Poetry: R.L. Swihart

Around the island a splintered ship

Contrary to popular opinion the table won’t abide the chair

The violet is shrinking beneath the blue umbrella

In the night air her match head flares

Raindrops fall in different sizes

The old man collects them in colored boxes

Windows are walls and still the bird gets in

Below the plank the clock is ticking

The dust doesn’t rise for millennia

Rocks, trees, flowers, mammoths, etc. He’s no different. You lead, follow, slant,
pool, or crawl up the yellow cliff. Leave when the light-giving ball descends.
Return to tease him by the fire. He still wonders where you sleep


Tonight, crouching by the fire, he patterns the backside of an ivory plate with
dots. On the front he carves the Great Hunter. The flint draws the huge club
between two legs

Eternal return

Heads are white when the accordion contracts
and the master cuts the strings

Before the bodies collapse I snatch them up
and transport them to the circle of grass
beneath the sprawling oak


Three toddlers on a pastel quilt
On two corners Momma and Auntie Jan
A most specious light