Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Places Full of Shadows

Children Run Past
—Poetry by Joyce Odam and Robin Gale Odam,
Sacramento, CA
—Photos by Robin Gale Odam

—Joyce Odam

At the end of a long street

I see you walking toward me.

You pass window after window

without looking in.

Doors around you open 

and close.

You enter none of them.

Children run past 

and you disappear 

into the swift shadow of time.

It is already autumn.

Will we remember each other?
(prev. pub. in Noir Love, Rattlesnake LittleBook-2, 2007
and in Medusa’s Kitchen, 10/4/11)
 The Way You Touch Both Edges Of Time 
 With Your Reach
It is the cold month,

the month I remember you
as separate . . .  as drift . . .    

as far and near—the way you
touch both edges of time
with your reach

you would love to hear this
there is that fragment of you
that is all touch

how many years now . . .
how many tears and erasures . . .  

—Joyce Odam
The Day Held Me
—Joyce Odam

I wanted to hold this day in bondage,

but the day held me. So many steps

to the door. So many back.

Beware the weather. It is grim.

No letter today. Why wait.

There is no tomorrow.

I could not bear the truth of your eyes.

Your hand was cold in mine.

I forgave you your excuses.

(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 7/15/14) 

—Joyce Odam

Something bends, the night is lonely:
the shivering moon
in the cold water—

the spread of dark—
a lone walker turns a corner,
is gone forever: how do I know this?
(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 7/24/12) 
A Safe Country

—Joyce Odam

Somewhere in the

complexity of loneliness

you wander like a discoverer

picking the darkest flowers.

The vase that I am

waits to receive

what you believe are gifts

from a safe country.
(prev. pub. in The Orchard, 1975 and
in Medusa’s Kitchen, 3/20/12) 


In A Brine Of Tears

—Robin Gale Odam

love goes alone to the
depth of ground level at the
foot of a mountain, to the depth
of sea in a brine of tears,

then at the gatherings, among
the tombs, wailing in a confusion
of biblical reference, then simply
weeping in its right mind

(prev. pub. in Brevities, Nov./Dec. 2020)

As If A Memory

—Joyce Odam

the way it is ordinary,

as if it had no realization 

of what was, and never is again,

layers and layers 

of what takes the place 

of life and its first drift of

sunlight over a gray day,

opening again 

into another tomorrow—

a flash of yellow,

as if that bore 

some importance here—

maybe only a shift of leaves

outside the window

as if a memory just happened.
(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 10/1/13)


—Joyce Odam
He brought the image to her as a
gift. “It is for you,” he said. “It will
be anything you want it to be.”

“It is tearing like the leaves,” she
sighed, “and it is smothering like
the wind that is too full of leaves.”

“What are you thinking,?” he
asked her.

And she answered, “I am thinking
of your hands that bring such gifts
as this.

Taking It All In
—Joyce Odam

This is the all of it, the resistance,

the surrender,

when all argument is done and each value


the purity of all that is given in return

for what is taken.

All of this.

All is all. And enough.

Nothing disproves this.

The balance is held, and still is tested.

It is where reason goes

when there is fear—

some dim, unreachable place full of shadow,

full of following light.
(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 5/20/14)


Today’s LittleNip:

Is there a rage more
than mine . . .

I feel it rise and magnify
and stir the blood . . .

I give it room.

—Joyce Odam 
Many thanks to Joyce Odam and Robin Gale Odam for their finely-honed, slightly spooky poetry today, and for Robin’s photos. Our Seed of the Week was Trapped—and love and loneliness are traps, indeed! Be sure to check each Tuesday for the latest Seed of the Week.
Our new Seed of the Week is for the up-coming Halloween: “Fear”. 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. And see every Form Fiddlers’ Friday for poetry form challenges, including those of the Ekphrastic type.
Today is National Black Poetry Day (https://www.nationaldayarchives.com/day/national-black-poetry-day/), and it will be celebrated at Sacramento Poetry Center tonight with a reading by Traci Groudine and Noa Sanaa, 7:30pm. Click on Medusa's UPCOMING NORCAL EVENTS (http://medusaskitchen.blogspot.com/p/wtf.html) for details about this and other future poetry events in the NorCal area—and keep an eye on this link and on the Kitchen for happenings that might pop up during the week.

Wizarding Studies in Preparation 
for Halloween
 —Photo Courtesy of Public Domain








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LittleSnake’s Glimmer of Hope
 (A cookie from the Kitchen for today):

autumn shadows
 slide crooked
purple fingers
 under the door…