Friday, March 18, 2011

Can't Help Myself

With the passion of tides
A palette of life
A canvas of sand

—Ronald Edwin Lane, Colfax


—Patricia Hickerson, Davis

you and I
in the sand
like children at play
with pails and shovels
digging through beads of benign water
an ocean waiting at our feet
shells float through the puddles
under the sift of toes
the heat and damp of buried grains
waved in pools of summertime salt
sea in the nose, throat
hiss of saline weather
splash and spread
winking at the brim
steal it against a distant day’s roar
sun at our backs
we finger the foam of a laid back hour
bubble and shine

and I will be there again
to measure the tides—
with you, yes


—Shawn Aveningo, Rescue

I suppose it was a Friday,
just as every other Friday before.
She picked up fresh fish at the market.
The children walked, holding hands, to school.
He took the train into the city.
Grandmother folded the laundry.
Grandfather smoked his pipe.
A young couple argued over money.
A teenage girl discovered she was pregnant.
A boy broke up with a girl.
A girl broke up with a boy.
Two girls kissed for the first time.
A boy kept his secret hidden.
An arborist trimmed the bonsai.
A fisherman tied off his boat.
Forbidden lovers met in the shadows.
A child was born.
A loved one was buried.

And then…
the earth shook.

And for three minutes of eternity
the molecules of all existence
danced their tarantella.
And the people, all people,
young and old,
strong and feeble,
rich and poor,
simply fell to their knees
unable to detect their own trembling
from the shakings of Gaea.

“It’s the End of Days.”
“It’s God’s Wrath.”
“Serves ‘em right.”
“Mother Earth is pissed off now.”
But in reality,
she knows no other way.

And as the wall of water surged,
engulfing everything in its path,
the normalcy of the day merely washed away.

The fish market was gone.
The school was gone.
The train station—gone.
Arguments were forgotten.
Secrets no longer worth guarding.
Bodies floated out to sea.
The baby never learned to crawl.

And one tiny bonsai tree
stood still,
for tomorrow.


—Mitz Sackman, Murphys

She sat at her table
After several gray rainy days
Sunshine had finally returned
Sipping her Sunday morning coffee
She gloried in the reflected warmth
Now from her hopeful planting last fall
In the beginning of the dark days
In the brave little box outside the window
Yellow buds of daffodils were swelling
Soon to bring new gold
To her mornings


—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

Sly and lightsome
as any trickster
nobody likes March
which takes us
in spring by force,
with catatonic winds
in a long month cycle
earth overturns earth
full of dead branches
leafless in sunshine,
though you may drowse
or disbelieve
March will entwine you
on greensward paths
once luminous with snow.


—B.Z. Niditch

on back roads
motors wrench over
noisy minefields
from rushed and happy hours
bewildered from the mirror
as your slippery schitzsu
tears up the back seat
on the mangy rug
you skimmed
off the last shelf
of the soup kitchen
by the charity bazaar.

You can't believe
it's another crazy March
and lost inside Boston
from icy directions
on a nicked map
this full moon night
at a falst prophet's corner
somewhere on A Street
you listen on the ham
to a helpless prediction
of on incoming tornado.


Today's LittleNip: 

—B.Z. Niditch

Off the coast
a pure wind waters,
liquid and silent
as the rain,
you can trust
as the last goodbye
from the dock.


—Medusa (who still can't help loving the sea, despite its recent destruction...)

—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis