Two Poems by Brian Swann

‘The Man’ and ‘The Mare’
(Alyssa Boobyer/Unsplash)


Moon’s up, flinging
bits of herself out
into the void where

stars sting, flint,
fer-de-lance, bloom
like neurons,

neuroses, till dawn
spills over a line
of migrating sandpipers

skimming the swell
as the tide turns
leaving froth, wrack,

detritus and at the
water’s edge a man
leaving no prints.


Wind ground down,
dropped into the west.

This morning orders
came from the east:

everything stay where
it is. Trees freeze.

The waterfall stops,
painted on rock.

I open the window to what’s
in silence. Thrush,

flute, nothing, just
me and the old mare,

head to wind, facing
the snow, flicking it

from her flanks, nostrils
wide, breathing it in.

Published in the February 2022 issue: 

Brian Swanns most recent poetry collection is Imago (Johns Hopkins University Press), and his latest fiction is Huskanaw (MadHat Press). He teaches at Cooper Union in New York City.

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