Sunday, May 1, 2011

elegant journey

She must hold words in the palm of her hand --
round magic forms glowing, weighted with telling.
From deep veins of time and memories of substance,
she has conjured these colors of blown-glass words,
and they are hers by right of Russian reflections.
She has lived in kindred literatures of uncovering,
revealing surfaces and subtleties of life in words.

And then she learned English.

Language is distilled into potency,
like the ambered vapors of brandy,
when a secret agent's pen burns
through English words and grammar.

She distills it to a supple eloquence.
She brings English to spirited brilliance.

Joseph Conrad came from Polish idiom,
next door to Russia, a cousin tongue.
He sails beneath our worn air of words,
his fabric stretched on masted grammar,
silken and catching such complex phrases
on the freshening zephyrs of storied saying.
The natives are beguiled, bemused, awed.

What is it with her and him and language?!

When I read her words given to me in English,
my eyes find traces of an older, elegant life.
It's as if these English words had journeyed
across a sea of higher plasmas and breezes.

Copyright 2011 -- Tim Buck


  1. Mmmmm. *sigh* in long exhaled satisfaction.

    "ambered vapors of brandy,
    when a secret agent's pen burns"