Tuesday, January 04, 2022

New Beginnings

The Occasion of Life
—Poetry and Original Artwork by Joyce Odam, Sacramento, CA


In the great brim of morning
I feel a bird about to sing

I know that its song will fall
upon the blue silence and be broken

I know that I will listen
and be startled

I feel the small bird shudder now
and waken

I feel its eyes
upon the morning

I must prepare myself…
I must prepare myself…

there…    there now…
its     singing.
The Mind


12:51 a.m.
a flock of wavering cries, geese,

nearby a car engine
rumbling in place,

a vibrating radio throbs by

filling the quiet now,
earned by the listening.
The Knowing

Angel, stretches out her wings to fly,
but something whispers, Lover, mentions pain

and offers her a different kind of name,
and she would seek an answer from the sky,

but something urges that she not abstain.
Shy Angel, stretching brilliant wings to fly,

a dark voice whispering Love and mentioning pain
—as nothing that she knows—and could she die . . .

only from love, and never from its blame—
the voice, cajoling—love is like a flame . . .

positioning her wings, as if to fly,
something whispers, Love,

and mentions pain
and offers her its different-sounding name.



Three of them today—white egrets in a field of
winter—bright in the sunlight that came down
upon them in a dazzle of surprise—three

stillnesses at different angles of attention—
we almost let our eyes not see them, they were
that brief, we were that swift with driving by

in our red car, talking about the many nothings
talk is full of—then—three egrets in a still,
brown, field between the encroaching houses.

(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 12/20/16)
Eyes In Half-Light

          After “Mourners in half light”—Carol Frith

Here where mourners struggle in the half-light
of your poem, I remember the occasion of life.

Words are not that different, you remind me.
They are common to the errant usage of love

and how it endures. The light is so artificial here,
I marvel, so thin and transparent along the edges.

You murmur that darkness is always the reason :
bracing the energies—building the center

with a constant treading. Then how, I ask,
can you explain that color—and that color—

blurring by—at the speed of slowness—
slow enough to wonder at the strangeness.

You tell me that color always moves like that . . .
like that soft goldness . . . and that thin silvering.

When will we truly find each other, I question.
You hear me and mention the time spent

in dreams —in conjurings and forgettings—
all that will evolve into all that we ever wait for.

(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 5/30/17)
The Weight of Silence


She takes shape in the light, lets wind find substance,
alter her—move away—return. She is
still there, under every influence.
Sounds repeat her.
Silence listens.
She is all to all.
Love receives her,
moves through her—
texture-less and she
is different. She goes
through the sad wings
of walls—her own lift and
assist in this small migration.
She assumes the distance, retains
the white mask and borrows the white voice
of shadow. Only the horizon knows when she
will arrive and what will be there. She will keep
the expression she has worn for her life—the white
mask of. Under that, her face will be calm. Her eyes
will be one with her thoughts. She wants to bring back
the experience : the way the light held her into being—
the way the dark contained her—the way love remembered
her—the way the wall of wings let her through to their holding.

(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 4/14/15)
A New Wine


It was the hollow world we entered
with our dream of entering,
with our knowledge of being there.

It was the far room at the end
with its wavering wall
that held firm for our entrance.

It was the vast potential—:
we could paint everything with our minds—
mountains,   sky,   earth,   our own seas,

we could invent eternity.
How eager we were,
pouring over imagined blueprints.

Oh, the birds we created,
the marvelous jungles and cities,
children of no cruelty,

the weather divided into seasons
with no extremes.
We balanced everything

to perfection . . . and then,
we left it there . . . slipped out
of our world before it knew of us.



In the garden, O fated one, I sit with my cup
     extended and empty, waiting for the wine
     of rain to fill it to the brim and overflow.

I wait until nightfall. I wait until dawn. I wait
     through all the promises with my waiting.
     And my hand does not tire, O fated one.
My face is serene, O divine one, waiting for
     the expression of your approval—the
     dark mirror of your face into which I stare.

The twilight shadows creep across
     the ground, and up the hem of my robe,
     and even myself, to conceal the waiting.
O, I wait forever, with patience, which is all
     I have, and in which you are timeless.
     Even so, the dawn brings more waiting.
My loyal cup waits for the rain, O fated one,
     empty and thirsty and sure of patience,
     though my hand now trembles as does
     my mind in the concept of waiting.  

What do I see in the shadows that touch so
     lovingly around me, what trembles there
     with confusion and brings no news of rain?
The Many Nothings

Nothing is everywhere, it moans and listens.
It listens, along with me. We are attuned
and there is nothing everywhere.
Oh there were signs
and confusions one could follow
that had nothing to do with direction.
I have an obsession but cannot say
how dangerous the mind is in surrender.
Hear me through the distortion
of my explanation :
the day is filled with answer,
I bring my questions and my turbulations.
I dance to this, I writhe and bend with agony
and learn to suffer. My mind is flattening again,
still wanting, and still wanting—both are same,
same and different. When did sound become words,
how they misconstrue and blame.
Some words are powerful, some inane,
work against each other. Something stays
aloof, the very thing want needs.
How complicated now the sortings and
the findings. The eyes surrender.  
Effort takes another misdirection. Everything
is plural. Nothing is everywhere, still advising.



Ever-mood—bland face—locked in by
window—not flesh to touch—but some
transparency of theme, reflection of some
materialized dream that leaves you—

sleeping, pale, pale as the day that turns
to shadow as you feel the evening slide
on your stillness to justify the resignation
you avow. Surely you wait with sighs—

no breast heaves—no beat of pulse denies
the total stillness, a flock of leaves you
symbolize whirs down. Lips do not move,
yet smile. Light shudders and is gone.
Time As Timeless


Tomorrow is another, but tomorrow is here
with a different number for reading, and the
dark dream is not yet ready to be, and this is

what time is to the timeless : ever too late or
early, and there is wisdom in that, not to care
or court, or be unready for readiness. But why

tomorrow—why not now—time beating itself
to death, or the word you can’t bring up for the
saying. It occurs to me, just now, that

yesterday’s full moon has reached its fullness
and I should go out and look at it, but I am sit-
ting here thinking such a randomness that I

must not be sidetracked : I am on a mission
and it is slipping away from me—I may not
be able to read all this later—and that would

be a shame . . . that’s what I tell myself . . .


Today’s LittleNip:

(After a drawing by Wayne Hogan)

Sheet music in
reads the sky—

sings the notes
to the man
with a cloud in his head

who gestures back
in music :
one arrow

and one piece of moon
create mystery—
all is harmony here.

(prev. pub. in
Medusa’s Kitchen, 3/6/18)


Thanks to Joyce Odam for our “songs for a new beginning” today. All of Joyce’s poetry and art are songs to move us, to heal us, to help us start over whatever the light.

Concerning which, starting over means letting go of the past. I mean really letting go. So our new Seed of the Week is “To Hell With It!” 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.

Another typo yesterday: I left off the first line of Joseph Nolan’s poem, “The Election Cycle”. I fixed it, and now I’m going to go wash out my proofing eyes and do better this year.


—Medusa   🤪

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.

When typos pile too high....