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     The Literary Review
                                                                          Issue 8

Page 55

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FLOWN
“A sight, an emotion creates
this wave in
the mind long before it
makes the words to fit in.”

    --Virginia Woolf

When the Hong Kong Flu
  of sixty-eight made another
Pass in seventy, claiming
  my mother due to a lack of
Hospital beds, suddenly
  everything slowed in the house,
In the neighborhood, I
  was kept from danger--my father
Somehow had less time
  to watch me, and so much lay
Empty, infected. There
  may have been shortages but I
Didn’t notice. Yes, and
  community pools, I remember
The one at the Y, was
  closed. One day when my father
Was at work, I promised
  myself I’d only cycle my Red
Royce Union around the
  neighborhood, not stop and talk,
But, instead, I rode all
  over Havertown, all the long roads,
Past shopping centers
  and churches and the golf club,
I sliced through miles
  of air, free as influenza, ascending
Up West Chester Pike past
  places the buses went: past
Manoa and clear out to
  Broomall and back through grief.

  G. E.Schwartz__

_____________

WRITTEN BENEATH THE PEACE BRIDGE

            Broad gravel and scrap-metal
  barges shove
The drift. Each wake twacks
  the rip-rap bank.
            A rearing tugboat streaks
  past mergansers
Dabbling water-chestnut,
  pinkish-beaked. Above,
            Pigeons on steeleyed decks
  neck-wrestled,
Piqued, oblivious to their
  squabs that whined
            And squealed in steel-ringed
  nests, nursed
Up in the high struts.Opaque
  brown particles
            Swarm churning through
  the river’s slowing tide.
That navy hoop of cormorant
  can compose
            A counter to this bulwark--an
  adolescent osprey
Splayed wide, Greater
  scaups--on the bridge’s
            Side; it glows while through
  the pale green
Flaked arches slide the
boats “Hassayampa,”
            “William H. Latham,”
and “Niagara
  Queen II”.

  G. E. Schwartz__



CYCLES

           I see a laundromat and
I think of my childhood, that idea
That you could throw your
clothes into a washer and dryer
           For a few quarters, and
have them clean and warm within
Two hours seemed absolutely
incredible to me. That sense
           Of wonder is still with
me, even as its joy is more subdued.
And what a space where
time slows down! Like sitting by
           The water for hours, being
on a long train trip, the laziness
Of Sundays--things all
existing outside of frenzy. Here, I
           Wait for clothes to be
wash and dried, and there’s nothing
To count but time passing
by with that rotation of a washing
           Machine: some time to
red a book, engage in conversation,
Check phones, but mostly
everyone just has to wait. This
           Is my
mono no aware,
my awareness of the all, a time of
Wistfulness of this journey,
like watching cherry blossoms
           Fall--that shared experience,
watching the clothes whirl
Around while thinking
about life, the past and present
           And possible futures,
what I can be, what I will never be
                      Again. And how everything--all
           of it--is constantly changing.

  G. E.Schwartz__
IMG_9025.jpg
© Susan Weiman:IMG_9025

OUR MIGRANT IMPULSES

Leave this?
As ancients fled
  from ice, who
Found fire, and the equator--or
  failed to find
Among the slick root-ridge
  stumblings? Swim
The up-draught of air
  intoxicated as birds,
Mysteriously instructed
  migrants? No ‘as’
Has had knowledge of this
  drive who desolates
And awes and strives--not
  epochal, not
Seasonal, only: once.
  Now winds whip the
Trees. We sign in wonder
  and flip but not
In the thinning branches
  who have left forms
Known as trees forever.
  We are left to the
Aloning power who gathers
  us now (tossed,
tossing)
  I sit in this tree. We sign in wonder
And flip. The gloaming
  draws near. The sky
Port lets in pallor and
  chill, leaf and stem,
Seal, soil is unthirsting.
  And others gather.
The flocking, the high
  homing in jetstream,
Stange ice-crudded, light-absorbed
  ways:
Something of what we sense,
  none of it known--
No rest, no place. The
  summer power thrives,
            Not drawing out, radiant,
  fearsome, for far flight.

  G. E.Schwartz__