Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Blessings of Gratitude

—Poems and Photos by Joyce Odam, Sacramento, CA

looking out the window

thank you,
for the rain
dark bird shadows
hunched on swaying wire
the wind
the wind
takes the blossoms
for the wind   

the pavement glistens
bright new weeds

new green leafage
by the trees
scampering through                 
the branches



When I was the one, the first holy one,
of my other being; when I knew myself,
and the way of myself
and out of longing for myself,
and there was no other,
and even then I sought,
and my own blood was flowing,
and I bled until I was pure of my bleeding,
and this was God
in my pleading,
and I answered,
and was ordained to ever ask
and answer
and still I complained of my prayer
and my conviction,
and I went to the tower of words
and it was a mountain
and it leaned into the falling sky
and even then I signified nothing
for a moment,
for a long, powerful moment,
and was united with my birth
long after I died,
and thus I cried and cried
for myself and others
and nothing came to me
except my ego which was made of words
made of thoughts, and they entangled.
Oh, why do I remember this?
It was all done before it began,
and I was diminished.
My tears drained me and I was a river 
pouring down a mountain in the eyes of God.



If I were the sea
I would use you for a focal point:
your light for my darkness;

I would use you for a boundary
to gauge my edge against;
I would know where I could test
my calm and fury,
let my ships beware,
warn my whales,
and give your shore-gulls praise
for marking stormy skies
with their whiteness.

I would always know where you are
so I could ever surge toward you
with my lonely power.

(first pub. in Poetry Now, 2009)       


at night,
through the night
into morning—

to the listening
of the bothered,
the receptive—

some kind of mystery—
the birds . . . the listening . . .



Angel choirs
of ancient voices—
voices of the harmonies
of all voices everywhere
that sing from heaven—
that place of ethereal music
one hears in the mind of yearning.
Angels do not yearn for listening.
Silence does not yearn for music.

Voices of the wind sing through old houses
where sleepers dream of what the winds
bring to silence.  Only the hours know
of the emptiness that lasts after weeping
—hymns of sorrow—old sorrows
that still live in such houses.



Take this piece of joy and deliver it safely;
offer it to the first unhappy person
that you see, even if it is yourself.

It is a small flicker,
like a match-flare in the dark,
yet still a spark of happiness.

Give it your protection.
It is not for the gods of doom and woe
who will take it from you if they can—

look out for them—they will be the ones
who seem too greedy, touching you with
such sad demeanor, ravenous and pleading.

 Study in Black


I own the century.
I stand on the pinnacle of life’s expansion.

I wrap my arms around the width of my illusion.
Skies are empty of falling. I have wings.

My smile covers my face
for you to see.

I never surrendered my bitterness and question
to your confusion—I am that complicated.

I am the pose of patience and observation
of heart and soul.

I have great offerings of wordless meanings
and gestures.

I tremble with light
that steals my shadow.

I am without substance now.
I am all mind—

separated and combined.
Am I the answer?

 Starry Night


Let things become as they will be.
Fact then assumes fiction.
Dry facts. Exotic fiction.

Rituals need substance.
Holy and unholy. Iconic knowledge.
Let us bless. Let us pray.

The answers come as mystery.
Mystery assumes its own necessity.
Thus do we believe what we believe.


Today’s LittleNip:

—Joyce Odam

Where we are rich is where some happiness
fills a particular moment without reason or
specialty—only its little change of light
that makes its point at some lift of darkness—
and allows the blessing of gratitude . . . .


Thank you, Joyce Odam, for singing about our Seed of the Week: Unexpected Joy (Joys from Joyce!) on this New Year’s Eve, and for cheering up our dark skies with your splendid flowers!

Our new Seed of the Week is Regifting. 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. (Check out The Regifter Book of Poems by MarcAntonio Murillo at www.goodreads.com/book/show/43312681-the-regifter-book-of-poems/.)

And yes. there's no apostrophe on "its" in the cartoon below. But I think the message is worth overlooking the typo, yes?

—Medusa, who celebrates the regifting of fine poems over and over in the new year!



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.