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New Poem by Todd Swift

Having been sick for months, it's been a slow time coming up for air. My mind was fogged, or so I thought. Poems have been slow, too. Here's one of the first in weeks - feels like forever. Thank god the poetry is coming back.

Start again

In a key of slow
Then again stop and go.
Are trees made of pianos
Or the other way?

March plays the bare bones
Like it was evening
In a dive, solo.
Beneath the poverty

A billionaire lies
Domiciled in the soil
And about to pay out glowing
Light and growth.

Recovery is what the ill
Try to do, and succeed
Or die. Health is a portfolio
We all want into.

I am putting these together
Not as if my life depended
On the assembly, that’s bomb
Disposal. Or disassembly,

Critical. Wires cross
As leaves revive cool green
And April steps out
Into the sun after a year

On the town, run down, has-been.
Nothing cyclical gets lost:
Time spins and so is redeemed;
Spins because planetary, so

Laws define the poetic sense
That hope is eternal; poetry
Makes lawyers of us all.
I step forward knowing my foot

Slips as part of its patter,
Faster then slower, not always
A goer but ready for a tip or jot.
No longer hot toddy, I warm

To the idea of writing
As a second chance to fail.
The grandeur was always second-hand,
Beauty the accident in what we planned;

The birth of someone else’s child
When your hallway has no pram.
Gutted is the direction we head in
Leaving traces of our loss behind –

A fish dragged across the water
On a line you’d miss until blind.
I felt loss when it left me
Saw what I had as it flew

Caught the train by jumping ship
And sailed for home in a caboose
Boxed my eagles with an iron glove
Glued love to my ears loose but true.


Maida Vale, March 2010

poem by Todd Swift
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Life Jacket

summer camp shirtsI couldn’t fit in then
are half my size nowI wanted to wear
smaller and smallerarticles of clothing
I shrunk to the sizethat disappeared

of an afterthoughtin a sinking ship body
too buoyant to sinktoo waterlogged for land
I becamea dot of sand