Friday, February 07, 2014

Elegies for Winter

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

The weather guy
in a crew cut
circumspect in his suit
knowing it all
as prognosticator
on the weather T.V. show
tells us to be wary
of a weary six weeks
well maybe I covet
to be alone on the beach
or exiled on this island
astonished by my words
glad to acknowledge
the Canadian robin
who came today
to visit me,
who did not stay long
but gave me
all I needed
when passing the bread
dropping by for water
at the spring's fountain
your gesturing song
in our shelter
across the Bay
you then flew away
in a blinding flight over my
baseball-hatted head.


—B.Z. Niditch

Hanging out with my cats
this Friday dawn
along the icy Bay
with shy, delightful Chocolate
and insightful Vanilla
with my camera in hand
and some food on a tray,
once vegetable vines here
had their own footfall play
among corn, carrots and tomato
now cold nests as arbors
once lines of jonquils and roses
covered the sea's home harbors,
now winter still discloses
her whitened poplars
past vines of buried snow,
amid the enlightened woodland
it seems our spring dreams
may last forever
or have a long way to go.


—B.Z. Niditch

Forget the groundhog,
and his prediction,
if only for today,
we live in hibernation
in our poet's underground
filled up with poets
in their own silences
uprooted for winter
by blinding light breaths
on unknown snowy blankets
in trembling sounds
with sparkling small words,
in profiles at gray dawns
giving way to sunshine
blazing out on window blinds
on mirrors of luminous times,
by hospice river beds,
with wandering rainy kisses
on redwoods and pepper trees
and blossoming inclines
caught in the thickets
like a bird's circle
over faded pines
covering tall grasslands
in newly radiant fields
of green tumbleweed,
we compose elegies by light
from upturned lamps
even at midnight prisms,
we trace our steps
as a traffic of images in town
exchanging with nature
her secret exposures
as experimental diction
through hypnotic nights
with inside-out stares
of unseen great things
from our coming-to-life fiction 
as we eagerly await spring.

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—B.Z. Niditch
Let six more weeks
of winter
be a motive for love
a Sixties happening now
with peace songs
action paintings
and a bong and bells for Zen
when we have transmuted
ourselves in nature's path
from the sunrise
over the ash trees
in a matrix inside our lines
accepting the poet's gift
not as a burden
of an abandoned nature
but setting off again
in the purest rain
on the runner's track
like a swan's neck
moving forward on the ocean
never looking back
in perpetual motion
like Lot's wife
but with our cold hands
in our fur gloves
until we remake words
beside a candle
our refuge.


—B.Z. Niditch

Do not tell me
there is a month to go
before the boulevard
along the Bay
will be clear of snow
and we may stroll
by a footpath's garden
without a winter coat,
when there is no storm
by the sandy sea
to view dispersed bluebirds
and wave on branches
of a flying mystery,
in the early sun-burnt dawn
with our notebooks in hand
imagining we are in an hourglass
to make us warm,
for we who love words
refuse to entertain worry
about this thundering weather
or even in a drought,
when in the depth of an abyss
we are self taught
not to be in a hurry
except to be about love
on a day light as a bird's feather
waiting out-of-doors
for a surprised kiss,
for we cultivate no doubt
that a living poem grows
inside our sleepy lanes
from nature's own tenderness
to spring inside our quatrains,
we choose to reap
and pardon all trains of thought
nor to accumulate or keep
any gloomy shadows
in spider webs not caught,
it's a month to go,
but we give way to grains
like Poe's fine wheat
which we have sought.


—B.Z. Niditch

(for Jacques Prevert's birthday, Feb. 4)

Standing frozen
by an outside stall
of a used bookstore
enjoying cool French,
a nomad of a kid
notices PAROLES
Jacques Prevert
for fifty cents
putting my bus fare away
and with my new book
sit on a back bench
in the park
how could anything
in this world
compare with the way
this poet made out
in a language soaring
out of my hands
the sun came through
and I had a baguette
full of cheese,
what more do I ever regret
words, a roll, the river
nothing but a fresh path
of ease.


Today's LittleNip:

A poem should not leave you famished or undernourished but hungry for another taste.

—B.Z. Niditch


—Medusa, with thanks to B.Z. Niditch for today's tasty words and to Robert Lee Haycock for the tasty photos. And thanks also to all the wonderful poets and friends who wished me a happy birthday yesterday, on Facebook and otherwise, as I round the corner of 68. By the way, the "pat" that Catfish McDaris says he misses is Patricia Hickerson, poet/friend who passed away last year. Yes, Catfish—we all miss her and her poetry in the Kitchen, Luna's, and elsewhere.

Pomona and Vertumnus
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock