Poetry » Lee Slonimsky »

The Trader

Lush water-mirrored foliage is deep
inside the pond at noon. Leaves gleam and bloom
with beauty that’s enough to make him weep,
if all his other sorrows won’t suffice.
Entangled branchery is like a home
for fish that swim between mirages.

                                                Twice,
he’s lost a fortune, had nowhere to go,
no refuge in a family or love.
He’d join these fish, fluid and quick below,
or maybe glide with swallows well above,
but he’s a prisoner of flesh. And loss.

And yet this undergrove has openings,
he notices, as shimmer fades toward dusk,
where paths appear, sky reddens, minnows flit.

Perhaps the only wealth this world can bring
is beauty, patterns traced by fin or wing,
beyond the reach of shadows, lies, or luck.

The Cave

These mountains form a bowl, and then there’s soup:
a brew of low rolled clouds beneath clear sky
with spice of sprinkled sunlight. We’re mid-loop
on Eagle Walk, eight miles away, so high
above these clouds, it’s like we’ve learned to fly
with feet still on the ground. A perfect calm.
Then smudge of black, due east; chill breeze. Hawk’s cry.

If sudden weather comes, we’ve still got time
to get to a small cave we passed, below;
and there we’d have each other, same as now,
no matter shrieking winds or driven snow.

No greater shelter does this world allow,
than these small caves, which ancestors fled to
when black clouds massed and ancient cold winds blew.