Michael Sazonov

Lines on seeing the first leaves of the Gingko

Gingko standing tall in the heat of the morning light,

premonitions falling ‘round when you meet the thing that’s right.

And the thing that feels so good is different than what you should,

or what you would, or what you could if the timing were only good.

The thing that calls you forth from moments of blasé,

demigod-like struggles between you and what they say

is worth pursuing when it could be your undoing,

what you feel inside your heart that never quite backs down,

from the passion that you seek, when you’re measured pound for pound.

For when your soul is tested and you feel like giving in,

there’s the little voice inside you that will always wanna win.

The voice that doesn’t even know, how to drive or how to thrive, but the voice when given purpose is what makes you most alive.

So take care of curiosity, and your sense of play,

do not lose your sense of wonder, and don’t listen to what they say.

Reach out to those who love you, and you better love them back,

we all need one another and that’s a secret fact.

So as these darling buds appear to pop and buzz and flutter,

let their resilience meet our own brilliance,

and let our hearts join together to help out one another.

May this Springtime bring us new rhymes,

as we first climb,

to the top of our own mountains.

Let us see the cordillera, la cadena en la frontera,

as we raise our own bandera, and dance in our own manera,

but never losing sight, of the loneliness of night,

when there’s no one left to turn to, and you don’t know what to do,

when there’s trouble on your mind, or the mounting stress of time,

when there’s peace you cannot find, and you’re anything but fine.

Dig deep and stand tall, don’t forget to write and call,

the friends you have collected in times of happiness,

are ones that become tested when your life becomes a mess.

Look inside and ask yourself, “Am I a light for someone else?”

Who do others turn to when they need a helping hand?

Can they even turn to me when their push turns to demand?

So as this morning sight takes a hold of my delight,

my prayers are with those whose world is full of fright.

May they know the blood inside them is not one to run and hide when

there’s a hitch in the plan or a fork in the road,

may we all learn to rest, in the peak of all the stress,

and preserve under duress, live to love and measure less.

May we see these ancient trees and worry a little less,

to know nature all around us knows the key to happiness.

Build roots and stay strong, live life and stretch long,

keep the flow of dance and song inside, it’s not wrong.

Keep playing and take the time to enjoy all the climb,

because you aren’t the only mountain on this stretch of borrowed time.

Shine when you can, in truth and happy wonder,

and look outside yourself when you feel that life’s a blunder,

not to point the blame at others,

but to think if I had my druthers,

I would have it this way and that way, and not any other.

Keep the hope alive, for a Spring when you can thrive,

keep the hope alive, for a Spring when you can thrive.

Keep the hope alive, for a Spring where you will thrive,

keep the hope alive, for a Spring where you will thrive.

Lines on seeing the first buds of a Magnolia Tree

Yet some trees are fully blooming

These green buds are justly moving

With a spearheaded beginning.

My eyes are soothed and start their grinning.


Crocuses and daffodils

Are piercing through the sun kissed hills.

While sunshine on my window sills

Warms my face, my heart is filled.


As I enjoy these throes of Spring

These leaves appear like golden wings,

All fuzzy with anticipation,

While I buzz in supplication.


I have drunk all April showers

And have felt my rooted hours,

Let me open like these flowers

Unafraid of all my powers.

Lines after Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí & On Kuwara

Su estilo y imaginación, 

aparecen en la conversación 

de impresionantes románticos 

sangrado de las guerras cuánticos, 

sobreviviendo entre épocas 

de diplomáticas y déspotas. 

 

El asunto de la memoria 

sobre la pista de desintegración, 

se constituye a participación 

de la humanidad pendiente 

y la naturaleza persistente. 

 

Con que podemos ayudar al Gran 

Orden de las cosas que ya están? 

Con nuestros manos tan inútiles 

como líneas tan delgadas para 

pintar al cielo tan inmenso. Ah? 

 

Ojalá podemos aguantar al lío 

tan opresivo y ilusorio, 

a un día bailar con el viento del 

invierno sin cuita, sólo saber 

que ya vendrá la primavera 

tan dulce. Ya vendrá el verano de dolor. 

