Untethered Dog

A Commonplace By Tom Swift



To fight aloud, is very brave— But gallant, I know Who charge within the bosom The Cavalry of Woe— Who win, and nations do not see— Who fall—and none observe— Whose dying eyes, no Country Regards with patriot love— We trust, in plumed procession For such, the Angels go— Rank after Rank, with even feet— […]


One night they both needed different things of a similar kind; she, solace; he, to be consoled. So after a wine-deepened dinner whey they arrived at their house separately in the same car, each already had been failing the other with what seemed an unbearable delay of what felt due. What solace meant to her […]


Somewhere a black bear has just risen from sleep and is staring down the mountain All night in the brisk and shallow restlessness of early spring I think of her, her four black fists flicking the gravel, her tongue like a red fire touching the grass, the cold water. There is only one question: how […]


What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare? No time to stand beneath the boughs And stare as long as sheep or cows. No time to see, when woods we pass, where squirrels hide their nuts in grass. No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full […]


Stand still. The trees ahead and the bushes beside you Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here, And you must treat it as a powerful stranger, Must ask permission to know it and be known. The forest breathes. Listen. It answers. I have made this place around you. If you leave it, you […]


When we are old one night and the moon arcs over the house like an antique China saucer and the teacup sun follows somewhere far behind I hope the stars deepen to a shine so bright you could read by it if you liked and the sadnesses we will have known go away for a […]


There is joy in all: in the hair I brush each morning, in the Cannon towel, newly washed, that I rub my body with each morning, in the chapel of eggs I cook each morning, in the outcry from the kettle that heats my coffee each morning, in the spoon and the chair that cry […]


Where? In the black trees that lay down and drown here? In the drowned clouds? — and no one to hold them back. Rhododendron, the night never ends. A still-life and a way to get home again. A moss-dark photograph turned holy in his memory. It’s anyone against the wind tonight. In the eyes of a […]


Is it starting to rain? Did the check bounce? Are we out of coffee? Is this going to hurt? Could you lose your job? Did the glass break? Was the bagger misrouted? Will this go on my record? Are you missing much money? Was anyone injured? Is the traffic heavy? Do I have to remove my […]