Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year!

—Poems by B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA
—Photos by Denise Flanigan


Admit to the dawn sky
in silence
how each friendship of ours
once formed and forged
a secret language
covering a wandered life
between two centuries,
from cross-country skis
on blue hills
over water ports, by ship harbors
opening journeys
under light subterranean waves
with snorkels to explore
on coasts and landing planes
to speak for peace in war zones
remembering those shining photos
in the sun of children's playgrounds
the urban readings in Russia, Warsaw
Harlem, and in Dutch Haarlem
at the height of the Cold War
it did not matter, for people
like poet lovers emerge as voices
out of their homes, showers
book covers and closets
to greet us with dancing hands
knowing the Beat with the white scarf
and blue beret rambles to meetings
in out-of-the-way places
hearing our peace poems
on once-jammed jazz radios
surrendering all clenched fists
for endless riffs and kisses
from gentle lips and mouths
that awakes a morning birdsong
in hosannas all over the earth.


You hand a Beat poet
a baton at the turn of century
with a transparent heart
whose music notes
flicker in the sunshine's wind
near the train station whistles
by the cold air off the Bay
where I recovered my sax
in the last car,
the baton creates
the same metallic sound
when auditing an hour's class
in composition and conducting
with Lenny Bernstein
that summer at Tanglewood,
thanks to talent, hard work
and encouragement
my family said
knowing someday
everything we learn
will gives off good vibes
stretching out to song
and variations of red letter
and melodious reminiscences
in long life's friendships.


All uninjured soccer kids
with a caravan of painted faces
leave their own war games
to meet a friend
who reads his poems
with a translator nearby
over the enlightened fields
with other sunning children
putting away their canes
rest on blankets
under pepper trees
before a low vineyard
their eyes sinking into mine
and signing my books
with names from B to Z.


Those Santa Ana winds
brought a warm Christmas
to San Bernardino
and there was no heavy snow
for Santa on the stages
of New England either
only the leaves stir
outside the Bay
having a clear holiday
skyward and overhead
as a festive December bell struck
our town's steeples
with gifts and dreams
of children to play outside
when life's almost awake
for the new year's celebration.

Dec. 24, 1881 birthday

What pure poetry
you aimed for
printed as dawn's light
ebbs on trembling leaves
in dream glimmers
of grey scaffold clouds
the sun pierces you
on harvest fields
and river beds
an exile, Juan
we recall your hands
the red ink-stained wounds
of writing all night
we still long for wisdom
and for love in your phrases
like shaking wings of hard luck birds
unable to find shelter or bread
circulating like the flights
in the sky of embracing doves
on olive tree tops
in your resinous words.


Boxed out of the ironic
for your journey album
for Hedy Lamarr,
how we love her
and her amazing story
from fleeing fascism
to Hollywood
with unique beauty
and intelligence
starring in a well-paced
Algiers with Charles Boyer,
with Gable and Tracy
in Tortilla Flats
helping decode Nazi messages
and save Allied lives.


First painted your mother
with a white, long apron
then abstracts
always like a surrealist poet
telling unique stories
Armenian and American
as you paint in wordplay
a visual memory
on blank moving canvas
a pattern that gave us
a friendship in art.


Today's LittleNip:


Reconsidering our resolutions
knowing that love
is really the best of solutions
by this flame and fireplace
writing this poem of rhyme
of being blessed and becalmed
having this space to write
and play my own horn
is my desire at this end time
of year,
with friends reading my verse
in the depth of life we are reborn.


—Medusa, wishing us all the best of the best in 2015!