Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fresh Like a Crocus

—Photo Enhancement by Richard Hansen, Sacramento

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

My clock and watch
spring forward
with a click of the wrist
in rehearsal of the season,
quick as saying
or hocus pocus.

With suspension of belief
that winter
is unlimited
when life suddenly
opens us up
so youthful again
and fresh like a crocus
outside my rock garden
once chock full of snow,

Dazzles us with sunshine
and refreshes our soul
dismantles our minds
remakes our image,
restores our spirit
has our bodies be content,
birds dip in the quick water
receive my bread
have these words
consent to please
who made it all.


—B.Z. Niditch

Outside lemony laughter
of a worm-sick garden
on scented springs
of my bed
with undiminished notes
a seasoned exile
with a guitar of songs
in my fingertips hearing
the still rain
of an open-air parasol

no one but the unknown
but inexhaustible bird
from the night woods
hears echoes calling
from tiny rain drops
configuring scales
in perpetual motion
with open airs

dawn born
of a cloud's cover
forging a signature
that jumps out
like augmented chords
of the hyacinth
as bright juniper
uncovers first light

little spring
of pressing yourself
with astral chords
undulates with music
from our leafy eyes
since the first cry
of red earth
on the setting sleep.


—B.Z. Niditch

Crowds at dusk
with spring here
at the last rainbow
of some Friday night
won't dry out the city,
with a lighter arm
of short shirtsleeves
tasting the smoke
among the barbeques
in fires of hot stoves
by skinny rows
of street people
listening to my alto sax
on the loudspeaker
along with a Beat poet
near the waterfront
breaking glasses
of wine with waves
for tourist friends
on a boardwalk of trees
where crows try to rest
on park back benches
and a new born
on his father's shoulder
goes berserk with laughter.


—Photo Enhancement by Richard Hansen

—Caschwa, Sacramento

On the first day
of Spring I set out
happily for my
daily commute
on the freeway

and encountered
unusually heavy
traffic that was
equal parts
bad and worse

a big accident on
another freeway
created a cloudburst
of cars that rained
on my freeway

"Share the road"
loses much of its
appeal in stop
and go traffic



All over this nation there are commissions made
up of people who firmly believe that a student's
sensory experiences shrink as their brain grows
and so they have accordingly designed programs
of what and how to teach schoolchildren as they
matriculate from sparkling kindergarten kids to robots

they take some of the dullest, driest subjects ever
pondered by the most brilliant brains and make those
the core of a curriculum that is sure to send most real
kids to deep sleep, kids who are horribly hungry for
activity are forced to sit still, their eagerness sadly
confined to seeking out ways to ditch class

What if we were to turn that upside down?
make performing arts and athletic competition
the core subjects, such that English, Math
and Science are put in the role of a pep squad
whose primary function is to support the football
team, especially when the team is sorely lacking

expose kids to Shakespeare on the stage before
they are ever called upon to merely recite
the words and analyze the characters or plot,
remake the library into a pantry, the raw resource
of choice for students of culinary arts where the only
fine imposed is for bringing back something old

displace standardized testing with events
the outcome of which students can readily
see, hear, taste, touch, and smell, and rank
students not by how close they come to perfection
but by the degree to which each has individually
embraced their challenges and overcome them

Above all, we must forever eliminate that terrible
practice of using the same bell to start the school
day as is used to end it because it greatly
diminishes recognition for one's efforts:  if the early
event of starting something worthwhile and the later
event of finishing it get the same old bell, why bother? 



It used to be an ashtray
back when smoking was
as common as cream
inside coffee shops

and then laws were passed
to sequester nicotine from
caffeine indoors, so the glass
tray was retired from service

and recycled as a penny jar
on the counter by the cash
register, in case a patron
came up a few cents short

then customer after
customer who did not
feel the immediate need
to pinch their pennies

would enjoy the conspicuous
sound of dropping a few from
their change into the ashtray
while silently wishing they

would never find themselves in
that impecunious predicament
where they truly needed each
and every one of those pennies

—Today's LittleNip:

Nature asks us for attitudes of the beatitudes.

—B.Z. Niditch



—Photo Enhancement by Richard Hansen