Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Breath Between Seasons

B.Z. Niditch


Time like a yo-yo
or a slinky
moves us forward
as we
in glimmering dusk
watch the catch fiery sky
disappear later
than we realize
behind a March
of the moonlight
in a playing card
in a receding life time
game of chance
carrying us
to a higher pocket.



Hearing the bell
on Grandfather clock
knowing the time
of the changing hands
will alter our view
of the moon and sun,
that our life will turn us
between two worlds
on earth and sky,
when we will light up
at dusk
or darken our rooms,
change appears to spin us
in a halting horizon,
when savings time goes
around we judge
which miracle surprises
will amaze us,
if the day will run late
and pass us by
or push us forward
from our original plans
by nature's own minutes,
at animated time zones,
or sleepless patterns
may yet recapture us
in another new dimension
or like jet lag
sack us to silence,
we will accept
in breathless indifference
new echoes of evening
and shadows at dawn.



In a space
of an hour
everything can
the earth quakes,
time circles
the equator
of our thoughts
and bodies,
in one lone lost hour,
the sun stretches
in the horizon
our day expands
as the sun
stood still
once in a miracle
in Joshua's day,
yet I am silent
as I spring forward
every watch and clock
knowing we will



The mornings
when the ice chips
on roofs curl
and snow sparrows
fill our yard
as an aviary
of grackles
and blackbirds gather
cramming near the shed.
something of a squirrel's
murmuring flesh
appears on
the tree boughs.
March is absurd!
Only a breath
between seasons.
The squirrel now rests
on the hammock
then hides
as if in mourning.
I'm tossing a livery
of old coins over
the almond-colored pond
where skaters were
tossing snow balls
a short week ago,
now my winter's pennies
trickle in
this crippled water
we wait for first light
and skipping leaves
on drop-cloth woods
cautious for sunshine.

 Art and Shadows
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis


Spring dares us
to believe in her
takes turns
to toss new pollen
as winter, finally
ditches us
when once ice
snapped trees
on green patches
of upturned rose,
thorn and bush
pushes through
once snow gardens
on common grounds.



Streaks of sunlight
beyond glacial hills
and Arctic wind gusts
on unknown ground
that we become a stone
among giant mountains
arrayed in a congealed
world of premonitions
when word gets through
we are all safe
pulling our own weight
here in Stowe, Vermont
sliding down trails
in our body counts
of lean imagination
at flashing first light
by a half-blind skier
coiled like feathers
in her snow mobile
thrusting free
as vacant clouds
by spruce and pine
in a blink of time
on undertow wheels.



Clenched hands
on the steering wheel
in a loud clamor
animated in traffic
unrewarding views
of wreckage
and road rages
dazzling the window
like fire dances
flash by us
in an hour
of assured surprises
in pure frenzy
shadows of cars
zigzag highways
in a contraction
of speechless time.



My body shuddered
at a distance
when the school bell
sounded abruptly
and a camera viewed
our classmates
for the swim meet
yet something roused
inside me I could win,
even with variable speed,
without much training
for in the deep waters
of my young psyche
when the cheer leader
and future rose bowl
queen suddenly,
without warning,
pressed against me
and waved me on,
it was my birthday
January eighth
with only a few friends
more into books
not jokers or jocks,
and being younger
than everybody else
because of the two
double promotions
when we had to move
from city to suburb
and the girls were
so mature and exotic
in their way
I am almost hiding
nestled by the wall
that I forgot
all my stretch exercises
and time pieces
the past and tomorrow,
and the cheer leader
telling me it is Elvis'
birthday as well,
I'm heavily breathing
almost purple
from the cold air
she hands me a rose
at the finish line
and I was revived.


Our thanks to B.Z. Niditch for today's poems, and Katy Brown for the pix to go with them. B.Z. has contributed many poems to the Kitchen over the past year or so, but it occurred to me recently that we have never actually featured him. So here we are. B.Z. Niditch is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and teacher. His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including: Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Art; The Literary Review; Denver Quarterly; Hawaii Review; Le Guepard (France); Kadmos (France); Prism International; Jejune (Czech Republic); Leopold Bloom (Budapest); Antioch Review; and Prairie Schooner, among others. He is also the founder and artistic director of The Original Theater in Boston, which has presented original, experimental plays on contemporary social and political themes since 1990. He has recently completed a journal, What I Think of You, and several novellas. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts. Read more about BeeZee on The World of B.Z. Niditch ( or

Today's LittleNip:


Into the stillness
of your consciousness
with vague insights
of a house narrative
touching the bright
chance of the unknown
interrogates eternal weeks
of the hypnosis of language
lost in shadowy breath
with the countless hours
of a proverbial somnambulist.



First Kite
—Photo by Katy Brown