—Photos by Joyce Odam
The air is darkening,
will it rain?
The air is heavy
and has a blue sensation.
And the trees are swaying,
wetly pending, pending,
and the premonitions
are filling up with pain.
(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 9/20/22)
(Another Poem for Ann)
in your little safe house
being the wife
touching the things you own
cannot know where the edge is
it is in this poem
where it cuts
as it does my own
are jealous of the
and your words must be
quick and loud
and filled to the brim with
we spill ourselves
so many afternoons
of living the fragments
I cannot tell you any more
how the vision blurs
to any clarity
little by little
you believe my sadness
I have told you
how it will be
each stage of resignation
there is no warning
we use the habit of
to deny the desperation
(prev. pub. in California Quarterly,
Cal. State Poetry Society, Summer 1973)
—Robin Gale Odam
i was writing earlier, kind of like
the veil of words—rumor, ambrosia,
oleander wine, cipher of interpretation
the reaper sharpens his sickle at the
vineyard—harvest is hypothetical
(prev. pub. in Brevities, May-December 2021)
THE NIGHT IS FILLED WITH BARKING DOGS
far away dogs
who start softly
and you don’t really hear them
and then become urgent and
and soon the echoes of night
carry and distort with the
ragged complaint of the dogs
who answer and answer
and the night is hollow
and lets itself fill
with this chorus of telling
when your listening is
you feel the abrupt silence . . .
in unison they have signaled
and the absence hangs suspended
with shuddering echoes
before it swallows back
along the air
back over the miles of city
back to the cocked listening
of the dogs
(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 4/26/11)
FROM THE BOOK OF ANIMAL TALES
by Arthur Rackham
Framed within a likened border—
a convergence—Old White Owl
in a huddle of listeners
something is being
apprehension builds . . .
a worried tremble of wings . . .
and Parrot knows,
Duck and Pelican know, as does
hulking old vulture and
Old White Owl, in all his
pomp and seriousness, has told them.
(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen, 12/15/20)
—Robin Gale Odam
i read your
closed the book,
dusted the cover
This simple poem,
trying to be
reduced to groping
—wanting to be
eloquent, but failing—
as what it’s not.
listen to me,
this secret . . .
and this next one
caught in mirror—
in doubled light, enamored.
You hear me, see me,
now we can
love—self and each other.
This is not the first time—
so guilty of love.
Now skim the light for texture.
I am here.
left in carnival places—such as
memory—stacked one behind
the other—with all their faces.
Some have fallen—left to be
walked on—their dimensions
worthless. Leaning walls are
but walls now—no more
trick angles and placements
for losing yourself. If you
get caught among them
the EXIT sign is always
(prev. pub. in Medusa’s Kitchen. 7/25/17)
Here at dusk the imitation of
shadow—angle of dark pulled
through a window, thin at the wall,
sheer on the breath—whisper of
I avoid the mirror—I’m certain
there is new territory drawn
The hour will change at the
advent of edits—words on the
page are not the same in daylight
—Robin Gale Odam
(prev. pub. in Brevities, September-October 2020)
I will walk upon the surface of thought
that is much like the density of light
on the surface of water.
I will pass through substance and
emerge unbroken, I will look through
my reflection and become transparent.
Raindrops will splatter my eyes awake.
Love will demand everything of me.
I will make a trap for it.
My song will benefit silence.
I will echo for all time
my life, substance.
I will enter all directions at once
with my curiosity.
Answers will not need me.
I will not mourn one moment over
another, any more than I will praise it.
I will become nothing—then all.
now a wad of blue paper
someone else’s trash
Good wishes of the season and thanks to Joyce and Robin Gale Odam as they write to us about revelations, our Seed of the Week.
Our new Seed of the Week is The Holiday Season. Write about all things connected to The Holidays, whatever those are for you—memories, kvetches, happinesses, sorrows. What do you want for Christmas? What do you think you're gonna get? Send your poems, photos & artwork about this (or any other) subject to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
will be reading (and playing the banjo!)
at Twin Lotus Thai in Sacramento tonight
(reservations strongly recommended!).
For info about this and other
upcoming poetry happenings in
Northern California and otherwheres,
UPCOMING NORCAL EVENTS
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
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