Thursday, March 12, 2015

With a Likeness of Wings

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


Some dunes in March converse
near the shore's face
birds sit on an impassive edge
with a likeness of wings
by the sigh of a gold butterfly
over the sea and sunshine shore
if you might speak out a line
of the currents by the river
sailing on windy clouds
across an ocean's tide,
as out of breath in my kayak
children are jumbling
in veins of sands
with doubled glances
at the island ferry
trying to catch the butterflies
with clenched hands
not doubting their wish
to capture only a daydream.



Overheard this March
rumors by the bird house
in a flyaway time
by mourning doves
who drink the waters
of their sanctuary
under bright aspens
pine needles and maple
thirsting from streams
by parallel springs
of once-snow gardens
where labyrinths
of sea voices sky will rise
on changing faces
of branches.  


We whisper
that spring were here
into our doorways
where scythed lilies
and a few palm fronds
are sparkling in the sun
searching for a Greek vase
in beautiful blue stone
with two-faced
honey lemony gold figures
angels spangled on it
for the glorious welcome
of the holidays.



With my telescope in hand
glimpsing beyond the mountain
to watch lightning-flashed stars
on the horizon mingled
for us on the damp earth
here the reassured open day sky
admits all nature's thoughts
now horizontal on my pad
alive in the universe
to explore the unknown
illuminating the cosmonauts
in mysterious excitement
assembling for a light show
visiting my nana on her birthday
near the Neva's waters
where in chimeras of readiness
a young poet takes a swim.


Would you mind leaving
me off at the bus stop
in Los Angeles, Bukowski
a runaway needs to make a call
back East
who has run out of bread
and grief
in a cavernous dawn
bone tired
troubled by skinheads
and despairing shadows
in silences of directions
a winter's pawned jacket
covered with dried blood
drunk with echoes
and thoughts of ecstasy.



Nothing can soothe
my hunger or thirst
being Rimbaud
escaping to Java
and North Africa
even though tempted
to go home
my task as a poet
replete with a nature
of wandering as Esau
never able to reach out
in the howling winds
or in enfolded circles
of the Casbah
only with cannabis
and hashish
without my canteen
and a bandaged ankle
but my hands quiver
in absurd suffering
from my wracked body
of shadowing unsent letters
only the desert birds
are listening
for my parched lip
is sealed for metaphors.


Connections to our past
when life's reverie desires
understanding in our verse
from our latter dreams
alone what hidden breath
lie lovers from their quarrels
behind hidden ivy walls
on the other side of the river bed
of soon-to-emerge jonquils
still with sleepy frost
and icicles in reality
as doves rise up
to their first flight
falling in with my initials
by the campus yew trees
near the still-frozen Charles River
as the sun touches
your small hands
in raveled blankets
on the pathway of dunes.




Overhung by ice
wishing for a river
to swim in, like cold lemonade.


The sun is over the Charles
near Beacon Hill
a wave is suddenly mute
when Robert Lowell waves.


Surviving hospital, pain
and surgery
tubes inside and now out.


Grackles on my brownstone
peaks in dry mouths
on the black spruce
for a bird feeding.


Greeted by Corso
at City Lights Books
shocked he remembered me.


Clear canvas
in an outpost of Paris
on a empty room
ironed by indigo shadows.


Quick echoes
in a secret language
still pales
on my breathing notes.


Trembling with answers
in a far night
releases your flames
rolling back scorched colors
frozen in primordial space.

March 1, 1917

On birthdays we make truces
and forget the dark side
of our cornered memories
adding stars to our losses
with two holes for eyes
on lives of bottled conversations
the pale moon over us
under shivering elms
our shadowed gestures by lanterns
on old city luminary streets
with lamps to our histories
in shapeless words
will turn over into verse
you encouraged me
here on twisted sidewalks
of brick underfoot
to keep writing
no matter how blank
the night is before us
as a church chimes to us
in a rudderless life
the March wind glimmers
as we eat at Dante's
on Beacon Hill
as the frozen twigs
are no longer bewitched
by the iced Frog pond
and birds rise for the spring
by Boston Common
with a siren's taxi's cry
illuminating your face
for posterity.


Today's LittleNip:


A Basque friend from Lisbon
is back to visit
she is asleep on a hammock
plays her guitar's cadenza
to my chamber music echo
hearing castanets on her feet
asks to dance the samba
as if wide wings of birds
clear the knotted waters
by my unchained bridge
of a quavering viola.