Thursday, March 26, 2015

John Swain- Three Poems

A Throwing Veil

After fishing the beach
the eagle turns to light
behind the pines
like a bright sun to the west
chased by crows.
I put my face
to the darkening waves
beginning to rain
in consummation.
I see you naked,
the black mist lifts
a fragrant throwing veil.

The Angle of List

Thunderhead storm winds build in the evening
as the sea of lightning shakes a gull bone rattle,
the waves break in white spray trailing.
Ring of vision
with the grey sky and waves prostrate
as the osprey cries your brother of the Atlantic.
I dissolve in the salt like the pillar of a woman
seeing angels
swim with the ships ripping their sails.
Origin of our source this dark migration route
extends the horizon
from body to body, face to face, hand in hand.
Then the severing overwhelms
the myth of contentment, the myth of oneness,
and we continue the angle of list.

Sea Island

The sea island bells
for the fog in the harbor
dredged onto barges.
Caroline, your twin,
Susannah has gone
back to the mountains.
I loved in a misuse,
I took my confession
from the ghost on the water.
A still quiets the bells
like a name vanishes
with the childless.
Black oaks hold
the world submerged
in the grey dawn.

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

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