Lee Slonimsky



Lee Slonimsky has published one book of poems in free verse, Talk Between Leaf and Skin (SRLR Press, Austin TX, 2002), but has been working primarily in traditional forms and meter for the past several years, especially with the sonnet. His book Money and Light contains 22 sonnets. Orchises Press will be publishing his sequence of about 60 sonnets on the life of Pythagoras, Pythagoras in Love, in 2007. His journal credits include Best of Asheville Poetry Review, Blue Unicorn, The Carolina Quarterly, The Classical Outlook, Iambs & Trochees, The Lyric (for whom he also judged the quarterly contest for the Fall 2004 issue), The New York Times, The Raintown Review, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. He is the host of a monthly reading series in New York City for Iambs & Trochees held at the Greenwich Village Bistro, through which he is personally well acquainted with (and an admirer of) a number of THT poets, including Bill Carlson, Terese Coe, Dr. Alfred Dorn, Louise Jaffe, and Carolyn Raphael. His wife, Carol Goodman, is an acclaimed mystery writer who has been making some use his sonnets in her fiction; she won the 2003 Hammett Award for best written literary mystery, is a current nominee for the Nero Wolfe Award, and has been twice nominated for the Dublin/Impac Literary Award.



Pythagoras Counts Toward the End

A flood of sunlight drenches this lush lawn,
and splashes radiance on nearby trees;
Pythagoras divides the summer dawn
into the cosmos, multiplies by breeze
and quality of drifting yellow light
to calculate how many roses thrive
within the boundary of his circling sight.
His answer's seven but he sees just one,
its scarlet shimmering in early sun.
But faith in truth of math endures despite
this failure; now, as mockingbirds arrive,
their music theorem for math's harmonies,
he calculates how long he might survive
to stroll at dawn, to count the shining leaves.

Published in The Carolina Quarterly



The Last Digit of Pi

Bisected by a tree, the sun's gold light
draws angles on the glass skin of the pond;
dawn's revellers, a pair of geese in flight
soar high above the wooded hill, beyond
Pythagoras's line of sight. And now
he's all alone, high priest of water, sky,
intuiter of theorems, teller how
this world's the weave of math, the art of Pi.
Another pair of geese approach and glide
across the water, near the grove of trees
he sits beneath. Bird shadows try to hide
amidst the ripples wrinkled by a breeze.
The last of Pi's that stealthy, he decides,
elusive as the wind this dawn light rides.

Published in The Raintown Review



Tunnel Walk, Spring Above

The ghostly spring still murmurs; water moves
with atom-knowledge old as heat and light
along the grotto's ancient limestone grooves,
its soft caress of stone concealed from sight
but rapturous as any human love,
a soothing blood for ancient bones of earth
that never ceases flowing. Listen, now:
a sudden bubbling whirl, as if the birth
of yet another passageway in stone,
quick-spins and spills directly overhead
arousing dread as tunnel timbers moan.
Yet also reassuring; time has wed
this water, rock and dark moist soil of earth
in silver-tumbling merge, unending birth.

Published in The Ghost Orchid by Carol Goodman, Ballantine Books and Money and Light by Lee Slonimsky, SRLR Press



The Philharmonic in Van Cortland Park

Drink deep this green veined air
the sun anoints with light;
behold the way a pair
of thrushes now alight
upon a nearby tree,
and serenade the breeze
with notes in key of "C";
their harmonies amaze,
reveal the depth of art
concealed within this wood;
some mockingbirds now start
a second melody,
such music in their blood
as plays a symphony.

Published in The New York Times, August 16, 2004