by Mark Swanson


Yellow sun and trees
(straight like matchsticks)

rise over the graves
of Plague Park.

An old wooden bench
is centered in
wild roses and hedgerows.

We spoke of Russians
and baseball while
we waited for the
mountain tram.


Rods of slanted light
poke the scrub, needles,
and leaves, and make
the blackberries shine.
We pick mushrooms
in the northern mountains.

How many have you seen
in your life?

And what of the Winter war,
the bear in the summerhouse,
Finlandia with wife
and daughter?


I make lakka at home
with raspberries. It brings me
your fleshy hands.

Mark Swanson is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Writer's Workshop where he has studied both poetry and short fiction. His poetry has recently been published in REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters. Mark currently lives in Omaha's Old Market district where he and his dog, Jeremy, enjoy working to make the world a better place.


  1. This is such visual poetry. I very much enjoyed the flow, and thought it ended nicely. I especially liked part 3.