 

Pues bailamos sin duda que aumenta la vida. 

Y pintamos con óleos prestados. 

Si no en realidad, solo en la imaginación. 

Pero anda, ya vaya, que haces aquí?  

Bueno vayamos juntos hasta allá.

 

Vayamos juntos hasta allá.

Sonnet on a Ginkgo Leaf

Through the strains of these veins, water did flow.

Nutrient-rich from root through trunk to tip.

For generations did this Ginkgo owe

None but itself a yearning chance to rip

Through Earth’s sullen view and stand above land,

And yet selflessly did its downturned leaves

Provide a curtain-like home to the ant,

A haven where songs of the birds could weave

Wise ancient tales of unwavering tunes.

Those selfsame leaves dance and shimmer like jewels,

Fluttering freely across many moons,

Bearing witness to all systems of rules.

I rub these veins, asking with my fingers,

“When we’re all gone, what is left, that lingers?”

Underground again

Hurling between stopping and starting
We clatter grind and chug along
The depths of this L track.

And bones collapse beneath the weight of plain old gravity
Muscles and tendons and sinews unknown
The levels as lists are endless no doubt
For learn well within you
And far out you’ll go
As easily as treading through the beast of the sea.

Hurling forward at a steady clip
Towards Brooklyn we right go
Seven or so I can’t look up
Gravity’s got my ears.
(And I swallow to pull them back down).

Lines on Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies”

Looking at this world through the eyes of others,
I prefer to lose myself in the in between
to gain for myself what I may glean.

Alone no more but quivering with life,
The sun so strong through clouds resplendent,
into your eyes deeper I delve
only to skim only the surface.

What collects on the surface is muck,
green from the air and yellowed from sun,
blossoms of youthful spring
and obfuscation around the edges
you are but lines and shapes and times of day.

Rectangles like bodies of work
at work and at play.

Lilac whispers in coming summer breezes,
while dusk coos me quiet.

The water never is still,
and always full of life.

Living for others is the all.

Where I stand and peer into “now”
I’m pressed by space beyond me –
far off, unreachable distances –
and I only move on
in between.

Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

1914-26. Oil on canvas, three panels,
Each 6′ 6 3/4″ x 13′ 11 1/4″ (200 x 424.8 cm),
overall 6′ 6 3/4″ x 41′ 10 3/8″ (200 x 1276 cm).

Moma Link to Water Lilies

Lines on “Agapanthus” by Claude Monet

So alive and free
yet part of all around,
flecks of fire
and fountains of youth
explode and caress,
engage and detract.

Temporal beauty,
fleeting wisdom,
down from Heaven
lost in you.
Teach us to live
but once forever
in and out of this world’s view.

            Moma Link to Agapanthus

Just a stanza.

Coasters fall from hands of youths
Like petals from white blossoms,
Stolen by a summer wind
Far off long ago.

Lines to a poet friend

To a poet stranger I’ve never met,
I wish you peace and joy and clarity,
Through the many miles that lay between us,
Of mountains, rivers, and neighbor cities,
I wish you peace of heart and peace of mind,
For the doors to one’s imagination
Are unlocked by an open heart and mind;
I wish you joy to see the pain in life
As lessons for the strength that you possess;
I wish you clarity in thoughts and acts
To be your best and never second guess.
I wish upon the million stars above,
In faith for sure I call upon them now,
“Take my message through this day’s fog to you,
You, oh poet stranger, I’ve never met!”

Fog

Fog

Through a veil against the coming day,
bare tree limbs protrude from the smoky white.
Lifeless trees stand yet reach out for the sky.
Some stubborn brown leaves like skeletons hang
to little limbs caught in night’s caresses.

The sky seems tired of being so high,
so throughout the night she must have fallen
to the earth where she remains entangled,
still here — her laced crown and diadem
do keep my thoughts to stolen nights with you.

Like a shroud keeping out the day, you stay
Near to my heart, and envelop my limbs
with heat from your tender sweet caresses.
I remain like the stubborn leaf, a shell
of my former self, soaking in your sky.