17 March 2007

Two on Lenin

From Shade to Shade
Inspired by Nabokov, Short Stories, pg. 45

From shade to shade
The shrubs are sneaking toward the square

Elongated and blandly uniform
To the swiftly passing cars they look like they are standing still
Motionless as the severe summer afternoon sun

Personally I know better
I drank my coffee and watched them
Halfway through my second cup they had reached the blue awning
overhanging the exchange shop stairs

I’m not the only one who has shown an interest
The heavy maples bordering the square press together leaning to get a glimpse
The poplar wavers on tiptoes peeking over the full-headed maples

In the midst of the square Lenin himself has ascended the monument
He stands alarmed
Yet confident and overdressed


Lenin Descends

In the midst of a breakdown
The poplars stand exposed
Shedding tears of red, yellow and brown
The callous south wind rudely blusters their autumnal shame
Yet undetectably they lean
They listen
Change is in the air

Clouding the metallic sky
The crows clamor toward the square
The inhospitable south wind
drives them down from juniper spotted mountain slopes of gray and green
Swirling, cawing
They light
They listen
Change is in the air

(We pity the park trees each time we pass)
Intending to arouse envy
Assembled willows and maples overextend their renovation celebration
Faded balloon structures
Blinking, enormous sparklers
Trees twisted up in Christmas lights
Like day-old French fries, the stale party decorations ---
Tasteless and nauseating

Their affair is crashed by the intruding south wind
They quiet
They listen
Change is in the air

Formerly so confident and
Ironically, for fall, suitably dressed Lenin has descended the podium
A proud man
He remains stoic
Relegated down wind
Replaced by a tunduk wielding angel

October 2003

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