The swans at Lac Couronne

The swans at Lac Couronne


They hover on the mind’s surface;
   silent, self-absorbed
and watch the image of their faces
break upon the stillness of the lake.
At water’s edge the circling trees
shed their amber leaves with patient care
like fishers casting golden nets of time,
   catching autumn in the air.
The sun is bright upon the open water,
the mountain air is cold and clear.
A sudden wind makes whitecaps
   leaping mirror
the moving clouds above,
and on the surface all turns light
as wave and swan erupt in flight:
An ecstasy of wings beating, blazing in splendor,
a thunder of feathers sweeping the sun,
the white untamed beauty,
   the wild imagination
of the swans at Lac Couronne.


A pattern of white swans
converges on the blueness
   of Lac Couronne.
The trees like sentinels of silence
lean toward the shallows
   from which they come.
In deeper waters by the break
where blue turns dark with cold,
the swans gather like thoughts untold –
a necklace of movement
around the stillness of the lake.
Soon the sun casts golden shadows
   on faces calm, serene.
Like the vaguest dream
all motion seems to end,
though still they move –
in endless circles,
beneath skies that gentle bend,
   embracing them,
like the colors in a vase
around a blemish in the clay . . .
until thought finally stops
and all’s complete and done.
Motionless white swans
silently circling
a dark blue vase
under an empty sky:
the idea of perfection
at Lac Couronne.

– Chidananda Burke.


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