January 13, 2011

3 Poems by John Swain

The Bay Dreamt

And again the bay dreamt it was rain
moving beyond itself in impermanence,
freed to leave like tall beautiful ships
from the incense hills of a castled land.
An oak grew from loose rocks on the shore
then I remembered
the man I once was hidden under bark,
your spindrift hand made visible the wind
and enlivens the tree in a water of air
like the undulation of green anemone.




Fore Edge of a Precious Book

One leaf reflects sun gilding the hill
like the fore edge of a precious book opens,
rain scent clings to autumn ground.
The lake reaches for you through blue trees
and I chased as land repositions the grave,
I could not cry through your laughter.
Rust from the iron gate fell like a petal
as you crossed the arching threshold
away from me and into the world like a child.
Then we were alone with ourselves
each to a mutual dream arising like sails
far on the water where the light touches.




Rain is the Only Quiet

Rain is the only quiet
after its body wraps a curtain of water
shining around us like the empty room.
Fallen leaves rest on the pond bottom
coloring its surface like sandalwood ash
to match the shivering trees.
I will shiver with them in calm adoration
like the night you pinned a blue flower
and danced in waterfalls of auburn hair.
Then the rain disappeared from my skin
like another bed. If you drown these missing hours,
I will not want a different sleep.




John Swain lives in Louisville, Kentucky. His chapbooks, Prominences and Sinking of the Cloth, appeared from Flutter Press and erbacce-press recently published his fifth chapbook, Handing the Cask.  His work has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best of the Web.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, Jon! Love the line about rust falling like a petal - so perfect. Congrats on your accomplishments! - Lauren M.

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