Lee Slonimsky

Stock Trader in the Woods

Paul loves this glade, where time almost stands still
away from stress and brawl of trading floor.
Still numbers, yes: he loves to count the leaves
that brim so green mid-May. Add up the gleam
of noon sun rays; divide a falcon's soar
into some branches' angles. Random math
that pleases whim and whimsy. When he's full
of breezes' lather, scents, and high-crowned sway,
blackbirds' zig zags observed from flat-rock-perch...the path
a few deer take beckons him. He's on the way
to deeper woods where sun's subdued, air's brisk
like April's; leaves so green they tint the sky,
and there he ponders quite a different risk:
the gruel and drear of life without a Why.

Rainy Day

This morning, through the slosh and quag of muck,
the rain torrents, through squish and splash of step,
I heard the croak,

a mud-mirrored bull twang from glossy green
owner of windstrewn pond. Protest
against weather’s denial of lust,
perhaps, but then again
the joy of boom
has resonated since late trilobite.

His answer was just to himself,
another low dark moan.

Nothing like a rainy day
to feel so quite alone.

(From Logician of the Wind, originally published in Home Planet News)

Tiberius’s Villa

With stones this ancient one could write a poem,
if only cruelty were beauty too;
what inspiration, rocks necklaced with foam
where used-up lovers met their mangled doom.
But actually it’s stark--quite hideous--
to picture them hung from a precipice,
Tiberius’s victims, innocent,
eyes blinking back bright dawn--then down they went.

The sea remembers well what time denies,
in supple surge and shimmer, sudden crash,
and gulls recall it too, in glides and dives;
a scarlet sunset tints to blood their splash,
a falcon’s soar, the late day breeze, some clouds
that streak twilight. Now how the darkness broods.

(From Logician of the Wind, originally published in Measure)


Trees are the scholars of biology --
no doctorates, or fellowships, or robes --
but intuition, perspicacity.

The earth is riddled with so many woes
and trials, potential deep calamities,
like asteroid collisions, sun’s demise;
no refuge either in noon’s sunny breeze
or twinkling stars to come: those are mere lies
of sparkle, shimmer. Fusion is their core,
that same which threatens our farewell in war.

But here we’ll laze our heads back in the grass,
and let trees lecture us on sway and balm;
our now so swiftly merges with the past,
while leafy scholars talk of love and calm.

(From Logician of the Wind, originally published in Trinacria)

About the Author

Lee Slonimsky has published four books of poems, TALK BETWEEN LEAF AND SKIN, PYTHAGORAS IN LOVE, MONEY AND LIGHT and, most recently, LOGICIAN OF THE WIND. A. E. Stallings has written of PYTHAGORAS IN LOVE, "The sonnet turns out to be the perfect -- maybe even the Platonic -- form for Lee Slonimsky's Pythagorean meditations." Rachel Hadas wrote of LOGICIAN OF THE WIND, "the lyric imagination animating (it) is both local and global, both atomic and cosmic. A remarkable achievement." Lee's poems have been published in numerous publications, including THE CAROLINA QUARTERLY's "Emerging American Poets" issue, CONNECTICUT REVIEW, MEASURE, THE NEW YORK TIMES, NORTH DAKOTA QUARTERLY, POETRY DAILY and 32 POEMS, and have been nominated six times for a Pushcart Prize. Lee is also the co-author of the Lee Carroll novels, BLACK SWAN RISING, THE WATCHTOWER, and the forthcoming THE SHAPE STEALER, along with his wife, Hammet Award winning mystery writer Carol Goodman. A resident of Red Hook, NY, he conducts a poetry writing workshop in New York City, WALKING WITH THE SONNET, and is also the manager of an investment partnership, Ocean Partners LP.

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