Tuesday, July 23, 2013

B.Z. Niditch- Three Poems


Not forgetting the hour
turning blue like saltwater
pitched down at Portsmouth
standing below deck
in the home harbor
my sockets gave way
to uncle's wounds
at Normandy
family lore remembers,
as whale watchers appear
on the wooden docks,
with latitude I take out
a photo of a jazz singer
from my wallet
crossing a Cambridge St.
to make a fist to the sky
with five fingers
about an ex,
the cold air stalls
in a jot of liquid silence
from a sleepless dawn
fearful from regrets
aching at sea years
setting sail
with this life jacket
at first light
in this old navy shirt
getting over a fever
dropping from an affair
of the mind and body
on board with vistas
from old sunglasses
bought for a song
at the last fishing port
as you recall
the keel and mast
from boiling winds
aromatic waves
blowing hurricanes
flirting with life
outlasting islands,
unexpected storms,
and crazed by
breathless breezes,
my logs still detailed
from studious sockets
as rain takes
on a Bilbao ferry
for one more voyage
from beach head squalls
with a tidal journal
awaking buried loss
to waves on its memories
and swallow a conscience
as surf rises
on the ocean mirrors.


Timeless as rowan trees
murmurs of lost jays
appear to scatter
amid the distant shades
on bone still branches
of sea birds who tune on
by the river bank
with a high pitch,
literally lost and injured
on an unfamiliar green hill,
loose leaf notebook in hand
expected to survive a fall
though now one armed
among summer shadows
advancing up mountains
by crags of impatiens
map bound to earth
through unfamiliar trails.


Taking a cab
hearing Coltrane's riffs
as snow kisses
making bodiless clouds
on the taxi window
and I'm late
for my first urban read
with a short letter
from Auden
who spoke
on the airwaves
helping me
with an introduction
leaving my verse
with no city signs
as the fares mount
on a sleepless hour
of magnetic language
having grown up
from running
on fragments of words
in jazz Beat fervor
turning over the coins
to the kind bearded driver
who studies Swahili
jumping out
and breathing fast
to hitch a ride
by incredible Arctic air
in memory not distant,
at an impressionable time.

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