Monday, March 10, 2014

These March Blues

—Photos of Black Chasm Caverns & Zen Garden
by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

Days to hide in your beds
the weather guys says
with maps and charts
from the elements
or live in tensions
of climactic climate
changed fifth dimensions
earthquakes, tsunamis
oceans crashing
deserts retreating
over sands
storm clouds appearing
over the islands,
on this March day
we prefer poetic justice
for our part in nature
here on blushing rocks
of a deserted Bay
watching her birds, swans
in the solitary morning                  
with Ivor an art lover
when meditating
with a former skydiver
by the Zen rose garden,
not running for cover.

—B.Z. Niditch

Sinking into snowshoes
for a morning run
with Canadian geese
circling over the Bay
the wind wild grazes me,
now alone for breakfast
of pancakes with maple syrup
writing four-letter words
like love again
in my diary,
taking out these March blues
on my diminished chords,
as the radio meteorologist
predicts no sun in sight
patiently waiting out
a frozen weathered forecast
as shadowy riffs
from my alto sax
move two wakeful tourists
lingering outside windows
of my soundproof studio
for this solid musician
practicing for hours
who wishes for private time
needing rays to bathe him
after a shave and shower
in the wakeful wintry light
inviting my outdoor guests
to my Monday gig
initialing bz
on their Dutch postcard
of my last poetry collection.

—B.Z. Niditch

A weird weather report
of a tsunami last season
but it was on radio Tokyo
reaching radio waves
on my ex's porch,
trying to fix the flooring
to please her threshold
blaming herself for waiting up
for me to return from Vermont
with not forgotten
candied kisses,
Maple syrup,
and a weary Valentine's box
here on her welcome mat
as a gull on her slate roof
quickly silences any blame
for a knee in a plaster cast
over dangerous icy steps
my own breath blown away
by an anonymous jazz melody
composed on a freezing
truck stop in the middle
of somewhere
writing my sax notes
for future outbursts of riffs
underneath oaks
by broken electric lines
with my cell and I
having no energy to phone
only the weather guy
assures us there is only
forty hours or was it days
more of rain.

—B.Z. Niditch

It was last month
turning in these lines
of your name-day poem
cloistered in a dark corner
on my attic's sofa

March first metabolizes
in memory
of your non-slept lectures
along the Atlantic
to Parnassus, Paris
and along the Pacific,

yet you still captured
our attention
with all your eccentricities
of wandering by the windows
in your urban classes

Still mentioned
in the cultural news
as the famous poet
who marched for peace
taking his Muse seriously
and hung out
by the Pentagon,

How we trembled
as you slowly read
in many tongues,
now you too
are translated
as the light up here
catches up to you,
whether on Beacon
or Nob Hill
you walk us through.

—B.Z. Niditch

Some March days
leaving the attic
sitting on a park bench
when the forecast
is shrill as a gothic wind
makes me want
to be a hermit in a cloister
reading my poems
in Latin or French,

What a time
fills open sins of power
wishing there is no crime
in my ivy academic tower,

Then I picture spring birds
engulfed over my garden
and living jonquil flowers
sparkling in the sun
as if forgiving all
in one hour's pardon.

—B.Z. Niditch

At a James Galway recital
when his magical flute
took off, given free tickets
by an Irish poet
unfazed by weather outdoors
of cottony snow balls
kids were throwing
as we made our way
to the famous concert hall
at room 12 locked out
from the Chelsea
having to find a motel
we could afford
as the eggnog drank to us
in the cinnamon morning
we circumnavigate
along Central park
bringing back to mind
dream overnights
sitting on trunks
at Andy's Factory
when art seemed to
resolve a vagabond poet
embrace of forget-me-nots
without weather woes.

—B.Z. Niditch

Reading Virginia Woolf
to teach to freshmen
at the only lighthouse
around the Cape
with the morning TV guy
saying another wind storm
followed by floods
was imminent,
a guy holding bass
and salmon on his arm
with Gide on the other
reads to us in French
telling about his cruise
as a weather prognosticator
in startling climate changed
about Siberian-exiled writers
women poets from China's
different dynasties,
we invite him to class
and have a great repast.

—B..Z. Niditch

Everyone of us
at the bus stop
and java shop
is talking about
the deep freeze
it hits you like rain
even before
you say please
for a latte
from the counter,
yet I felt like Walt
for a second
with affinity
for maligned humanity
in a pugnacious love
for words
and suddenly encounter
a stranger from the Ukraine
visiting this vicinity
who is an unsigned poet
in a scarf and shirtsleeves
with an orange headband
asking me to recite
a verse of mine
as I sense her creativity
and invite her to my gig
on Monday serving wine
she instantly offers
to translate for me
in her own language
as I will play riffs
she relates universally.

—B.Z. Niditch

Do not look so forlorn
my inclined reader
think of a bird's nest
lined up on the hawthorn
forget the weather forecast,

Soon a newborn
will be seeking bread
seeds and water
in your feathered feeder
by a warmer spring,

The cycle will break
like a miracle for you
out on the edge's sky
it is not by chance
the upper atmosphere
is colored in a blue dye,

Even the mocking birds
and owls will cry out for joy
among branches of trees,
with one glancing eye
we will rest on a hammock
in the most gentle breeze
with our daughters and sons
reading with ease.


Today's LittleNip:

A visionary has poetry's insight to transform and enlighten a universe.

—B.Z. Niditch


—Medusa, with thanks to today's contributors, B.Z. Niditch and Michelle Kunert. And congratulations to Sacramento Poets Carol Frith, Katy Brown, Allegra Silberstein and Norma Kohout for prizes won at the annual Berkeley Poets' Dinner Contest!

Bill Gainer, reading at the release of 
the newest issue of Rattlesnake Press's WTF
at Luna's Cafe on February 20.
Check out Medusa's Facebook page for 
Michelle Kunert's new album featuring 
those readers.