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Emil B. Swift


Willow Creek, CA, US

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Child's Play


Emil B. Swift

Luke 10.17-19

My father, an effusive, genial spirit,
Has made Mephistopheles (the harlequin)
Exclude his darkly Draconic figure
From the play-house of our comedy.

Freed from this malevolent amateur
Whose only spoken line was a malediction,
Our sheer play ascends to brilliance
Eclipsing the finite and down-cast Sol.

Father's Day


Emil B. Swift

Getting to know You, Father,
is such an odd affair --
You are so close to me,
I'm so very far...


In dream-bound sleep of early morning,
You come to touch my face to love me to wake me so gently --
You woo me from sleep's seductive grasp and singing
kindly chase away night's phantasies
calling me into Jubilee.

You whisper to my ears, "Awake!"
and kiss my eyelids open
and love me as Your precious own...


Getting to know You, Father is the oddest affair --

In darkest night I dreamt of pleasant places --
of blissful moments and flying free --

but You called and I awoke...
all dreams vanished (my bubble burst!)
sweet sleep slides away now

Awakened to Your sweet Love.

Kingdom Portal


Emil B. Swift

Puzzle indeed, sweet mysterie

Kingdom without -
World-whelming, Earth-effacing, filling all-in-all;

Kingdom within -
Ego-whelming, self-effacing, hid in heart so small,

Brazen gazen, true amazen -
look without look within
look within look without

Look at me Look at Him Look about
See the angels Shout!

Crossing the Border


Emil B. Swift

Crossing the border finally
Was a unique experience and
Awaited long by me.
Thinking this a somewhat primitive country,
Having been told by those who know that it could
Be difficult getting thru, I'd
Arrived prepared to offer a bribe -- some home
Spun tapestry I'd left unused.
Facing the guard I tried to
Slip the bribe to him; he didn't
See it. More obviously I pointed to it; he
Shook his head. I
Argued that it had quality, texture and he
Turned away. Unable to transcend
The shock of this denial, my eyes studied
The warp and woof of the cloth
In my hand, traced the intertwined
Figures representing Earth and Sky, Fire and Water,
And the multitudinous figures of people.
And wondered if this had not been used
As a bribe, saved to give away, to give
To the border guard, if I could have
Enjoyed it more back home,
Found joy in this my humanity.