Thursday, January 23, 2014

As Daphne In A Tree

Derek Walcott

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

I audited your class
not having known
a St. Lucian poet before
with such tidal Caribbean
blue motioning
waves as floating rhymes,
opening the door
with endless compassion
for the tumult of words
bogged down with studies
yet hungry for knowledge
knowing few will believe
a poet or try to understand
the spirit inside
with my book bag
full of almonds
in a cold frenzy
to devour an orange
and hear verse
from the islands
not wanting to block
or bite
anything in the way
of my young aspirations
gripped by a desire
only to recite,
I kept my fury cool,
and like Derek Walcott,
not ever turning back.


—B.Z. Niditch

After a master class
in science
Maria doffed
her surgical mask
for an opera glass
at Carmen's libretto
in the Habanera
she was cast
to sing an aria solo,
and after the applause
with three curtain calls
were finally ended,
there was laughter
and tears on stage when
the last scene engendered,
and bows taken
as the audience paused
to leave,
Maria took off in a cab
from the concert hall
to the Stanford lab
treating a patient.
a graduate professor
Dr. Glass who taught
a high-graduate
college class in the law
who had a lowly fall,
as a brilliant scientist
with her medical knowledge
Maria saved his life,
this former Harvard older gent
was better and she soon missed
her famed trial lawyer,
reminded me of a Tom Sawyer,
always had an amiable smile,
who back in Cambridge
sent for Maria
giving her assent
and she became his reliable wife
and Dr. Glass was able
to walk slowly down the aisle
with a stick and cane
someone was offended
and muttered,
"He is older than her father
she hasn't got a brain
or must be legally insane,"
but I who knew the story
of the opera star
former proctor and scientist
was happy as the couple kissed.

 Lord Byron

—B.Z. Niditch

Only for you Lord Byron
for your birthday
I would wear
white gloves
and put candles on
your chocolate cake,
knowing you
were a Romantic
and (reportedly) a rake,
living to excess
as a flamboyant poet
we still owe it to you
and ask for your forgiving,
as you express
"She walks in Beauty"
and "Don Juan"
makes up for all of what
(reportedly) went on.


—B.Z. Niditch

Let's form an alliance
to awaken a Blakean poetry
with our nature's energy
hiding as Daphne in a tree,
with sparkling particles
of sweeping light
keeping our verbal articles
through the herbal night,
writing in a words bubble
in a nuanced phrase
watching through
new worlds in a Hubble,
all the mechanized laws
from a viewed eclipse
watching like St. John
the dawn of an Apocalypse,
creating images
as chemistry's connection
astronomy has a poetic gage
of autonomy and perfection,
on focus for a line
with a divine spark
in a telescope of language
and hope from the dark,
science and poetry is a friend
out of doom and gloom
when we are on the mend
uplifted in our hospital room,
what a great game for us
is poetry and science,
let clever reason be our aim
nor ever divide our alliance.


Today's LittleNip:

—B.Z. Niditch

I'm watching
the snow come down
everyone is excited
like a white Christmas dawn
who can resist
or even sleep
my neighbor is a scientist
a Russian guy, very deep
in thought
after a vodka drink
he's working on a cure
for something very rare
I know he will succeed
for he makes me care
and think of his need
and to make sure
I offer up a prayer
in my own creed.



William Blake