Bonsai, Golden Lotus
Bonsai, Golden Lotus
A weekly poem, read by the author.
Jan. 5 2000 3:30 AM

Bonsai, Golden Lotus

Grafted to composure, a courtesan
Sways like a willow, & the sap
Stuns into a fierce singing
Snipped to mourning twigs


& trained bones. Divining rod
Cut from one musical limb
& limp. Wounded into beauty,
This root-bound unblooming

Breaks mid sentence & falls through
The bottom of chance. The trees stop
Limping when someone chops down a grove
To make an idea live, stealing breath

From a lotus raised out of a half sleep,
A shiver goes through hand-painted silk.
Stunted into green pleas, the whimper
& laugh grow into each other.

Yusef Komunyakaa's new book is Warhorses.

  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Oct. 6 2015 11:18 AM The “How Do You Punish This Company?” Bonus Segment Emily Bazelon, Jamelle Bouie, and David Plotz discuss reprimanding Volkswagen for ethical misconduct.