A Poem by Wally Swist


Driving through the waist-high fields of corn
still wet with early morning rain
the road fanning out on both sides
between the wispy inflorescence of the meadows
grown since the first haying
and at the field’s end
by an intersection of roads
that one stand of curly brown dock
providing the perspective
amid nodding umbels of Queen-Anne’s lace
by juxtaposing that dab of deep color to the landscape
to endow it with expanded dimension and depth
before the range
of small mountains lush with the greens of summer
cast their shadows in the rain light
and my need to relay
all this to you
and for me to remind you
that enough simple suchness still exists
for you to remember.

Wally Swist’s recent books include Taking Residence (Shanti Arts, 2021), Evanescence: Selected Poems (Shanti Arts, 2020), and On Beauty: Essays, Reviews, Fiction, and Plays (Adelaide Books, 2018). His book A Bird Who Seems to Know Me: Poems Regarding Birds & Nature was the winner of the 2018 Ex Ophidia Press Poetry Prize and published in 2019. A Writer’s Statements on Beauty: New and Selected Essays and Reviews is forthcoming from Shanti Arts in April 2022.

Image: Fang Congyi, Cloudy Mountains, ca. 1360–70. Metropolitan Museum of Art / Public Domain

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1 reply
  1. Art Goodtimes
    Art Goodtimes says:

    How powerfully and elegantly Wally Swist directs our eye across a meadow of “wispy inflorescence” to find the “simple suchness” of a stand of curly dock, its deep dark brown against the creamy white of queen anne’s lace, that leads us up the summer green backdrop of hills. He paints a powerful landscape with words, as only the best poets can do


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