Rereading Strindberg. Again I begin with the Inferno
Carbon is in everything. Gold is in everything.
And what will I do with the dross?
My doppelgänger inhabits the mirror. Some say he went
off to America. Within the last month, he’s healed
himself a dozen times
My chestnut has been cut down. The pansy on the right
has her face. I spend an hour or two looking
for heart-shaped stones
“You said you’d never see me again”
“I know it. And I meant it with all my heart”
After the rain I walk with a friend across the pontoon bridge.
Real and reflected world
The man next door is playing chess with me. How do I know,
I don’t. I sit down to write, he writes. I take a nap,
he takes a nap
I take the mail to the mailbox and he’s already there
I Google re the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
I see the forensics tent they covered the bench
I was once in Salisbury
I once was in the Jardin des Plantes. I saw very few plants.
I saw more lovers than plants. I saw a young man
cradling a much older woman. I was waiting
for the train
The night train from Paris to Portbou, then on to Barcelona,
no longer runs. The terraced oranges no longer grow.
We took the TGV. Variations on a theme: green.
Sheep. Raindrops harnessed for racing
My wife and I are doing better, so that’s not it
The millstones are invisible but larger than ever –
and they’re grinding us to bits
Takeaways from the end-of-the-semester meeting:
this person’s out, that person’s a replacement,
three men and a lady agree: our lives are
picking up speed and everything’s
downhill from here
On the way home: abstracting geometry problems
for next semester. Between that and the occult sky
(pink ribbons wrapping the gift of a sunset),
I got lost on the freeway and coming back
was like a trip to Buoyancy
Editing Dad’s obit: by day I read the feedback,
at night (in front of the TV) I revise.
Everyone wants a piece
of the action
A bit like Penelope’s situation, though hardly
an exact fit. Will it forestall his death?
Worth a try
In the Land before Time, there is no sorrow.
The hard science of Physics is getting
softer. By the brook in the shadow
On a cold morning and over coffee, a friend handed me
a poem to read. I read it and handed it back
The poet said she didn’t have words, but she wrote.
I don’t have words, they have me
For my taste, the poem was too political and too effusive.
And I yearned for an Archimedean point
R L Swihart was born in Michigan and currently lives in Long Beach, CA. His poems have appeared in various online and print journals, including The Denver Quarterly, Salt Hill Journal, Cordite and Quadrant Magazine. Matman & Testudo, his second book of poetry, was released in June 2018.