Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Caesuras of Your Heart

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

—Joyce Odam

It was because this morning’s full white moon
shone in the window and I happened to look
and could not look away.

It was the endangered way a distracted bird
sat on the fence, so close, outside my intrusion,
and did not fly away when I stood there staring.

It was the studied, patient way a long-dead
picture stared back at me
when I was in a reverie and the clock stared, too.

It was the brooding way I could not answer my
own lost self that could not move, for the world
fell back, and time stayed frozen to my thought.

It was the unrelenting way some time-worn
heaviness became a weight that this day made me 
wear—like a heavy garment made of grief.   
(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen. 4/6/21)


now the bow is drawn
sunray holds the glint of scales
in a catch of shade

just beneath the plane of view
arrow whispers to the heart

—Robin Gale Odam

—Joyce Odam

I almost hear his word.
He whispers and averts his eye.

We touch the narrowed walls
that soften down the muffled halls.

I think he threatened me
with love. I think he said goodbye.

(prev. pub.in Medusa’s Kitchen, 1/5/21)


—Robin Gale Odam

A furious sun had surrendered to dark-
ness. The day had cast something into

the twilight—it lingered over my sleep
and lured me to the wake of night, like

a fisherman casting into ripples above
the shadows that fall through dreams.

(prev. pub. in Brevities, July 2016)

—Joyce Odam

What is this force of blueness
that comes from everywhere,
that we know will swallow us.

Look how it is forming—   
becoming a climate.

It knows where we are.
It has not yet made a decision.
Come, let us dress for the weather.

(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 4/12/22) 

—Joyce Odam

My father is an old rumor.
Where is he now,

his lifelong disappearance
still disappearing?

Life goes one way by itself.
What if my life had held him?

Father, I name you ghost.
Ghost-Father.  Haunt.  Haunt.

(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen 6/2/10;
11/1/11; 6/19/12; 6/23/15)
To Say

—Joyce Odam

And now we get into lines
that stagger away
and down

the page
of your thought
that builds and carries

and we get to your
breaking parts—those
caesuras of your heart and

the abstract hesitations
of your eyes—and the way
you whisper to yourself,

and we get to the reason
you allow yourself to follow
what you do not know,

and I love
the way the rain
leads the way with this.

(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 10/11/11; 11/9/21) 

—Joyce Odam

Imploring them,     repeating them,
becoming intimate with their meanings,

though that is not important to know.
I want,    I need,

their texture—
their silent directives.

Old muse of me
hurts to want so much of them,

thinking them necessary to use for language:
that precision,    that tone,    that undertone.

(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 4/19/16) 
All Said

—Joyce Odam

Song becomes song, which becomes
whisper, which becomes lament.

All has been told, and told again in silences.
There is a rage that has been tamed.

Something in the eyes commands light.
Darkness cowers.

Only love knows love,
which becomes honest. This is true.

(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 2/12/19;
2/16/21; 7/16/22) 


Today’s LittleNip:

now to remember
it was then and nevermore
ever shall I pine

gathering the cherry fruit
we were in the childhood then

—Robin Gale Odam


Joyce and Robin Gale Odam have sent us fine murmurings about our Seed of the Week, Murmurations, and we send back our thanks, as always, for their poetry and for Joyce’s photos!

Be sure to check each Tuesday for the latest Seed of the Week. Our new SOW is “Toxic Relations”. 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.




"… and I love the way the rain leads the way…"
 —Photo Courtesy of Public Domain







A reminder that, in addition to
Sac. Poetry Center’s weekly
Tuesday night workshop in Sacramento,
there will be a Poets and Writers Workshop
in Cameron Park today at 5:30pm.
For info about these and other
upcoming poetry happenings in
Northern California and otherwheres,
click on
in the links at the top of this page—
and keep an eye on this link and on
the daily Kitchen for happenings
that might pop up
—or get changed!—
 during the week.

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; or there's an "Older Posts" button
at the bottom of this column; or find previous poets
by typing the name of the poet or poem
 into the little beige box at the top
left-hand side of today’s post; or go to
Medusa’s Rapsheet at the bottom of
the blue column at the right
 to find the date you want.

Would you like to be a SnakePal?
All you have to do is send poetry and/or
photos and artwork to
kathykieth@hotmail.com. We post
work from all over the world—including
that which was previously published—
and collaborations are welcome.
Just remember:
the snakes of Medusa are always hungry—
for poetry, of course!

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

tapestry of wet leaves
blankets the black
and more to come!