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.