Lee Slonimsky: “School,” “Shifts”


This summer dragonfly who teaches loops
of sunwinged flight to gnats and blackbirds learns
his legacy while sound asleep
in winter mud.  Pond depths.
Do sleeping larvae dream?
He’s wide awake pond-skimming now,
his gaze encompassing sunlight
and water’s all-blue shadows.
A teacher once so well instructed
in winter mud,
mentoring everyone around him in
geometric glides.


This bush survives the long long winter,
little more now than
a tangle of wither,
gleaming pale brown
in the slow morning sunshine.
In six weeks green small leaves
will shape its lost form
with all the sculpture green can muster,
and then summer’s lustre
will again seem forever.
No matter memories of tangle and wither;
no matter the dread gust-scythes of November
lying straight ahead.



Lee Slonimsky’s latest US collection of poems is Bright Yellow Buzz from Spuyten Duyvil Press.  His sonnets about Pythagoras have been translated from English into Greek, Italian, Polish and French.