Thursday, August 16, 2012

Like Whispers

Photo by Katy Brown, Davis


at play on the beach at Varna
yellow on dark waters
Black Sea that wore its way finally
through the Bosporus to the Mediterranean
hot and surly lake that became a sea
and in it dazzling life

hot and yellow
deadlier than vampires
saltier than sailfish
with claw and tentacle reach
stretches to deadly, my sweet, the skillful skate
cunning catshark
ingenious jellyfish
piked dogfish
hammerhead shark
weever through weeds
scorpaena scoops
oops! stingray hiding in the rocks

hot and yellow
deadlier than vampires snarling at midnight
as you grope through the tangled darkness
Black Sea bitterness rolls out
clutches hot yellow sands where you think you run free
remembered glory of inland lake all to itself
without bother in its aloneness
hey, get off the beach!        

—Patricia Hickerson, Davis 


—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

Landscaped intimacy
of mingled bird voices
admit your eyes
at first light,
you walk in
jumbled passages
beneath garden brambles,
waking the fields
of a distant countryside
that tastes the sun
consumed under the sky
full of swallows,
with a blanket awareness
on still hidden mirages
along submerged paths
of cloud thin trees
by the arboretum,
reflecting rays
on the camera
as still-life branches
cast reflections
along earth-wise stones
hidden on common grounds
tamed from silence
on uninvited lenses
in pools of green wood.

—Photo by Katy Brown

—B.Z. Niditch

Sea voices
shadow domes of elms
along flooded rivers
on nobody lands,
too early for dawn's escape
perched under the sun
on the last isle,
as bird flight and song
cover a landscape's fluting
opening a map's voyage
to unknown memory,
here with intense fruit
wrapped in berry boxes
on long picnic tables
gathers for its guests
as fibrillating rays wash
on the windward Cape
between sky and dawn
crossing our leafy eyes
on tall wild grass
by dunes
and ditch water sands
of a greensward shore,
far away from everything
except for the glitter
of a deaf time
in all its Fall disguises
taking leaves by shade
in a morning blush
of reddened visibility
from mirrors of nature's
unexpected recognition.


—B.Z. Niditich

That was only shade
in gestures by the staircase
eclipsed from night swells
here by changing shapes
of ocean haze
returning from the Cape
of phantom memory
as ideas float on waves
with spacious sounds
of birdsong from the dunes,
breaths of wind
fill echoes of sea voices
away from unshackled time
of fragrant shadows
along the greensward shore
when first light marvels
from the quick landscape
of budding words
offering us sleepless news
of nature's nascent signs
along the coast,
our footpaths consumes
the sunshine moving us
like whispers
in corners and crevasses
on the muffled sand
oblivious to your fingers
holding a pear
you wander in the yard
outside of Bay windows
from a scent of Fall's colors
barely tossed about us.


—Michael Cluff, Corona

Christopher found
unused Monopoly money
mixed in with real dollar bills
from the nineteen forties
crisp like lettuce
just liberated from the loam
near Lodi or Madera.

Since the game
was originally
Grandpa Dale's,
Chris was not non-plussed
the family rumors
must be right,
Grandad would hide currency
from Grandmama Marian
since her compulsion
to buy haircombs
and kitsch salt and pepper shakers
ran too rampant
under those days
of harvest moons
and calf eyes
from any stranger
on the smaller town streets.
Thanks to today's contributors; we continue to think about birds and the sea and other escape-from-the-heat kinds of activities. Escaping as well is Katy Brown, who is on the road to Michigan with a cat in a rental truck, helping her daughter move. Keep track of her journey on her Facebook page. 
Rattlesnake Press is proud to announce tonight's release of another issue of our quarterly poetry journal, WTF, edited by frank andrick with help from Rachel Leibrock. Join the gang at Poetry Unplugged at Luna's Cafe, 1414 16th St., Sac. tonight at 8pm to hear contributors read and other merriment—free, and copies of WTF are also free! There are also free copies at The Book Collector, Home of the Snake, 1008 24th St., Sac. If you are a contributor but didn't get a copy, let me know at and I'll send you one. That goes for past issues, as well. 
Today's LittleNip:  

—Patricia Hickerson

poems are wild dogs
run loose
no rules
bite your soul  


 —Photo by Katy Brown