I found you
folded in the armpit of a megadune
you were crying
and the winds of the Taklamakan Desert
whipped up sand -
it clung to your face.
I had been stepping through sand
on all fours
in search of a lake.
After two days,
I was trying not to believe
it to be fabled.
I had been left by my Bactrian mate,
not long ago,
for a Uighur man with dusty black hair
and green eyes of jade.
To bide time,
I had been pushing a poem,
endlessly trying to find words that hung together
but nonsensical strings of adjectives
tumbled out in the heat.
I tried to find verse
in the sun and the sand,
I looked for inspiration
in the stars and the wind,
in my breath;
in my fantastic illusory oasis,
no words came ::
but more sand, and more sun,
more wind and more stars, and my breath,
and more sand,
and more sand,
and then you.
(Written July 12th to 15th, 2010, while traveling along the Silk Road in Xingiang Province, China.)
I first encountered this poem just last week, sent from a friend who thought I would like it. As I'd been hemming and hawing about which poem/poet to post here, the arrival of this poem in my email was a serendipitous moment. I emailed my friend and asked her who the author was, and could I get permission to publish it. She responded that Odawni was in China and was due back in Seattle the following day. Luckily, we were able to make contact, but only after Odawni recovered a bit from jet lag. I received permission from Odawni and a bio late Sunday afternoon, and was able to post it in time for those of you on the other side of the planet to (hopefully) enjoy it with your morning coffee/tea. I am delighted to say that this is her first official publication.
Odawni AJ Palmer has been writing for most of her life - jotting down verse and words in notebooks, on napkins, airplane sick bags, and anywhere ink will sink. She is working on a compilation of poems and writings from the past 15 years entitled Senescence. She enjoys and garners inspiration from travel, people watching, photography, and from indulgence of the silent moments.
You can read more of her writing and view her photography at her blog: http://kimemeera.wordpress.com/.
T. Clear, this week's Tuesday Poem editor, is an award-winning Seattle poet who has been publishing her work for more than thirty years. She is a founder of Floating Bridge Press, and works as a production and shipping manager for a Seattle-based glass artist. Her poetry, photography and creative non-fiction can be found at her blog, Premium T.
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