Wednesday, May 6, 2015

John Swain- Three Poems

At the Inlet 

Riptides shift at the inlet 
with a violent pull 
back to the ocean. 
Sun breaks the marine layer 
to color the waves in places 
of spectral entrance. 
Grave-shaped winds bury 
the shore with shore 
to begin a new world. 
A serpent completes the ring 
holding me in change 
I take from the watchful. 
Crows darken the oak 
like the hope of arising 
from the dreaming mask
I shadow with the water.

Ravine the Shadow

Hemlock tower and rhododendron
where the wild river falls over the sheer rock,
a blue-eyed, black-haired girl 
stands half naked in the torrent.
Sun a candle flame at the blue mountain peak
I fall beneath
each ravine the shadow of a black bear.
Painted trillium hillside,
a timber rattlesnake disappears into the path,
the lady of the mountain sings from a boulder
in the hollow of the rushing water.
The thundering waterfall an echoing bell
afloat in the void and constant,
I disembody becoming my body and this veil
to travel upward with the raven and flowers.

A May Wreath

Water pouring over moss
down the hill from the caves,
the source returns to light.
Fragrant passages of dogwood and jasmine
maze through the rock glade,
sun green behind a clear leaf.
Bright of the hiding world,
God in all,
a child wakes from the land.
Rose and blackberry thorns
cross like arms before your chest 
of pale skin in exaltation
before we swim the river.
Goodness of this day wading
until the darkness comes,
I take a stone to remember.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment