Thursday, June 04, 2015

Rainbows in the Waters

 Sebastopol Memorial Lawn, Sebastopol, CA
—Photo by Cynthia Linville, Sacramento
—Poems by B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA


After every war
we invent silence
even memory,
inside the quiet rooms
of our nerves
the recall of him or her
will find us offering a prayer
when the sunlight appears
on Memorial Day
through windows of birds
who flutter up over our windows
covering May's cool heavenly air
hands' outstretch to poppies
is reflected in our mirrors
along the surf's breeze
knowing we exist as words
become our lives
in every whisper
and tiny gesture
we choose to pick flowers
as a poet's shadow
turns in the high tide
drowning a remembrance
as rainbows in the waters
rise by the sea's headstones
choosing to revere
the silver thoughts
from our angel's occupation. 



After every war
or family conflict
we invent a cluster
of silence to pardon
even memory,
inside our quiet room
we will find peace
even in a gray empty sky
the sanctuary sunlight appears
through the scaffold windows,
we decide to walk
along the beach
shaping sails, shells, stones
warm as the dunes sing
out to us
as a memorial to pardon
the past and to reconcile
for our future,
we softly take our eyes
off portholes by the sea
as a poet's body of words
we fish for emerges
and a poem suddenly surfaces
knowing we exist
on every whisper's breeze
by a resinous redwood,
and tiny gestures of our face
at every dream of travel
we choose a voluntary life
following our verse's shadow
turning to swim by the dock
over the high tide
drowning our wishbones
as rainbows in the waters
by the sea's first sighs
and we wave into language
in our proofs to love.

 Noah Purifoy, Joshua Tree, CA
—Photo by Cynthia Linville


When we are down
and cannot think
and everything seems
to be wrong
drowning in words of ink
by broken mirrors of love
suffocating from the heat
we take a kayak
like Charon's oars
over the high sea
to enlighten us
in the cool sunlight
and breathe in ocean air
as once in the Adriatic
away from fields of wheat,
when a friend is in grief
open the doors to her
and offer Natalia a greeting
of daytime flowers,
give her no obstacles
in any dance of hours
for all miracles are welcome
in a luminous belief,
try to draw or paint
a number of pictures
as a bas relief,
when you were far
from home
and needing a plumber
in Rome
the carrara marble sink
was dripping
by your Trevi fountains art,
we choose transparency
to do my visible part
and drew Natalia in a flight
of angel bird-song above
the shimmering mountains,
when you need any remedy
drink from a parlance
to command your vocabulary
at a sunlight's window
outside the cape,
or call on the Parisian poets,
Baudelaire or Pierre Reverdy,
or give ear to Saint Malachi;
when I try to exercise
or play sax in the attic
to maintain my wise balance
by the music stand's weight
and not be sycophantic.


June 1, 1804

We walked into
my neighbor's house,
that is Igor and Galina's
as her son is wildly
running down the banister
with his new schoolbag
the couple dressed up
for me
offering us tea in a glass
along with kvass
and hearing Glinka
from an orchestra
playing on their C.D.
reminding me of Russia
in my old boots
and muted fur hat and coat
when giving readings
to those who love
and signed my autographs
between our tears and laughs.

—Photo by Cynthia Linville

June 2 (1840-1928)

Your novels and poems
leave us melancholy
to the accidents of fate
before we make decisions
we make alterations
from any rhyme of folly
and reach any probabilities
wrestling on words to wait.


June 3, 1926

Beat all the way
on the breezy June third
how wild bewildering hours
pass by in Manhattan
since we celebrated
in New York City
on your birthday
that make you over-sized
we are captured again
by your sitar
and a memory of your word
how the Sixties pass
and we are breathlessly amazed
with man we wonder
alone in our walled sanctuary
at your body of language
from so many earthy pages
that we still are missed
when your earthy lips
came on us with passages
in our own birth and death
as you sang and kissed
spilling out words
we have not missed.

 Urban Ore, Berkeley, CA
—Photo by Cynthia Linville

June 5 (1898-1936)

Let every chorus ring
with lyrical flights of wings
and musical songbirds go higher
on a lonely rapturous branch
even during this rainy season
Garcia Lorca,
under the clouds' expanse
you gave us a chance
under the pampas
and on every campus
to lift our spirits visually
by buried injustice
from every hostile
civil war zone
by your own exile
you want us to forget
our mourning every June 5th
and to play a jazz riff
from a smiling alto saxophone
and rejoice on earth
in your inspired firmament
and poem's arrangements
of notes and words
on your day of birth.


(for Maxine Kumin)
June 6 (1925-2014)

We're on your heart
after a short year
those whose tranquil words
filled our lightness
of language
for so many seasons
in laughter,
enchantment and loss
we still sport a tear,
is it really one year
you are gone
by a sunshine's brightness,
this morning we spied
a swan dancing in the lake
not fearing the water
rising near my kayak
trying not to forget
the moment
yet felt an ache and cried
sliding by the breakers,
after a winter of snowing here
by Vermont's woods
in the hinter's distance
spotting many fawns and deer,
gone from our sight on fields
is a woman of gentle verse
easy going in our neighborhood
as this daring life often gives us
a second chance
even though you fell off
a horse you recovered well
keeping in a nurse of care,
now in a changing season
of warmth on June sixth
with the springs at our back
we saw only music in you
where only poets dwell
it's only sleep we lack.

 —Photo by Cynthia Linville

June 6, 1599

As a painter of the brothers
who brought to their father
the fiery bloody coat of colors
of a disfigured Joseph
dropped once in a well
like those who once desired
to hide from their guilty crime
yet we watch Joseph raised up
in Egypt to interpret dreams
became a Jewish dreamer
and beloved prime minister
to be honored for all time
for sin is shamed in history,
yet justice reigns, it seems.


June 7, 1848 
Watching your Tahitian
scenes in all shades
we stand motionless
with joy
at the museum
as sons and daughters
watch the mounting waves
in the motioning waters,
wanting to wade in.

Today's LittleNip:

Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it don't matter.

—Satchel Paige


Our thanks today's skilled contributors! Note that B.Z.'s second poem is a reworking of the first, like we talked about with two of Joyce Odam's poems last Tuesday. 

Note also that there is a new photo album, Recent Sacramento Poetry Readings (from Katy Brown and Michelle Kunert), on Medusa's Facebook page today. I posted the photos in two groups, one yesterday afternoon, and one last night, so you might want to check again if you looked at the album earlier yesterday. (Like Urban Ore in Berkeley, poets are industrial-strength recyclers, turning one pretty thing into another pretty thing, yes?)

Free! Free!—we're celebrating Medusa's Kitchen's tenth birthday this week with our Seed of the Week: Birthdays. Send poems and pix about birthdays to and I'll send you a copy of the new issue of
WTF! Free!

By the way—if you haven't gotten a copy of this
WTF and you're a contributor (or aren't sure), let me know and I'll mail you one if you are. Copies may also be ordered for $2 by clicking on WTF??? in the links at the top of this post, or there still might be a few free ones at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sac.