The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

1 Poem Published

By Todd Swift, UK (Published in Issue 14)


The poem that failed me failed you


It’s never clear what words can make

Appear, or give.  Some lives were saved


By words, not mine or yours.  Sour

The taste of promises unkept, on doors.


Knocked up, some laws, that changed

Some states.  But protest never dulls


Spires so much as switches plates,

Or the bread that’s sliced.  Interrupted,


But what was stopped was not rolling,

Can start again like any dull machine.


How much did blacksmiths derive

From their sparking trade?  The faces


Up in churches made of stone scowl

Down the likeness of their makers


And are shadowed without sign

Of renown; unloved unless webs save;


So too do lovers splinter away on boles

To mark a green thing running, Christian


Twining crossing desire and fame – lies

Because what’s named is not just


The same as the thing signs indicate –

Worse, a replica; so writing love forever



Doesn’t promise heaven; only gestures

At the far blue air, at billowing rain.





Todd Swift is lecturer in creative writing at Kingston University London and poet-in-residence at Oxfam GB. His poetry collections include Seaway: New and Selected Poems (Salmon Poetry, 2008).

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