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Back to the Modern American Haiku Poets

Wally Swist (1953-)
Selected Haiku

the silence between us . . .

farm banter
the bartender chalks
her pool cue

going over and over
what my wife said—
petals of the rose

new buds
the ferris wheel
takes another turn

we wake at dawn
crow calling crow
through the fog

pelting rain
the cow's black spots
move through mist

brook's rush
giving the stones
a voice

thunder rumbles in the distance
drenched kitchen screens dry
mesh by mesh

the flatbed of baled hay
rocks with the tractor's pull
Indian summer

an old road through the hills
fallen leaves
fill the potholes

silence after our argument
crumpled cigarette pack

flecks of hay in the wind
a pair of ponies
whisk their tails

heavy frost whitens the trees
a strand of barbed wire

beneath the storm-shattered beech
saplings begin
To spread their shade

fishing story--
my imagination fills
spaces between his hands

deep bend of the brook
the kingfisher’s chatter
after its dive

stopping in my steps:
a bird who seems to know me
calls from the pine

the farther into it,
the farther it moves away —
spring mist

one broken pane
remaining in the shed
full moon

joe-pye weed
silhouetted in the sunset —
the heat

deep twilight —
the abandoned horse pasture
thick with buttercups

dawn mists rise . . .
the river bottom covered
with mud-caked stones

new moon
tightening the darkness
a cricket’s ratchet

walking farther into it
the farther it moves away
spring mist

opened so boldly
in spring snow
the red tulip

spring rain
all night
the same peeper



The Mown Meadow. San Diego, CA: Los Hombres Press, 1996.

Blowing Reeds. Fulton, Missouri: Timberline Press, 1995.

The Gristmill's Trough. Richland Center, WI: Hummingbird Press, 1991.

Sugaring Buckets. Battle Ground, IN: High/Coo Press, 1989.

Unmarked Stones. Sherbrooke, QC, Canada: Burnt Lake Press, 1988.

The Silence Between Us: Selected Haiku of Wally Swist, edited by Randy Brooks (Decatur, Ill: Brooks Books, 2005). 128 pages