Monday, April 14, 2014

Lord, Greet Us With Fiery Words...

—Poems by B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA and
Photos by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento


No one ever suspected
the trash collector man
of anything
but the utmost character
who loved flowers
and perfume
more than his time
on earth's dry land,
as he puts lilac flowers
in the cans and bins
after his pick up
at all hours, never napping
from dawn to afternoon
always had win-win smile
or a joke or laughter
it was to himself at hand
that he was after
if he neglected his work,
yet some vocal youngsters
from the neighborhood
teased him as he drove by
in his truck named
on the awning "The Olympian'"
and called Zeus out
for his quirky vocal
back-slapping remarks
causing a morning rumpus
he was teased as
a strange foreigner
"the knee-jerk gardener"
yet all the bark
from tree limbs around
piles of bottles
found from the sea floor
radios and T.V.s
or any old car technologies
even books of knowledge
or five-starred catalogs
from local colleges
shards, swings
all the things
from our back yards
deemed superfluous
prison paper weights
or war paraphernalia
that no one wanted
any more
were carefully
driven away
and in its place
jonquils, crocus
newly risen hosed roses
and peacefully
scented dahlias.



When the flower pot
rises anonymously
at our play
in Beckett's dawn
with Vladimir
as Estragon complied
to their pleading lines
from the trash trails
puffy and tumefied
in the sun
after planting what ails it
on each perishable spot
yet still smooth to reach
as Act One nails it
from a not-forgotten poet
and the scene
lubriciously moves
we were thinking
for hours of that crocus,
and jonquil
had ominously died
from its own shadow sill
without still water's
drinking power
yet a flower
quietly emerges
from a valve or pipe,
no testimony or money
any regrets or secrets
hidden in the can
from any type of cash
yet from yellow bowers
boughs and shelters
bouquets are restored
from the trash
as gals and fellows cried
at the miraculous hand
of Pozzo
as we waited for Godot.


Seven mountain thieves
not convicted for any crime
escaped before anyone
believes they did any time

They were orphaned
moored along the sea
hungry and thirsty
lured to a basin country

A poet tourist shared
with them his bread
a lawyer insists,
has their rights read

by a fountain lighthouse
they fed on olive salads
in love songs hills above
playing guitar ballads

Cowardly rumors pardon
the tallest tales of trees
with garden elegies
ate at their invented cheese

They dance for hours
never strapped for cash
had a stash of flowers,
it was said, by the trash

Longing for land
shipwrecked on the ocean
wherever they travel
always a commotion

Exiled from a colony
between the Devil's Isle
these clever gents and ladies
were never sent to Hades,

Yet there was a trial
of long suffering
on their forgiving faces
yet lent special graces

As a musical band of seven
with lyrical smiles as one
preparing for heaven
living under the sun.



Expecting a sudden rain
on the sleepy deck
which does not happen,
oysters served
with champagne
in the sunshine
after the cast party,
the unrivaled wind on
our shoulder blades
a mixed bouquet
on the head table
by spent dark waters
a voice still echoes
from a trembling coast
over makeshift places
the now mirrored actors
offering autographs
climbing aboard
unveiling memories
and good laughs
snapped by the press
in a circle of lights
as hours of inward
excitement transform
our abandoned images
on the port of call
shivering in the breeze,
flowers still are herbal
after they rise
on the ship's bow
auspiciously nestled in
the shadow of ashes.

(birthday, 4/11)

Never forgetting
Mark Strand 's third lecture
on comparative literature
at Columbia
from a live poetry read
in a surrealist expression
from his shoulder blade
to his voiced impression
piercing the stillness
of nature's narrative
mature clever words
of creative great splendor
he never lost his accent
from Prince Edward Island
and vividly speaks
in Canadian whispers
of sail and wind breakers
boats, the Bay,
hills, meadow
and our city's first snow
you are fond of Ernst,
and Giorgio de Chirico,
we poets
respond to secrets
any signs of an April's lark,
round birds and sparrows
in Central Park.


Today's LongerNip:


T.S. Eliot we recall
in the famous Wasteland
that "April is the cruelest
month of all",
but she may yet fool us
in our solitude
running away
from dark attitudes
of winter rain and snow
beating down
from the mountain
we may soon drink
from the valley's fountain
when east winds finally
are dusted away
over the Cape sands
from the reeds and sea
offering us a spring nature
when clouds disappear
like funereal weeds on earth
in a long-shrouded land,
Lord, greet us
with fiery words
thinking of Hopkins,
Keats, Wordsworth
and a flower-like countryside
full of gentle birds
just for today
the Eliot I've taught
for years is put away
from my nostalgia
until marvelous May
fills our phantasmagoria.


—Medusa, with thanks to today's contributors (from both sides of the country!) and a reminder that tomorrow is the deadline for the next issue of Rattlesnake Press's WTF, edited by frank andrick. For details, see

—Photo by Michelle Kunert