Monday, June 02, 2014

Ideograms of Quiet Language

—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

Sheltered by bird wings
by the silence
behind trees' first light
spring vacation
hangs hours out in May
on a park bench,
I'm slowly drawing
pictorial sketches
from haiku,
when black ink
falls on the hands
of a melancholy watch
brushing away
odd and end thoughts
on these islands
and two school friends
with minor mustaches
who live
to sniff out
music and mushrooms
skip school,
crawl under the bench
with a frozen numbness
alarmed by the sirens
of the police
looking for kids
who visit at the pub
but are under-aged
and are encouraged
to taste city water
running from
the fountain cups.

Small Dragon
—Photo by Katy Brown

—B.Z. Niditch

in the eyes of intimacy
from double lives
in thresholds
of some parts of the city
open ports push us
on high heels
of a stepped-up
which resembles
your lipstick mirror
dark, despoiled, concave
from night's ventures
surprising first light
as bocce players
with navy caps
wish to score
and a marathon runner
along the Charles River
by the esplanade
speaks low whispers
of your name
by the evergreen
as crawling feral cats
second the cries
from taxis
along revolutionary graves
as alto woodwinds hum
from a park bench
an unceasing tune
from childhood
the earth harbors you
along the icy waterfront
until tomorrow's quick waves
will release your sorrow
by mother-of-pearl
opera house marquee
from a flute player
on the park bench
by shadowing the loss
of unknown love

 Cross Pieces
—Photo by Katy Brown

—B.Z. Niditch

(In memory of Denise Levertov

What signals
we used
in the Sixties
to understand
the need for peace
when eyes withdraw
their masks
and you notice
how atomic war
quickly happened
in Hiroshima,
a light twinkles
on a face
then the skin
changes colors,
we had love
for each other
on the marches,
covering ourselves
of conversation
in ideograms
of quiet language
that not only a poet
would comprehend.

—Photo by Katy Brown

—B.Z. Niditch

Visible stone
of forces and fibre
exhibiting mirrors
eyes weigh down
the body stops
ripened in a crazy
doubling search
no way
by dint of rage
of shielded presence
desperate for memory
to exculpate the past
is always another face
in ex-camera dark rooms
activates your pulse
in your rogue spate
when blue frazzled
four-letter words
speak for themselves
with jagged flesh
in a stuttering French
past a rib run of night
but only in marble.

—Photo by Katy Brown

—B.Z. Niditch

The cello
on tonight's lips
of Bach's shadow
outlives the body
in contrapuntal
words in union
of your fingers
stretched on time's
open memory
at arm's signals
set for listening,
to realize
what craft
moves the chords
of the ebullient
stroking to sway
on goaded clouds
a resurrected voice
out of counterpoint
at the podium,
briefing through
spoils of pages
by a now quiet
selfless metronome
hidden in echoes
of an ephemeral past
over fine strings
in those mingled hours
quivering in practice
in an absence of speech
at recollected silence
exposing a libido
of sudden fiery flights
motioning to catch
the mysterious precision
over unsettled notes
now augmented
by courting gleams
of fanning applause. 

 —Photo by Katy Brown

—B.Z. Niditch

Your anonymous lines
sang out of spidery voices
from music spheres
like your cries
for freedom
still in our ears
your enlightened love
of satire
and political universe
we admire
without polemical curse,
as a hopeful desire
and reader's satisfaction
in exile with quotes
and words to nurse
against dictates
state dictatorship
or censorship's reaction
we still hear Don Juan,
and art song music
with a critic inside of you,
for your in-friendship's
poet's-hand banishes
all fear,
to campaign for peace
and youthful admiration
for freedom
in a historical smile
for language
vanishes all cares,
your verses,
Lord Byron
and a love for Greece
keep you living on.

—Photo by Katy Brown

—B.Z. Niditch

(In Memory of
Maya Angelou, 1928-2014)

You were once mute
after you were abused
and violated
in the neon light
yet in a visionary dance
of the sun, Maya
love transmits the silence
of our hurts into
sirens of wisdom
over our mother earth
sometimes at a space
only a writer and actor
on green fields
will capture us
with days of rebirth
from long suffering,
as a creative jewel nurses
your spirit's epicenter
a new poet's art emerges
with a spark of knowledge,
you often spoke
of how in our experiences
we pick and choose
what is aesthetically right
and will save our peace
transferring it to others
like separating the sand
on the beach
from an hourglass
we become almost
motionless when a puzzle
of language gives us
an epiphany
as in a departing rainbow
composing in the tone
of diminished high notes
which leads to riffs
and footsteps
of melodic song.


Today's LittleNip:

—B.Z. Niditch

Waiting on
some dunes
near the shore's
impassive edge
your likeness
by the sighs
of the sea and sun
if you might speak
of the currents
sailing on windy clouds
across an ocean's tide,
as out of breath
children jumbling
in veins of sands
with doubled glances
at the island ferry
try to catch butterflies
with clenched hands
not doubting their wish
capture only a daydream.


—Medusa, reminding you to check the "Submit, I say" section of the green board at the right of this for info about the next convergence deadline (this Thursday, June 5) and the upcoming Song of the San Joaquin deadline (June 15). Also: yesterday The Sacramento Bee had an interesting article about the time Maya Angelou spent here in Sacramento teaching at Sac. State—see

—Photo by Katy Brown