Friday, September 06, 2013

Wishing I Were A Skylark

"Chalk It Up" Drawing, Sacramento, 2013
—Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

Indifferent to the sea
my voice rises upward
to wave me on
fathomed like a nimbus
on the beach's pointless sun
near the bonfire's smoke
its luminous vapors
tease my helplessness
of being in limbo
in a hunger of exploration
wishing even for Italian ice.

The live wind from the Bay
hides a resting gull
who now staggers on high
already on tomorrow's sky
like a pink heliotrope
knocks about the climate
now drowning its wings
in the dark mirror waters
by unwavering reflections
to air his deserted cry
spotting the sunshine
with a suspicious logic
off the lambent coast's
reflective first light.


—B.Z. Niditch

Four bells
listen in the wind
as I take a taxi uptown
with Bird riffs
playing out his sax sound
in the red light
by the drowsy city square
with hail
making its own musical notes
over an icy cab window
as traffic lights flash
by the dead end,
always feeling defenseless
near the echoing wharf
kindling my memory
of a rinsed night
by a funeral parlor
when a guy offered me
his Cuban posters
in the darkness
to drive him to a morgue,
now hearing a crying kid
wounded on the street
running by a blood hound
you tighten your pea jacket
to be a bit warm
knowing your shoes
will be sprayed white
by the time you get
to the club to jam
for your jazz trio.


—B.Z. Niditch

Branches and acorns sent
from the wind's echo
under stained blue
incandescent skies
feathers by the Bay's breeze
skip over my shoulder blades
turning on the last dock
of the home harbor
muscled by the orange kayak
and anchored for a season
flying on sea thoughts
to scan the crows' flight
on the slate rust roofs
at a sunrise shadow
when a curious liquid silence
settles as if I am a wave
gathering the whitest shells
reflected from sunshine
in a fiery silhouette
by the beach's sand box touch
over the gazebo Esplanade.

Chalk It Up Drawing
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

—B.Z. Niditch
In a burning stone
of language
my breath untangles
the animated shadow
of a vagabond sun
here on the Coast
reeling in memory
the rays hiding out
as if to coax us
each sleeping hour
with silence as an absence
of the nameless voice
hiding a solo grief
only the tentative waves
of our own anonymity
link us to a tongue-tied fall
of every other creature
earth-wise or sea-worthy
as my own foreign body
smashes my mouth
of three syllables
shadowing a sailor's words
along a drifting swim
to fathom what is lost
when welled up dark waters
dim along the lighthouse
on this navigator's waterway.


—B.Z. Niditch

The glassy butter-sun dye
never burns out
on a child's sand box
by pure crystal waters
wrinkled with trout
when one feels younger
than a burnished poem
or hope for a line
to catch a fish for lunch
in an hourglass chance
along momentary waves
trusting for words or fate
on a solitary passage
to wave me along
taking my notebook
with a writing brush
by the shady side
of the creek
holding on
to the garage's tackle and rod
in the served shore waters
with tiny abandoned worms
in blood-stained fingerprints
by the somber blue Bay.


—B.Z. Niditch
Running myself
in a monster marathon
on my own red lines
by thundering in anger
with out loud, hot
unexpected invectives
at this weather-beaten body
already dissolved
in sweat and years
now flesh wept and trembling
like the dunes ahead of me
on this weighty cloud lets
a rain-soaked dawn
which all seemed right
even at the speed
of first light
when the tall grass
was already wet
on this reclusive jog
at the open Bay crossroads
until large showers fooled me
in its reckless winds
as earth-wise leaves fell
on grounds
of having another voyage
in its language's mind
to wave the poet by
as the ocean roars its fury
at a Northeastern storm.

Chalk It Up Drawing
—Photo by Michelle Kunert

—B.Z. Niditch

Another less thing
to worry about is nature
searching for peace
which surfaces on early dawn
by the bronze shore dunes
wishing I were
a skylark to soar
and wave reverberating
along the islands of the world
the sun hangs on
for another day
with its burnished heat
announcing new voyages
as crickets buzz above me
because such first light
plays and rolls out
near birds and larks
when morning rises
on a bird watcher
in hushed journeys
or on the sandy leisure
of tender blankets.



—B.Z. Niditch

You want to float near

Lulworth Cove
under a sackful of sun

on this extended coast,

wishing to step on
sandy clay

speaking as a guardian,

"Step back from limestone,

hold on near the rocks

and all wave action

reach over the waves,
we stretch our arms

and imagine a rescue

from swimming lessons

at unrelieved silence

about a natural wonder

we August tourists head for

the seaward shoreline

tasting the sunlight

warming our chilled back

as you crouch

on a once-fossilized shore

holding your hands high

toward the bluest sky.


Today's LittleNip:

—B.Z. Niditch

Over a sand-crossed mirror

entangled with beach images

with a sleepless foreboding,

this poet disappears outside

on the alabaster balcony

wishing for diary secrets

to interpret dreams

from luminous memory,

even my nightmares in French

which keep me awake,

entangled in a Sixties braid
washed out by the rain.


—Medusa, with thanks to today's contributors, B.Z. Niditch and Michelle Kunert, and a reminder that Michelle currently has an album of photos from recent Sacramento readings on Medusa's Facebook page. Chalk It Up is an annual fundraiser in Sacramento, with local artists, kids, and everyone else drawing on the sidewalk for funding for children's arts. See

Chalk It Up Drawing
—Photo by Michelle Kunert