Friday, February 27, 2015

John Swain- Three Poems

The River Sang

The moon in urn
between your breasts
hangs a casting amulet.
I seized for breath
when I threw myself
into the pool
of blue snow melt
on the mountain
in the darkness
of a silent brown owl.
The sky is patient
with the grief of leaving
the whole we destroy.
The river of fish
sang with one voice,
I heard you speak
painting the trees
until we wake in the grace
of a cloud fire.
A white deer sprang
from the jawbone
in my hand
then disappeared
into clear water.

The Turning Hawk

With lightning in my eyes
I watched the turning red hawk turn white
against the winter trees.
The sleeping earth wakes in crystal lines
as the river shatters ice
moving to flood the oak bottomland forest.
My chapped lips groaned to hold the sun
in a maiden song dawn
until the passing hours took its antler shine.
Deep in the snow like a sky of nix roses,
I remained in the blinding white, drowned
with a brook horse riding.
Then the mirror fields flow 
into a grey palace for our desired privacies,
the ring of your world floats like a candle.

Sycamore Field

In the center of a field
one sycamore spread
from her breasts
under the curved horn
of white branches
toward the darkness
of the horizon forest,
the seer is a woman.
I crossed the depth
of untouched snow
for the owl in the well
of this tree’s mouth,
the clipping winds
filled with glass
to speak the meaning
of the hollow within.
In the winter evening,
she lives her body
under tarot blue robes
for a fire
burning our histories
in a cleansing incense
to the seekers
of her unending heart.

John Swain lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Red Paint Hill published his first collection, Ring the Sycamore Sky.

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