Thursday, July 02, 2015

Four Winds of a Day

—Poems by B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA
—Photos by Katy Brown, Davis, CA


Words upon the sand
keep me near the sea
today a castle
does not want to exist
in a vassal state
so fingernails obliterated
it, however words
even manicured
or manufactured
when they touch us
answer or question
what is literate
they will not go away
even in middle age
but stay on the page
to reach us in a portrait
or act upon as a pun
above the riddles
on the stage
like a lasting kiss
or a passing strike
upon a cheekbone
in act four,
here a face in the waves
surges like the eventide
of a once-sculptured stone
still swims like a bride
for it is love which it craves.



We turn back the clocks
a minute on the metronome
to what was once orthodox
at arms' length
of music's holy grail
to hear the strength
of our hands on
our piano and jazz violin
as the music lesson rings out.

Years later
from aunt's grand opera box
we remembered our demanded
augmented scales
once played on her spinet
as her church voice sang
a leitmotif melody chord
to take to its limits of pings.

The critic DiMato trusts
his cleft-measured votes
and we are assured by our guest
the blessed impresario
to take his quotes home
who will listen, yearn, search
for our notes and strings
with choice con brio
and keep others guessing
for a minuet and trio.

 Shelf 'Shrooms


When our day half-opens
in unshaven grief
playing a sonata by Chopin
at daybreak weighing in
being between green innocence
and a summer remembrance
of feeling without purpose
helpless at surface wounds
in past aches of adolescence
we awake to our belief in life
ordering blueberry pancakes
with neighbors in a local diner
near the Golden Calf
or just to embrace in laughter
a surrendered memory
of that melody in B minor
which moves our riffs
still rambling in the spirit
such music which outlasts us
as a visiting Dutch poet
silently buries
his words on a sandbank shelf
along the riverbed mermaids
who hear country songbirds
on slate roofs of the Cape
waves arise beyond myths
from his draped words
over nereid nymphs of the sea.



Skin in the game
of my hoops winning
in my town,
taking my camera lens
over seas
following troops
of an army coup
who attack in a capital city,
we're near bodies of water
relaxed far from shore
motioning the scales
on a filet of sole,
now playing alto sax
by the skin of my music horn
cool as the skin
of my Adam's apple
when I was born
in the slap of my jaw
my life sliding by the law
taking its toll
Eve kissing me in the rain
just missing the train
by the skin of a gut
over a skilled membrane
and notes within a brain
to create a quatrain
but still we are made whole.



We windows
of recollections
in a prodigal discovery
of spring foliage
by a thousand sand dunes
move our space
of landscapes
drawing in a sail
on the surface of the shore
shadows rarely escape us
by sea squalls
within reach
of the beach blue gazebo
asking the sky to photograph
the sun's forgiveness.

 Thunderhead Over Lake Huron


No ash, fire nor snow
at Advent
will answer me
in my knotted tongue
moving all raindrop shadows
of my reaching safety
against the woodland trees
belonging to hidden branches
on a higher-rung treetop
as a young poet
treading in the frost
below motioning riverbeds
gets himself lost
by an Evergreen's path
his initials once scrawled
on a tall shade grove
sleepwalking as if in the hollow
of a small birdsong chorus
under nightfall's flakes
grackle voices awake
to discover the poet
at the cooling rock garden
by the breakable dawn
finding precious stones
a sparrow left me in silence
yet searches in a dark wood
and chooses the cleft of light
below the flooded blue hills,
while a pack of squirrels
no stranger to my memory
appear in the forest
their shadows in the grove
gather up acorns
crossing by the river
seen from nascent blood moon
a boy hides by church windows
just before the dawn silence
travels by the upstream footbridge
a young dreamer
within every horizon's desire
yet he climbs on Jacob's ladder
over hyacinth which rose
through shadows of flames
for human life knows us
to pardon even the snake
walking by many ocean stones
on the shore's ivy hedges
searching for any bread
beneath the leaves
in an hour of silent wonder
among nests of dry bones
as a solo bird by the lighthouse
in faraway suspended wings
forsakes his luminous invocation
the hidden wind grieves for us
reaching out on high steps
we are daily wrapped by dunes
wishing an invitation to believe
we rise with the dead
on the last day.


Did you know, Clio,
even you are controlled
by your own history
or are you wearily aware
that the news from family
is filtered to outsiders
before the story reaches you
as a spider outside the wall
yet we find in mythology
Jason's fleece
and here the queen bee
is in the hive
rises at a sunny silence
yet in secret
you survive to console it all
at a higher peace.



When we are vulnerable
and unable to express our mind
we still try the honorable deed
willing for other's needs in kind

The Golden Rule embraces us
through everything we ask
it becomes easier to love
when we remove our mask

Then our soul is child-like
we grow as an Evergreen tree
dreaming among garden friends
to know a pardon is to feel free

We are not driven by any weight
even on four winds of a day
warmly forgiven at every storm
in any form of fate on our way

It may seem fortunately divine
how our goals turned out
in serving of bread and wine
consoled by any secret doubt.

July 2 (1923-2012)
Your words aglow
spilling in your sleep
we recollect your lines
in our ringed memory
of sunsets, wonder, voices
we have no hours to lose
when you open our secrets
in nature's language
from your pocket verses
and tomorrow in Warsaw
the birds will be out
sunning themselves
on your house's ledge
returning to their shadows
in the four winds
of your translated silence.


Today's LittleNip:


Gold rushes on a bench
through a thousand hands
crushes forty pieces of silver
in the currency of demands

Exchanges lent for capital
a French peasant for a horse
what is pleasant of course
rides or stalls on the bourse.


—Medusa, with thanks to B.Z. Niditch and Katy Brown for today's hearty breakfast of poetry and photos!