Friday, February 15, 2013

When Sin's a Pleasure...

Cheese Board
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

For Richard
—Lynn M. Hansen, Modesto

Soft morning light flows
through lace curtains onto us
entwined spoon fashion,
my spine pressed
into your chest, abdomen,
your legs curled behind mine,
bodies still drunk with sleep
as the furnace of your flesh warms me.
You are strong and I am beautiful.
Outside a song sparrow sings.

(first pub. in Song of the San Joaquin)


—Lynn M. Hansen

On the sunrise side of the island
long rays of dawn-light
color buoyant clouds
a soft hibiscus pink, orange.
While I am yet nestled in my dreams
you, awakened by the raucous call
and response of red junglefowl cocks,
go to gather plumeria blossoms.

In solitude you wander over landscape
manicured to perfection by immigrants,
approach each plumeria tree,
bypass the youthful buds and blooms
whose pungent odor perfumes the morning,
leave those fresh beauties to others.

Instead your eyes select the fallen,
scattered over the green carpet at drip line
like clothing discarded in haste,
mature flowers with throats of sunshine,
petals edged in pink, a few tinged brown.
Each one radiates a subtle fragrance
diluted by time.

Collection complete, with mending-kit
needle in hand, you carefully thread
each blossom into a wreath of surprise,
a lei of the fallen plumeria,
a gift to me as I rise,
before we break fast,
to taste Love's toast and tea.

(first pub. in Pen Woman Magazine, 2010)


A fifty-something widow I know named Kathy
says Jesus is her valentine
People tend to think she's staying the weekend from out of town
with the full knapsack that she always carries
but she only rides around local bus routes
though it apparently hurts her back, so
she has to put her strapped-on burden down a moment
to pull out her large-print King James Bible

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento


—Caschwa, Sacramento

The village sent out
a small party at night
under a moonlit sky
to fish for red herrings

guided by the radiance
of a crooked happy face
they cast here and there
but got no bites

the small party got
smaller and smaller
while the moon grew
larger and larger

daters embraced
lovers kissed
artists were inspired
children just curious

one last fisherman
despite more light
could not begin to see
that he was the bait

I Love This Joint
—Photo by Katy Brown

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

When the chill
of a February
will depart
through a cloudy blur
and you escaped
through three miracles
of good Samaritans,
a couple of rough
but kindly fishermen
who rescued
us along the islands,
love will out,
when this winter
from huge gusts of winds
and waves will not leap
up to the home harbor
where my orange kayak
called his home
and was anchored
a whole distance
from me
when sadness
is shunted aside
and the rocks
will disappear
from the streets,
the handshakes and joy
from strangers and friends
by the puff of winds
leading to a safe path
through the trails
of a horizon of woods
where nature
which makes speech
and poetry possible
love will out.


(at North Beach, 1988)
—B.Z. Niditch

That the blues mania
has been in ascension
with an alto sax
and jazz violin
taken from the East Coast
to the cool West
once locked in its case
in the brain fevered
harmonic convergence
of the weathered sun
waiting only for rosin
to gloss its fretted
sexy strings to skin alive
its most up beat riffs,
played on like white wine
from Bordeaux
funky in its time,
to pick the energy up
coaxing the fiddled Muse
at this Friday night gig
disguised with excused
loss and absences
in mood variations
and color lights
undone by a Beat poet.


—B.Z. Niditch

The days remember me
at a long season
along surf boards
poised in the water
in the summer of l980
along the Pacific
when my first images
lodged and assembled
in ditch water sand
at Venice beach
at daybreak innocence
when sunshine
consumed a mud-baked
shore like a newborn
of the embryo sea
expressing myself
by the fonts and shells
of my own shaping
a mystery by the rocks
encrusted through time
and for all time
in my echoing angels
which sing by life tubes
and beach chairs
the sea to cover me
like cuttle fish
in my own mind scatter
through a flower island
as an emerging poet
absorbing nature
in castle building
swims through time.


—B.Z. Niditch

Snow covers
over the mountains
in Aspen
where bird song
voices tremble
on transparent tree
and sunshine
like new moss
in a distant kaleidoscope
move in circles
of migratory sparrows
on twigs of departure,
and you ask
by the ice cold landscape
to be in the shade
of invisible first light
each dawn such as this
in a ray of frost
luminous as glass
transitory like fire
soundless as breathless
deathly wind.

Our thanks to today's poets and photogs. Lynn Hansen writes that Medusa is like a calendar that changes everyday... and that she enjoys the diversity of poets there. Thanks, Lynn—that's our diverse area, all right, and our friends from elsewhere. Katy Brown will be reading with her photographs and Phil Robertson at Citrus Heights Area Poets in Citrus Heights tomorrow morning; scroll down to the blue board at the right of this for details of that and other poetry events starting tonight (the Love Marathon!) and running throughout this weekend (three on Saturday!). Medusa's Facebook page is currently featuring a photo album by Michelle Kunert, pictures which were taken at Sac. Poetry Center last Monday night at the Black History Month reading. B.Z. Niditch (whose kayak didn't fare so well in the recent East Coast storms) writes that his first poem today is a poem about agape love about my rescue and excursion in the February blizzard of 2013. Your extension of poems on love inspired me. Love those lambs! [see yesterday's post] When we visited the Holy Land, near Jerusalem, the lambs came on our tour bus for a brief visit. And Carl Schwartz (Caschwa) and B.Z. have poems appearing in the new issue of WTF, premiering next Thursday night at Luna's Cafe, 8pm. Be there!


Today's LittleNip: 

Pleasure's a sin, and sometimes sin's a pleasure.

—Lord Byron, Don Juan 



Tired Foot
—Photo by Katy Brown