Sunday, November 26, 2006

Maggie Schwed

Quarrelling in Triolets
--To Mnemosyne

You can’t be sure what I recall.
Is certainty the point?  Perhaps
What’s vague is unintentional—
You can’t be sure.  What I recall
Will change, as I do.  Almost all
We said we were, we let elapse.
You can’t be sure what I recall.
Is certainty the point?  Perhaps.

I can’t be sure what you recall.
Is certainty the point?  Perhaps.
What’s vague is unintentional.
I can’t be sure what you recall
Won’t change, as you do.  Almost all
We said, we were.  We let elapse
“I can’t be sure.”  What you recall
Is certainty.  The point, perhaps.

She Takes the Summer’s Heat to Heart

With debt to a line from Samuel Menashe’s “The Shrine Whose Shape I Am”

On the splintered dock railing, a brief swallow
squats spread-winged, breast’s flush rising.
Scissoring the air apart, her mate
completes his work.  Summons her

To the sheltered rafter!

Tapped into place, this sipped grass, this
mud made fast, its hold small
unconscious dreams
of swallows, more swallows.

Water lilies dilate on a blue lake.

Through muck and root, the turtle skates
jaws steeled, primed for the least bait—even
the children's spit, their lips still
pursed in surprise.

Branches, meaningless semaphore.

Easily as wind may lower and lift
the sight shakes us.  No
consolation, as if we understood our arms
like the tree limbs, reaching.

No Jerusalem but this.

Margaret Peters Schwed's poems have appeared in Raritan, Nimrod, Rattapallax, River Oak Review, Ekphrasis,, and Phil Miller and Gloria Vando's Chance of A Ghost anthology; she also reviews for Pleiades.