Beauty Unframed author Lisa Elmers writes about life, loveliness, and seeing something where you thought there was nothing.

the trout

the trout

a glacier’s stream in the tree-deep winks

black and mobile as the insect’s eye.

– it lies –

it cannot, it will not

meet mine.

still my gaze, denied, delights

in dimples, eddies, drags and lines

& spies, some way down,

the still room where a trout may move,



it finds his blond body, briefly picks,

(not matter, but motion)

the quick pleats he stitches from

shadow to shadow,

sees – by sparks – his fretting form

a muscle, minded, micro-mesh

dash into a grotto, under grass.


but in his hole, he is still

as a saint – in ecstasy –


how can he

– while the stream heaves

its heavy glass to ruck and foam

not far from here –

how can he




i say, again, the river lies –

it casts like a deck of cards

in cascades laminar, culling flows

top all a-tizzy, at the surface, swifter

but beneath, below

layer to layer

slowing, slows to a



& in this stop the trout lives

& moves & has its being

& it all keeps only because

he’s in – that – deep



afternoon, in antiquities

afternoon, in antiquities