Monday, March 31, 2014

Without Rhyme or Reason

Red Feathers
—Poems by B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA, with 
Photos by Katy Brown, Davis


Without rhyme or reason
our dusty eyes
on mating grounds
for tourists and friends
we hear a humming
from love birds of paradise
with nature's own amends
and mature games
by bird nests and stones
on loan to surprise
near dry winter's bones,
leading some to rushing
or blushing pink
in covers of lusty shame
at pleasurable hunting
it makes you think,
like punting manikins
in the open boat sea
by the home harbors
or our cousin monkeys
up high on arbors of trees,
and we also expect
the leisure
of alpha males
invigorated by spring
searching by meters
for some interested females
liberated from anguish
wishing to be free
together with a distance
running mate
all sequestered by winter
tired of spring cleaning
and wood working
inspired by aviaries
from all poet schools
there are golden words
and rules to date
in many an astrology sign
may overrate,
it's almost April's fools day
where biology rules
by design.


Making a bird house
even in this near-wintry air
walking down my staircase
almost dated or legendary
looking out on the Bay
thirsty from running down
my old steps
needing a good repair job
using cedar and pine wood
to build an aviary
and keep the rain out
drilling holes
for ventilation
in a breathless March
as the early sun unfolds
on my shoulders
and now new neighbors
with benevolent suggestions
for a wildlife habitat
pounce on the snowy lawn
to watch over
my creative nesting box
now mounted on high trees.



It's not easy
to work on a chimney
ask your former inlaws
or Santa Claus
in these spring lofts
and nests
you find jackdaws
taking a rest
sleeping on wool
fur, soft paper
and padding hair,
gulls escape
the winter's air
on moss and grass,
peregrines prefer
window sills of feathers
any time of year
with a weather pass,
house martins in holes
his beautiful wings
follow under leaves
then swallows arrive
in balls of eaves,
trying once up here
to teach a snowbird
a lesson in how to sing
it seems to know
how to swing.

 Rufous-sided Towhee


We never forgot you
sun bear in tree branches
nesting in the four corners
in a mandala-like circle
with a crescent fingerprint
marking on your chest
rising as the sun rings
over your slow breathing
from a powerhouse of a jaw
in limbs and shadows,
sometimes we think of
you or in day dreams
or reading Faulkner
about Big Ben,
you were even visible
in darkness of mirages
from lengths
climbing silent steps
of a weighty voice
that time will not efface.


A relatively new neighbor
smothered by
a post-tourist ski season
of snow
just picked up
her suitcase
going cross-country
leaving me in the lurch
with two parakeets
one green, the other blue
now building a nest
with two perches
for sister and brother
with cuttlebone
and mineral blocks
of iodine salt spool
by pieces of soft wood
near in the bird box
for the female budgie
to finely chew on
there may be singing
for future babies to drool
in the free-flight cage
these siblings may fly
away like my neighbor
with open wings any day.


In the open woodland
wanting to hear
a melodious sound
in the sunrise of tourists
upon me
taking the early bus
and onto grainy fields
entertained by a clatter
of a stuttering song
unraveling my day
in a shrubbery horizon
wanting to give
you a name
in the sounding leaves
your tiny russet face
infinitely soft
by the narrow tree escape
crazed by tuft of grass
among the dust
in the floating tune.


At Frost's clearing
in a glimmering sunshine
as the last snowfall listens
to the grey squirrel nests
listening for memory
of those rooted
and captured
like signs of nature
when spring's music
dawns from a first robin
in a branch of light
over an earth-wise bare tree
wishes to play melodies
off the woods
in a quivering tone
with new metaphors
resembling your own.


 Today's LittleNip:


On your day
awake with ease
just relax, forget taxes
do you as please,

inhale peace
by the Bay and write on
under a bird-covered sky
move words as a swan.



Two Black Swans