Todd Swift


An England

The air is active, intervening.
Outside my window, the park is green

And divisible. A girl passes.
Sorrow narrows and reduces

Whatever were the higher trespasses.
Step out of the wind and speak

With me, if you might, goddess -
What isn’t pushed down in me

Heart-throbs, though bereft.
After god, then time, left, kindness

Became a requirement, but rare, still.
I’ve done some thinking lately.

England’s cold as water ice-boxed;
Does it see the little grooves,

The tidy, mean machination?
Yet, sun slowly passes a hand

Across vales and lakes here
And, momentarily, a look of grace

Descends. A thought drafts up,
Feeling like a soul might, if souls

Were allowed by rigorous testing.
Cars are parked for men to mark them.

I want so much to bunch the lamps
Together in the park, a bouquet

Of white roses, glowing in a vase
That lets children dart among its stems.



Todd Swift is Oxfam Poet In Residence (Great Britain), Poetry Editor for Nthposition online magazine, a Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing at Kingston University, and a Core Tutor for The Poetry School. He is the editor of many anthologies, such as 100 Poets Against The War (Salt, 2003) and four of his own poetry books have been published, most recently Winter Tennis (DC Books, 2007). Poems of his have appeared in Cordite, Jacket, New American Writing, Poetry Review, Snorkel, and The Wolf, among others.