Tuesday, July 09, 2019

The Things We Keep in Drawers

An Un-Title-Ment
—Poems and Original Art by Joyce Odam, Sacramento, CA

(Celtic folklore)

You hear a cry and sense a shadow : a falcon in the torn
hands of a girl, as if one of them is hurt or in danger from
the other, and you note how the moor gives rise to a
swirl of low fog and small circles of whirling light that
enhance the mood, something like a warning.

But you are intrigued—how you simply emerge when
the instant is right : it is night, deepest night, when the
moon is full, but waning. The trees scratch the sky as if
this were the winter edge of the year. You sense a change
as of something remembered long ago : there was a night
like this when your guard was down and your memory
was faulty.

But you are driven, and she stands here now—holding the
falcon—grown twice as large as before. You blame the
chill of your mind and go toward her—but the falcon stays
hooded—and her eyes say no.

 Good Night, Sky


Today it still is summer, last night cool enough
to think about the change of season still to come,
though not yet August, not yet those
unbearable days and nights that swelter
when we yearn
for rain,  for rain,   for rain,
like some denial that one must endure;
and last night’s moon, so full,
outside my window—
so full it seemed
to move—it
seemed to move
in the mild night,
—a pearl-white
moon of midnight—
perfectly arranged for me
to blubber on and on about—
the full moon—window-framed—and I—
attuned to everything, not limp and weary,
but drifted down to one day’s closing hour,
yielding to it, like a comfort ritual, and then
this morning, groping for these words with
which to celebrate in simpler admiration.


After Pink Dish and Green Leaves by Georgia O’Keeffe

As pure as light before time slips backwards into
windows, nothing as far as dark with its limitations.

The mind can go where it wants : take this vase
on this windowsill, how it glows and supports

the burden of filtered radiance, how it knows
how to balance the edges of perspective—

nothing peripheral to claim the eye away from
light’s hypnosis when light has nowhere else to die.

 Neat-Freak Special


We divide our time by wars. Let’s hear it for the dead.
Let’s hear it for the living. Wars keep scores, keep scores.
Let’s hear it for the wars—the death that keeps on giving.

Let’s hear it for the tears. Oh, can the dead be weeping ?
Still ? What if each death deplores the tears that bear the
living, what of the flags ? the crosses ? the gun salutes

and taps ? War adores its widows. Let’s hear it for the
graves, so full of deaths and flowers. Let’s hear it for the
shovels. Let’s hear it for the diggers. Time is not given

whole. It has an edge, an edge. It has a middle. Fold it.
Snap it closed—an uphill // downhill struggle: half of it
is used, the other half is trouble—trouble with the scores.


(Werner Forman Archive)

Their mouths are stone.
Her eyes stay closed forever.
He is only half there—his mind
has already strayed away from her.
She does not know this. She does not
know he is disappearing. Her eyes are
closed. He is being eroded. Their mouths
still kiss, but the kiss is different—his
is amused, unimportant now, she
leans back in full surrender.
They still kiss. Sweet time
will not undo them.

 Blue Muse

After Psychological Morphology by Roberto Matta

The sun is the eye now
How it sees

Spilled jars of colors
Oil on water    Caught by the eye

A fold in the middle
A division    Two sides and an edge

Somewhere a signature    In code
An “N” and an “N”    No vowels

There is always a focal point
That shimmers    That has a center

There are knobs… And tryings
Too slow to verify

Let us leave this panel
Before it overwhelms 

 Big Bang, Baby


Back in the vague dream  :  was I ever a child,
a child that I knew and remember,
rightly or falsely ?

Did I make up my own stories ?
Was I born?

I go to myself with Questions  .  I am a Secret.
I will not tell what I know  .   My mother
Warns me.

The wound is a river—
How can I say such a thing ?
Fragments are islands—
How can I say such a thing ?

a small round table by a sunlit window  ,  curved
to the day’s light ,  a bowl of tiny round crackers
at the center of the table ,  for a child not to touch
sitting at the table — looking out the window —

Why do stories have different endings — this one
that one    ,   the ones   —   not lived   ,   or written   
And What     Is the blesséd light   forever-dulling  ?

 Lullaby on Soothe


a mute in the land of silence
a sage in the land of praise
a singer in a field of song birds
a gossip among rumorous bell-ringing . . .

these are the tellers of what we ask
these are the tellers of what we answer
these are the voices and non-voices of all
the babble with which the world is filling . . .

oh, go to the mute for silence
go to the sage for opinion
go to one who is hushed by birds
and let the old bells keep ringing . . .


Today’s LittleNip:

(After “The Peasant” [dated 1912] by Miro)

How he BbLlUuRrSs in a rage of painted MuSiC
!FLASHing! In!YELLOW! PreeNing in !RED!
BeaTinG the CONE OF MUSIC under his RaPiD
HaNdS—his face gone lax and lost in the Churn
of Rhythm—ORANGE and LOUD—with cool
under-mute of brown and green—the very air
around him charging with !BEATEN SOUND!
—his body—tensioned—He Is The Sound Now—
He Is . . . The Beat . . . The Beat . . . The Beat . . .

—Joyce Odam


Our thanks to Joyce Odam today, exhibiting her wild and crazy side in some of her more playful, experimental poems, plus her always-intriguing zentangles!

Our new Seed of the Week is Creation. 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.

Speaking of Creation, Sacramento’s Jeanine Stevens writes that she has a new book out,
Citadels, from Folded Word Press. (See folded.wordpress.com/portfolio/citadels/.) Congratulations, SnakePal!

Would you like to be a SnakePal? All you have to do is send poems, photographs, artwork to Medusa's Kitchen, at kathykieth@hotmail.com/. The snakes of Medusa are always hungry!

—Medusa, celebrating SnakePals and their creations everywhere

 —Anonymous Drawing

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.