Thursday, November 20, 2014

Remembering Art's Face

Morning Cuppa
—Poems by B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA
—Photo by Denise Flanigan


Flights of songbirds
float over my slate roof
near sea harbor voices
of morning cardinals
searching for slices
of day-old French bread
over an oak tree house
as my memory retains
these spilled-out images
of nest building
among islands of showers
a poet's hand reaches down
on the sandy tall dunes
by the Bayside beaches
to find shells that will echo
night music shadows
of my new jazz sonata
called "November Rainbow"
composed by the closed shutters
covering over my quarter notes
from earth-wise red leaves
falling from trees along the foothills.

 —Photo by Denise Flanigan


My sax explodes
in the key of G
opening up morning eyes
on sidewalks of Autumn colors
leaving a solo man's love
to play out breathless riffs
through his wide lungs
of restless sibilant notes
beside his evening music
of his drawn-inward dream life
from this heart Beat poet
at a moment of vernal escape
through Autumn's nature
when time changes our mood
and a red vermilion season
has its impressionistic interlude
for poet, artist and musician.

—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis


With an empty flask
of once-red wine
looking like Ulysses
in a torn uniform
after the war, exile
and sea voyages
had left him feeling remote
and silent from others
with his workout muscles
motionless as a pebble
trembling in his stiff wounds
and a vexed countenance
of enormous disgust at life
his hands and mouth
locked tightly in a sad expression
of a gloomy conscience
that wants to speak out
in November's first light
by the rustled sidewalk leaves
after a new rainbow appears
in view of the blue hills
tells me he has returned home
to find all the promises made
by his own Penelope and son
unfulfilled on his premises
that he has not slept
or eaten for three days
hanging out as a beachcomber
over the countryside's tall dunes
as my soul is moved
like Homer
to comfort him
in his clenched melancholy
and to narrate his story
amid the new dawn's wet leaves.

 —Photo by Katy Brown


Hearing of a new whale
amid the waves foam
while putting away
my orange kayak in dock
for a winter's hibernation
grateful that friends
helped put out the anchor on
thinking of returning sails
of so many voyages
of Odysseus and Melville
from ancient tales
in endless coastline variety
as I hear my neighbor Igor
in his Slavic tongue
with his wife Galina
singing a song of the Volga,
how strange when Autumn dawns
come after us
and a poet remembers it all.

 —Photo by Katy Brown


There are few tourists around
but there are Fall River guys
out on lobster trawlers
with huge buckets and traps
early for a catch of promise
rattling their small boats
with different saints' names
by the waterfront docks
the sun breaks along the dunes
of the waves of our home harbor
by once steamship-noisy docks
full of sailors and their friends,
the wind may be treacherous
on a now cloudy Autumn day
when suddenly a rainbow appears
from out of the South
followed by flocks of blue birds
floating in the indifferent sky
amid the green hills' expanse
as a poet munches
on a free Portuguese fish stew
given to me by a cook.

 —Photo by Katy Brown


On a mild afternoon
of trying soccer practice
beguiled by the ball
trailing along meadows
on a troubled side road
of a farmer's market
a poet watches a new easel
of a surrealist painter
trying her hand on canvas
at rainbows in oils,
she tells me in an English accent
her boyfriend has gone AWOL
somewhere in the Middle East
or Middle West
that he is missing in action
and she has lost her tranquilizers,
that she bummed a ride here
feeling only alive by painting
and telling her of a hostel
she might stay in
and a town's psychiatrist's office
wondering if every poet
since Sappho, David and Homer
still run into the voicing
of such storied landscapes
to enwrap their language
among hyacinth and last roses
to transform their day
and readers.

 —Photo by Katy Brown


Walking through the hills
on a new Fall semester dawn
trying to be cool and calm
daydreaming under my arm,
nervously waiting to attend
a Margaret Atwood reading
in an academic sitting
with my hanging hand
on my sax
opening like pink petals
between hands
in a flower arrangement for her
only from my mind's eye
remembering lines
from her poems
like breathing rainbows
in spirals of red-leafed
shadows by the river.

 —Photo by Katy Brown


Waiting by the museum
at my friend's space
needing rest
but watching a film
about Hockney's art
recognizing our own
inner capacity for color
caught up in new bonds
in breathing shapes
from his resilient canvas'
of California's caprice
in swimming refreshment
with a weekend voice
of my own words
helping myself
my slender fingers
write, compose and paint
with our own abilities
never missing a chance
to remember art's face
in our own gifted frailty
yet strength.

 —Photo by Katy Brown

Today's LittleNip:

Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.

—Audre Lorde


—Medusa, reminding you that Poetry Unplugged at Luna's Cafe will be releasing a new issue of Rattlesnake Press's WTF tonight, 8pm, 1414 16th St., Sacramento.

—Photo by B.Z. Niditch