I dreamed of myself as a light following
A greater series of lights, in a particular
Pattern of circles—

A veritable sense of a spiritual
Architecture, as in the shell of a conch,
Or what is sonic in the soaring arcs

Of language-—
What Rilke’s monk exhibits
In his painting—

Brushing the luminous colors
Of the ineffable in words.
Transcendence isn’t tangible, or tacit,

But a glimmering,
As a ray of light, or the single wave
In one ripple of water after another.

Wally Swist’s books include Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012), Evanescence: Selected Poems, Taking Residence, and A Writer’s Statements on Beauty: New & Selected Essays & Reviews (Shanti Arts, 2020, 2021, 2022). His poetry and translations have appeared in Asymptote, Chicago Quarterly Review, Commonweal, the Montréal Review, Poetry London, and Rattle.

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Published in the November 14, 2014 issue: View Contents
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