Monday, June 17, 2013

The Poem of Your Life

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch

We're finished now with lost keys, the dust

of accidentals and half-rests, the sheet

music disarrayed and uncollate, the song

was Rhapsody in... Naked Feet... the Prelude

to the Afternoon of... Malaguena, the coda

Schumann's, Robert can't del capo al... the head

is gone and recapitulation, the sympathetic

vibration of octaves resolving to tonic, the hand


—Robert Lee Haycock

The chickens were cackling
Over some off-color joke
About a man running around
With his head chopped off
I didn't get the punchline


—Robert Lee Haycock

The front door behind me I've quietly closed
Shutting in warmth and dear ones and light
The heart of the Scorpion, not-Mars, red as rose
Stands guard this close watch of the night


—Taylor Graham, Placerville

In an out of whack world—
cities crowded together with no
space left for design—
it was no surprise to see graffiti scrawled
across blue sky, six enormous
chalk marks like knife-slits in faded
denim, all aimed at one target.
Carson Pass? And a seventh slash,
sliced diagonally across, as if
angels were on a lark. Contrails,
said my rational mind. I rejected it.
I liked the pattern and
the texture, white on blue trying to tell
me something. Already changing
with upper-level winds.
It's June. Temps expected in the 90's.
I think I'll head on up-country,
see where the lines converge.
Poems airy-bright as sky-lines before
you ink them down on paper.

That afternoon the clouds piled up across
the lake, thunder-towers, castles with forked fire
in their keeps, rising out of cirrus that floated
mid-level above water, angel-skirts, shapes
dreaming themselves by moments changing.
I didn't know what to guess about the weather.
It had a mind, it had a wind of its own.

 —Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

Hearing on the beach
sea voices
to listen like doves
at the Japanese yew
by a Zen garden,
my leafy eyes
open at first light
in face of the shore,
wanting to thank
Thomas Merton
for the living
the presence
of an absent sky
or earth at play
here in deep breaths
from my plenary nature
as stones wash ashore
by scribes now passing
to us with eyes
of visionary love
here by the Coast
and share a flurrying wind
on fields and ocean
by those prophetic poets
who are able to fast
far from movable feasts.

—B.Z. Niditch

Ebbed showers
disguised as rain kisses
by a mourning dove
for company
on the thousand year
Evergreen branch
as a lighthouse keeper
here in Maine,
near the language
of this tall tree
also remembers
the Redwoods
on the Pacific Coast
their conical crowns
as I wrote
by my first sequoia
from a luminous light
under in the tender sky
of an emerging sun
consuming a poet's
alembic words from
a newly seasoned solitude.



—B.Z. Niditch

Late as usual

without directions

sidelined and lost

on a back road

by a fruit stand

with no signs pointing 

for this city slicker,

you rent a bicycle

from a speechless man

my sleeping bag left

on the bay side

of ditch water well

weary from insomnia

with no one around

by a ripening landscape,

even the skylark here

only speaks in French

as this song bird

embraces a branch

clasping the foreign body

of a lonely Japanese maple

with a welcomed countenance

fringed by woody leaves

and June bugs

on early maritime hour

taking a run with towel

in hand 
through the wilderness

to swim in a coral lake

nature gives me

an inexpressible bear hug,

as I spy another lost soul

from neighboring Canada

with a guide book

aided by the muted farmer.


—B.Z. Niditch

No loss
reciprocal letters
of your childhood friend
who has passed away
now in the shock
of being overwhelmed
here at the ocean dock
where we sailed
in the regatta
on the Charles River
harboring memories
by the sea's waterfront
throwing pebbles
to the shore,
wanting to recover
our past adolescence
wanting again
to be spontaneous
with a school companion
who envisioned
our reunion
by summer,
yet there is joy
in countless encounters
with the orange kayak
you named "the B Z"
or you going underwater
swimming cautiously
in the language
of these shining waves.


Today's LittleNip:

Every poet's life is one poem until its translation.

—B.Z. Niditch



—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock