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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 14 page 16


All These Earthy Things

by B.Z. Niditch

(for Juan Gelman, 1930-2014)

All these earthy things
the small myrtle at the edge
of the pond’s tall grass
as orange Mexican fruit falls
sponging Juan's sandaled feet
near the pomegranates
a nomad poet in solitude
on his hammock
senses an allergic hay fever
near an Argentine raspberry stalk
where an exile
from the Ukraine
by the hunched valley
locates carpenter bees
by the woodland sounds
while students search for turtles
taking photos of their carapaces
for their nature classes
by the scales and nets of fishermen
in a sky wall of early blue gauze
over the hospital ship docking
with its odor of cold milk
with rain on the horizon
by an open barnyard field
of slender curled tendrils
where the poet collects shells
to hear echoes
for his blank notepaper
near the ocean grove
the hauling of lobsters
in undulant waves
with many gulls crying
at the noonday
as this moment in time
is suddenly baptized
in fizzled rain drops
as tiny birds with hidden wings
curled on branches
sing of Juan Gelman
in the eventide searching
for his missing daughter
by a harpoon found
from the ditch waters.