Jane Zwart

Two poems from Jane Zwart’s Small Craft

followed by a note on the author

The World Is Too Much With US

And now for the metaphors that are not balm. Now
the winter of a single blizzard, of drought, of hogbacks
plowed across Lowes’ huge lot: a bleached reef,

says my son. Now, moored to locusts, a sling, a woman
sleeping rough: low-hanging fruit. Now metastasis:
milk thistle. Now the hospice of bees and frogs.

Once things took generations; it took seven, for instance,
for toymakers to rule guillotines fair game. Now, though—
now a stick is a Ruger the second some kid picks it up.



Eudocima Phalonia

One way to tell
the earth from hell
is to remind oneself:
for every narcissist

there is a creature
so oblivious to its beauty
that, for it, a mirror
would be a terror.

For every dictator
there is a caterpillar—
jet, cut from velvet,
splattered with nebulae—

whom metamorphosis
makes common, just
a sweet tooth, a moth
on whose mudcloth

culottes it is written
that a strongman’s arms
can be snapped in half,
his flex turned curlicue.



The World Is Too Much With Us first appeared in Muzzle Magazine; Eudocima Phalonia first appeared in Tahoma Review.

Jane Zwart teaches at Calvin University, where she also co-directs the Calvin Center for Faith & Writing. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Southern Review, Threepenny Review, HAD, and Ploughshares, as well as other journals and magazines. In addition, she is the co-editor of book reviews for Plume; her own reviews have been published there and in The Los Angeles Review of Books.