or a timid one perhaps
a dreamer, dreaming for herself—not for an artist,

—while behind her, the drab world shows how lost this
room and she is, and you decide her otherwise and give
her a role—another place—or this one—that’s not it.
There’s something that you want from her. She moves.

There’s only so much light to use. You use it fast—create—
confuse, until she levitates—relaxed upon her shadow—
the yet-warm couch below echoing her outline, the plain
back-drop of roof-tops through the window falling back
into a row of hills, and farther back, the sunlit clouds she
floats upon


After “Aunt Leaf” by Mary Oliver

always me—
in long ago
tug of being
child within child
evolving into
future self
I watch her playing :
pepper tree
no sibling
she doesn’t remember
being ten
or eleven
years fuse
like stuck pages
she lives in patches—
self within self



Move us and delay us,
create any change for misery or gain.

Whatever resists
may be healed or destroyed.

Shadows crawl into other territories
to suggest a fear made obvious.

What does the dark bring?
(Something is always there.)

What is safe for the wary?
(An echo lasts forever.)

Still sounding
from the long effort of listening.


(For Vernon)

These stones
of your creation,
rubbed with gold of
densely deep metallic
tones, texturized and altered
by the inner touch of joy —
where eye and heart and love
release the knowledge of your
touch, come free at last—artist
of joy—joyous painter of rocks.


Today’s LittleNip:

—Joyce Odam

seagulls drift in the white sky
and are not amazed that it is night
and my dream of them

they cry their white cries
and search for themselves
in the translucent dark

all night they make the sky invisible
and my sleep that harbors them
I am held in dreams’ white soaring

(first pub. in
Medusa’s Kitchen, 2012)


Our thanks to Joyce Odam for her fine riffs on our Seed of the Week, “Creation”! Our new Seed of the Week is “Where Shall We Go?”. 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.

—Medusa, celebrating creation of all sorts!


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.