Tuesday, October 03, 2023

Waltzing Into Fall

How Timeless The Night
—Poetry by Joyce Odam and Robin Gale Odam,
Sacramento, CA
—Supermoon Photos by Robin Gale Odam
—Joyce Odam

This is a waltz.  How faintly
the music plays for the dancers
whirling on the veranda,

how the late Summer curtains
blow in and out the open windows.
How timeless the night is—

how far away the morning.
From where does the music come,
so flawless and perfectly timed.

The night has been silent too long.
Tears have been shed for the memories.
Words have failed.

What dancers are these
who seem so involved
with the intricacies of the dance,

who have no faces and do not belong here.
There is no one but us,
and even you are conjured.

(prev. pub. in Senior Magazine, 2011
Medusa’s Kitchen, 7/20/21) 
At This Hour

(After “Love Calls Us to the Things of This
World” by Richard Wilbur)

—Robin Gale Odam

In the pale blue center of the dream
angels surround the dreamer in the deep
blue of the long, low, breath of the dream.

Angels hold the dream of the dreamer,
at the end of the dream, in the blue room,
in the deathless night.

(prev. pub. in Brevities, December 2017
and City of Sacramento’s
E.M. Hart Senior Center
Poetry Writing Group Anthology, 2018)


“Our house was in sound of the church bells”
—Joyce Odam

Who hears the bell-sound in the rain
         —the soft wet dripping as it
                    muffles the neighborhood,

or is it the hollow song of the 
         rooster from somewhere in the                      
                    distance—somewhere rural.

The rain makes everything
         hollow; its waning fills 
                    the night, which is morning.

How can one bear the realities that
        stifle and insinuate themselves                     
                    with such knowing? 

It is all helpless irony—the rain 
        that is here, and welcome—
                    the rooster’s wet crying.

There are too many sorrows to share.
        They are swift and brimming.
                   They are released at this hour.

Oh, do not mind them,
        they are harmless
                  —beyond crying.

(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 10/11/16
Song of the San Joaquin, Winter 2022)


—Robin Gale Odam

But the day grew dark
even as I waited there,

held my head up high,
drank the colors of the sky—

tea leaves promised you to me.

(prev. pub. in Brevities No. 179, 2018
and City of Sacramento’s
E.M. Hart Senior Center
Poetry Writing Group Anthology,
That Holds The Balance

—Joyce Odam

the drone of sound, 

its soft monotony, 

the sound that links 

that hum beyond 

the folding din and 

what it becomes 

that almost sensory under-

tone that holds the balance 

against the sway 

the orange sound in the 

working of the butterfly’s 

strong wings 

the sound made when 

a brown leaf falls 

on a brown day

(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 11/14/17
Song of the San Joaquin, Fall 2018)  
 The Bookmark

—Robin Gale Odam

Now the sleeper dreams in the
book of fables, bookmark at the
one page read to pass the winter.

But the night stays in the frozen
dream, in the blue of cold under the
silver baldachin of winter leaves.

The bookmark holds the page at the
litany of the night, for redemption of the
dreamer in the asylum of wintertime.

(prev. pub. in
Song of the San Joaquin, Winter 2022)


—Joyce Odam

The woman shopper
cuts through
the city’s graveyard,
a wheeled cart,
pulling her daily meaning
through the finished
leaves that break
beneath the mourn
of old, dark trees.
She does not look
at death
or its inscriptions—
she is too imminent
for that.
She walks in her own
in the cold and stippled
thinking of supper.

(prev. pub. in Song of the San Joaquin, Winter 2019 )
 The Waking In The Dream

—Joyce Odam

the leaf in the falling
the word in the silence
the work in the effort

the wish in the loss
the sound in the whisper
the whisper in the sound

the loss in the finding
the dream in the waking
the risk in the taking

the sound in the silence
the sound of the echo
the since to the when

the voices in the water
the water is the voice

the water is the voice
the voices in the water

the leaf in the falling
the falling in the leaf

the work is the effort
the wish is the loss

the sound in the whisper
the whisper in the sound

the loss in the finding
the finding in the loss

the dream in the waking
the waking in the dream

the risk in the taking
the taking in the risk

the sound in the echo
the echo in the sound

the sound in the silence
the silence to the sound

the since to the when
the when to the since

dreaming is the whisper
and whisper is the sound

water in the voice of now
dreaming in the whisper
whisper with the sound

dream in the waking
the remaking—something
is the matter


—Joyce Odam

Up against the mountain
where the climb is high,
I hear the old sweet cry
of the crying bird.
It knows
how I aspire
and why.
It flies aloft
even as I
It’s not
the wings
I need
I am
too slow.
It’s not
for reach.
The climb is all I know.

(prev. pub. in
Song of the San Joaquin, Winter 2020)
 If Ever I Should Weep

Today’s LittleNip:

—Robin Gale Odam

I hold your love, clear as water
summoned to my palm—and if I gaze,
as into crystal, you will stay with me

but if ever I should weep for you,
salt will steal you then away.

(prev. pub in
Brevities, May 2018 and
City of Sacramento’s
E.M. Hart Senior Center
Poetry Writing Group Anthology
, 2018)


Team Odam (Joyce and Robin Gale) is back with us today—two fine bards singing of the changing seasons, and we thank them for that!

Our new Seed of the Week is “Connections”. 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.

Be sure to check each Tuesday for the latest Seed of the Week.

The October issue of Sacramento Poetry Center’s
Poet News is available online now at https://www.sacpoetrycenter.org/poetnews, and it’s packed with information, including a rundown of activities for the upcoming Sacramento Poetry Day on Oct. 26. One of the features of this year's Poetry Day will be the taping of a conversation about Landing Signals, the anthology which was put together by Sacramento poets in 1986; an article about Landing Signals has a photo of some of those poets, with Joyce Odam right up front, along with Julia Connor, D.R. Wagner, Mary Zeppa, Ann Menebroker, and Pat Grizzell. Poet News Editor Pat Grizzell is doing a bang-up job, I must say. Check it out! (By the way, yesterday I warned you that there might be additions to this week's calendar, and sure enough, there are several! See http://medusaskitchen.blogspot.com/p/wtf.html/.)


 —Photo Courtesy of Public Domain
Autumn Cake to celebrate National Poetry Day
coming up this Thursday. Sac. Poetry Center
will hold an open mic reading on the theme of

A reminder that there will be
a workshop in Cameron Park
at the library tonight, 5:30pm.
For info about this and other
upcoming poetry happenings in
Northern California and otherwheres,
click on
in the links at the top of this page.

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.

Find previous four-or-so posts
by scrolling down under
today’s; or find previous poets by
 typing the name into the little beige box
at the top left-hand side of today’s post;
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Would you like to be a SnakePal?
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that which was previously published—
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Just remember:
the snakes of Medusa are always hungry—
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LittleSnake’s Glimmer of Hope
(A cookie from the Kitchen for today):

Diva shrieks in C# minor—
tiny pig protests
having dainty hooves