Predator caged

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Le Jardin des Plantes

1. Snow leopard
Soundless as snow
the leopard comes,
all of his weight
is in the gold of his predatory eyes.
He comes down from

the bright mountains
with the musk of deer,
the scent of ice,
the grazing breath
of the high, prodigious goats
meticulously held
in the perfume of his face.
He is exactly the size
of the strike
in his lethal heart.

He prowls
behind the heavy, protecting glass
in amongst the cemented stones,
ready at the impatient edge,
the predator,
eternally deprived of prey.

2. Orangutan
In his sullen belfry
he rests in his bemusement,
this Quasimodo,
and considers the splendour of his fingers,
his great patriarchal hands;
yet his back is arched away,
he is a wary gambler
guarding his jealous cards.

But then,
he leaps with the facility
of a melodious song,
as if adrenalin had rushed
his simian arms
and he swings through the loopholes
of his aptitudes. 
Swooning in this mastery of air
he is the twilit forest,
he is the warm tropical rain
that shimmers on a celtic coat;
he is the russet arc that veers
between the far destinations
of Cancer and Capricorn.

3. Flamingoes
They are the strangest fruit,
grown on thornless canes;
they are the pink locutions
of a calligrapher's pen.
Even in their slow tense
they are tentative,
poised as if each step
were a princely thing
reserved for the pleasure
of their king;
If they could sing,
then their secret song
would be 'La Vie en Rose'.

Although they are sinuous,
they like good order,
they nest in the symmetry of sonnets;
For all their shyness,
they never blush;
for all their mock hauteur,
they are never vain;
and, for all their flamboyance,
they never dress for dinner. 

PoetGrant Fraser is a lawyer, poet and filmmaker. His collection of poetry Some Conclusion in the Heart was published by Black Willow Press.


Topic tags: new australian poems, Grant Fraser, Snow leopard, Orangutan, Flamingoes, Le Jardin des Plantes



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I would very much like to purchase Conclusion in the Heart. But I have been unable to find how {or where ]I might do so.
David O'Donoghue | 02 September 2010


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