Woman in boat on ethereal sea

Two Poems by Suzanne Swanson

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Cosmology: through a glass

She sits in a boat. 

The boat is the world.

The world is afloat. Pink

Clouds, deep darkness. Sometimes

She can see other worlds, the reflections

They plow silvered       through every

Kind of water. Oh, she swoons

To discover what lies beneath us

All: lakes, rivers, oceans, stillness,

Waves, current. Keeping us

Up, taking us down. Keeping us

Up, taking us down. There is no

Word for this. She cannot

Name how we go, how we came.   



Its Knowledge

I have come to lie down
               Beneath the oak tree. The trunk
Furrowed like a shakily plowed
               Field. I have come to breathe
In the sky. Around the oak,
               Grasses of the savannah, pushed
Up against that solid trunk.  How
               Many years have these branches created
For them the proper mix of sun
               And shade? I crane my neck to sky.  It is
Not enough. I must lower myself
               To the gravel path, flatten an old
Body against earth. On the other side
               Of the trees, traffic rushes into noise. 
The oak is unmoved, hands me
               Its love of place, its knowledge
Of stillness, what I have come for:
               To be still in the presence
Of intrusion, to look for branches,
               Trunk, roots, a home for the nuthatch,
Leaves like the paws of a mythical
               Animal. And, oh, those branches know
How to web the blue, gather it in.




Suzanne SwansonSuzanne Swanson is the author of House of Music and the chapbook What OtherWorlds: Postpartum Poems. She is a winner of the Loft Mentor Series; she helped to found Laurel Poetry Collective. Recent poems have appeared in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Under Review, Water~Stone Review, and Land Stewardship Letter. She rows on the Mississippi River and is happiest near big water.

Header photo by Arlo Magicman, courtesy Shutterstock.

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