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Poetry

Marc Swan

Marc Swan is a retired vocational rehabilitation counselor living in coastal Maine with his wife Dd, a maker and yoga teacher. Poems recently published in Gargoyle, Crannóg, Chiron Review, Concho River Review, among others. Marc’s collection, today can take your breath away was the first title published by Sheila-Na-Gig Editions: https://sheilanagigblog.com/sheila-na-gig-editions-quick-shopping/marc-swan/

A Natural Voice

An older man in a red and green flannel shirt,
wire frame glasses, well-worn jeans,
wearing a blue Dodger’s cap
sits a couple of stools from me.
He’s on his third Bud since I’ve been here.
I’m nursing a second house chardonnay.
Glendale Boulevard dances in a stream
of light through narrow window panes.
I’ve been telling Maria behind the bar
about my year in Lake Tahoe.
The man turns to me with a quizzical look—
What do quaking aspens sound like?
I take a long pull on my chardonnay,
think back on weekly treks over the pass,
think of a herd of deer barely visible
in morning dew settled on the grassy knoll
before cresting the hill on Highway 89
to Alpine Village on to Markleeville.
In the fall I’d slow for a grove of aspens
singing their melody, shimmering
with their last golden breaths.
Hope, I tell the man with the Bud in his hand,
and possibility.

Synthesis

after the Historians, Eavan Boland

I read this book of poems
and read them once again,
reflections of a lifetime
on the island of troubles, then and now
and more to come.
She writes of family,
of the tallow, the wick, the lamplighter,
the sodden,
the misbegotten,
those foundering, those found,
the wind, the rain,
bellicose and brave finding solace
on sorrowful shores, choppy seas,
cormorants soaring,
the seed planted rising each spring.
It’s the memories that keep fires lighted
not history snuffed
like a candle in a fractious wind.