Thursday, May 28, 2015

How Light the Day

Purple Kite
—Anonymous Photo
—Poems by B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA 


How light the day
at the county fun fair
near the whale watchers
by spiny lobster tables
a Portuguese fisherman
proudly holds up his cache
here in sprightly Gloucester
along the Atlantic ocean
we are aware of purple kites
and lemony hot air balloons
rising suddenly by sky writing
on fitful May afternoons,
a former poetry student
in my class stretches
his gawky opaque pose
combs out his long ringlets of hair
and on the common green
plays a love song melody
on his Basque guitar
giving up his tied bloodhound
other dogs bounding
after him from the bazaar
whose senior essay on Joyce
was our valedictory choice,
motions to me to move
in the strongest light
and suddenly snaps my picture
near the near Eastern rug exhibit
and Ron disappears
on the merry-go-round
with his sunburnt
girlfriend, Leah Belle
found selling at the flea market
feldspar star crystals
and a porphyry of shells,
whom Ron saved
as a lifeguard last summer
from being drowned,
we hear Elvis look alike voices
in a rolling contest by the Bay
amid the freshest noisy air,
they are putting out trays
by the blueberry pie bake in
with Boston baked beans
and a salmon chowder
near the lemony painted gazebo
facing the bluest Bay,
we are watching a Persian cat
trying to ride a mare,
I'm looking back as a guest
at the book sale
of my poem collections
those by Whitman
and Thomas Hardy,
others romance to a love beat
carousing away
having a loud beach party
waiting in a carburetor's
parking lot
by going Dutch
on a six-mile run,
some gossiping about politics
without any smoking guns,
now near a little league game
amid a boys' boisterous crowd
reaching out to invite us
to dance the macarena
and for others a Swedish polka
on blankets of white sand
glancing over the island festival
birds sing in their own rock band
by the dunes on the harbor
as sister wanders away,
nothing could be wrong
even taking our chance at play
in the spring resonance
promised for today.



When the river
offers us a path
flooding by the walls
birds in a sky rain
sinks our letters
of Dear John or Jane
as wild roses
hide by conifer trees
cannot dispose of love
in easy words
from the winding breeze.

 —Anonymous Photo


Watching the stars
on their sky journey
who needs a telescope
or a green catalogue
from Forbes-Burney,
we may be alone
like a leaping leopard
behind steel bars
we have a keen bard
to keep us on an altar
from being lonely.



After you clean
all night
drowsy yet
regularly in a cold
encapsulated study
you paint
tilting my portrait
left in my studio
by the blind windows
near the music stands
on the grand piano,
only your shadow remains.



Who was the blessed bride
seen all in snow white
engaged for a small part
in a hidden cameo film
made in beautiful Afrique
who spoke French
dressed up in the language
of a once colonial signature suit
in the rainy scene on the bench
drenched from head to boot
in a now forbidden apartheid age
taking her vows and bows
in a full black-and-white video
her pages read to us
as she rehearsed in review
on a past ceremonial stage
where few actors like her could go.

 Green Painting
—Painting by Franz Kline

Birthday May 23 (1910-1962)

Knowing that your abstracts
blur all our open eyelids
of subterranean forms and colors
with a nimbus of language
penetrating abrupt surfaces
of our subconscious
overtaking our unshaven lives
from your easy-going hands
as we stare at a standstill
not turning one glance away
captured here in the museum
in your secrets, Franz Kline
leaning gently down
at your aromatic canvas
roundly contracting our eyes
into shapes and brushing
by the matted body entangled
following your underground art
on webs of gray shadings
of pure Asian calligraphy
to open our nexus of joy
from reflected grids
of your amazing experience
at our pupil's moist eyes
give us unforgettable stares
into alembic creative moments
from your felled strokes of time.

 Sara Holding a Cat
—Painting by Mary Cassatt

May 25 (1910-1962)

Because we search for beauty
in our terrestrial quest
alone by her "Sara Holding a Cat"
a light coiled from impressionism
made us conscious of light
wandering in the museum rooms
we engage in your oiled memory
away from arbitrary
or contrary reflective thoughts
remembering your friendship
with Degas in Paris
how we celebrate you today
watching your nascent exquisite
emerging fine art details
in unveiled mirrors of color
on the canvas of Mary Cassatt.

 Madonna of the Rocks, 1912
—Painted Plaster by Alekandr Archipenko

May 30 (1887-1964)

In layers of stone
from terra cotta
your space in our time
the bent arm
of a patient genius
for a sculptured language
all its own
gave us a radiance
as we circle the walls
of your years of semblances
from art's patterns
and abstract alliances
in clarity and reality
we patrons leaning on chairs
as cool connoisseurs
celebrate your imagination
in all its mirrors.


May 31 (1819-1892)

it was at seven
when I was given a copy
of your "Leaves of Grass"
under beech trees
here by the nightingales
your open words disclosed
a language of wonder
reaches out
as words to stun us,
we are your brothers
and sisters
as twin birds on
thickets of roses
hear tiny May cicadas
whispering their love
disclose to each other
your birthday's good wishes
as expression transfers
with a pair of poetry tickets
gathering all verse lovers
in every country on earth
as a star poet of the universe
to celebrate your birthday,
and all the salt of the earth
dreamers, refugees,
workers on the fields
dancers of swan lake,
jazz musicians playing
a round has your back,
whether by the sounds
of fiddles, orchestra or sax
or at the dunes
where you relax
down by the cranberry bogs
near the steamboats on the sea
as far as St. Louis, Missouri
those building bridges
on the brightest isle or eddy
or writing dialogues
for T.V. or radio
even in Japan
in Hiroshima or Nagasaki
there is a Whitman party
for our hero.


Today's LittleNip(s):


Never one question
or proven answer
only the fatal disclosure
you were the one who painted
the parting landscape of ambrosia
shaped and sought
your sculpture of a dancer
in intelligent thoughts
at art's accidental exposure.

         *  *  *  *  *


You cannot destroy him
the powers that be

Sending him into war
there is still no peace

The poet lives on
though he longs for bread

though the world may laugh
or write too early his epitaph

The poet keeps writing
for reality, for justice, or for God

outliving the dead
though the powers that be.


—Medusa, with thanks to B.Z. Niditch for today's fine poetry!

Blue Dancer, 1913
—Bronze by Alekandr Archipenko