Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ah, Those Nudist Gals—

Old Bridge
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—Nancy Haskett, Modesto

Twice a month
during those unbearably hot
humid weeks of summer,
they come together—
on a day when house slaves are occupied with cleaning,
field slaves toiling a mile away—
they walk slowly as a group of five,
fanning themselves,
laughing and talking
until they reach the secluded spot,
the deep pool surrounded by trees,
where lace gloves are removed,
shoes slipped off,
delicate white hands untie hat ribbons,
unbutton dresses,
unlace stiff boned corsets,
pull off thin cotton undergarments
until they stand naked
slip one by one into cool water,
freed at last
from all restraints

Every evening
after the children are asleep,
when the men lay snoring,
the two women put down their sewing,
blow out the candle,
sneak from the cabin,
brown bare feet silent on rough boards,
the packed dirt path down to the river
familiar in darkness,
they follow each other in silence
to the shallow banks,
pull the coarse cotton dresses
over their heads,
step over smooth, polished rocks
until they reach the water,
walking quickly without hesitation,
dipping down, immersing
into their only feeling
of total freedom


—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

Hey Muse
don't desert me
or leave me
over the hill
what to write on
in our post-Civil War
antebellum of the sexes
about your nudist society
what to text and make
of an all-female variety,
Hey, Muse, not to be rude
having to turn to
the Beetles' song
Hey, Jude,
saint of the lost
and the deluded,
you will not fall short,
for the wronged
for you are good
and like the rest
of us, misunderstood
who need support.


—B.Z. Niditch

Who can resist
what is in your play
I was in The Alchemist
that your fair lines say

Poet of the Royal court
to the text I was loyal
with your humor
and with good sport,

In Lovewit's place
the butler turned face
a subtle alchemist
without a chemist 's trace

For it was greed
in your cruel mind
to bring down
and fool human kind

For Jonson
in poetic great satire
what in verse he created
and licks to curse the liar

All your spirits
came to naught
and by your thefts
you got caught,

Sorcery had its way
the losers expect
liberty had its day
at the end of the text

The last act ends
the true cause will out
Ben Jonson's pretense
with tact and shout.

—Photo by Katy Brown

—Tom Goff, Carmichael

We glide like mist down the headland trail.
Cloaked for spring in yellowest gold,
Evening Grosbeaks, made quick by cold,
dart atop soft-spiked violet grails.

Communion bread: the seeds they scale
in swift sharp pecks & talonholds
from thistleheads their wingbeats flail.
Cloaked for the spring in yellows and golds,

lupine and grosbeak slip the veils
of coastal hollows & seagray folds.
Unfurl your riddle too, my bold
& headlong stridefirst, my nonpareil.
Kiss me like thistledown, guide me downtrail.


—B.Z. Niditch

No sign as yet
of any bird
in hand
or affection
only something heard
on the gazebo
a band of the past
here on Cape Cod
of someone
on the keyboards
who accompanied me
in the past
knocking on woodwinds
close as two trees
from me
after the rain here
chooses a new day
of astonishment.


—B.Z. Niditch

At bed
at 2 A.M. with lambs
on the wallpaper
making concentric circles
under the bronze ceiling,
the bathroom mirror breaks
its seven-year luck
by the eyedrops
of my right lid
then stares at my left
hurting shoulder
from my alto sax
curling by me
on soft blankets
of my green music case
created in Montana
from a native American
once silently concealed
by a Boy Scout
from the others
in a defenseless tent
wanting to sleep
this absent side
of memory.


Today's LittleNip:

—B.Z. Niditch

My neighbor,
a four-seasoned refugee  

longing for silence

and sleepless disappearance

wanders for miles

where birds are holed up

in green branches

cannot forget war

the hunger's memory

and hunted images

from his tired eyes,

in the abyss,

there is no easy departure

wanting to raise peace voice.



—Photo by Katy Brown