Monday, March 18, 2013

Veils of Moonlight

Rufous-Sided Towhee (chick?)
—Photo by Ann Privateer

—Ann Privateer, Davis

love is a ball
of sound

you breathe it in
through two

nostrils, it fills
your chest

tingles there
radiates barriers.

We share breath
coming in, going out

crying, praying, laughing
it circulates, enters

and leaves, one love
breathing a song

asleep or awake
the only constant sound.


—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

Glossed underfoot
by the snow's foliage
now gone under
half-buried landscapes
between paving stones.
Under bare elms
the sky is waiting on
spring with new covers
of bluish mornings,
as buds on branches
still speckled
at first light
spray a dazzle
of morning green
on sleepless trees.

Along this brackish
home harbor
as mute as lichens,
uncertain of secrets
of fate, absence, silence
at the ides of March
when wind wanders
by the shore ripples
near sea memory voices
waxing new bird song
above ditch water sand,
we run the boardwalk
of a familiar bay
when a beached whale
floats upward
pale and unable to speak
you wish the wave
of Melville's hand
were here at the rocks
to welcome departures
of the tide.


—B.Z. Niditch

One short year ago
on a cold March day
trailing dust
snow and ashes
you passed us by
in the early dawn
you were never late
for a woman's expression
to astonish us
with words, glances, pain
even at your readings,
you rightly disturbed us
we watching your wise face
with lively silver threads
from your pocket poems
now opened up
to feminine freedoms
from hidden woolen scarves
and a daughter's handkerchief
of controlled tears
you, Adrienne, knitted out
those kept oppressed
by some man's power trip
in bondage and shelters
from home wreckers
and violent quarrels,
you offer a way
through a poetry
of confessional talk
to look at our nature

—Illustration by Aubrey Beardsley for
the play, Salome, by Oscar Wilde, 1894

—Taylor Graham, Placerville

This dance was her choice, her solo.
She never thought of sharing it with Death
as partner, but afterwards: a holy
man's head on a platter. Only the dance,
so many veils' illusions tossed aside,
revealing how she was most alive, moving
to the music! How could she know
that music is time with nothing to lose?
the body a terminal moraine;
what's left after the music's energy
tosses it in a heap on the tiled floor. Veil
of moonlight—who trusts that?
Who could believe the bluest of skyblue
garments means that man could fly?
When she stopped dancing, and they cut
the man's head off, as if a veil
tossed away—it didn't land on paving-
tiles like so much discard, but rose up
into sky as an angel might. The veil
from a dead man's eyes flew off,
no more weighed down by the finest
or coarsest weave of fabric.
It was pure light.


—Olga Blu Browne, Sacramento

High above a broken bridge
in shrouded heavens,

a slow moon rises as an
ebony-winged raven

listens for echoes in breathless

where sounds fuse and
February winds are still.

(first pub. in DADS Desk)


—Olga Blu Browne

I believe a raven soars, with
a soul's last journey.

I believe prayer is a dance
to the rhythm of chant.

I believe spirits live and art
is life.

I believe a raven flies against
the edge of darkness.

(first pub. in Brevities)


—Olga Blu Browne

Against this moon, a winter's
leaf falls without regret,

like a ritual of devotion
of shifting shadows,

wrapped in time, that echo
within this silent heart.


Today's LittleNip(s):

Neighborhood crows shout
As soon as the sun rises
Raucous alarm clock


Blossoms float softly
Filling gutters with fragrance
Like petals of snow

—Nancy Haskett, Modesto



 —Photo by Richard Hansen, Sacramento