Three Poems by R L Swihart

Inukshuk (Victoria)

Between Emily Carr and the orca topiary. The Empress.
Perhaps the bees were sleeping.

Morning, she said, smiling.

Up early, he replied. Going to work?

You could say that.

The cool wind swept her along, rags of smoke spotted her wake.
She cut corners, scoffed at lines.


Names on bricks (too many to count) between bricks w/o names

The work-in-progress of Pollock gulls

An old clock that’s standing still

Inukshuk (Vancouver)

He wanted total darkness when he slept, not a crack of light.
When he left the room, he wanted to leave without
making a sound.

He didn’t want the jam to drop from his thumbprint scone.
And the real challenge is to get a little jam in every bite.

He wanted every line to be title-worthy (here he thought of
Herta Müller).


Paradise—or something less mythic, unreal—could be abstracted
from this uneven cloth.

And the opposite could be true.

Inukshuk (Seattle)

Pike Place is crowded and by the time they find parking (on Western)
the sun is out

•  A busking young man tries to answer their queries
re: the boysenberry

•  They wait in a jumbled line to buy a miniature Space Needle
sculpted from St. Helens’ ash

•  B. finally gets the fish toss on her Fuji

Back at the Red Lion (Missy has won again, Gabby is on the road to Cornflakes),
before C. resorts (once again) to invisible ink, he pulls a couple strings,
ushers in a few conscripts, and cajoles a let’s see.

About the author

R L Swihart was born in Michigan but now resides in Long Beach CA. (He just completed a “road trip” — from Long Beach…

Read the full bio

Issue 17 · March 2013

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