Poetry book available from my web store


Also available on Barnes & Noble and Amazon


“I break myself away from the nicest scene happening here at home at this moment: my 88-year-old mom sitting and reading Steve’s poems with my almost-8-year-old daughter Sarah. They are discussing meanings, laughing at the funny poems, and having such a sweet time together, thanks to him!”

—Reva Youngstein


“Steve’s observations are stunning; they can be poignant, hilarious and heartbreaking. Always accessible and thought provoking, his poetry makes me want to slow down to be more observant of life around me.”

—Eric Weidman


            As An Artist

           © Steven Swank

He mentioned, if it was up to him,
he would kill all the weeds.

As an artist, I was startled,
his comment made me nervous.


Forest Midday Child

            Steven Swank 12 Feb. 2016

During the night
follow your child
climb out the window

through the forest
sculpted moonlight
scented pine and salt.

Should the child tire
scoop them in arms
walk in blessedness

hush of conversation
quietly both assured
each let go concerns

find a spot of comfort
settle there to sleep
awake midday in ferns.


            The Chair

            Steven Swank 27 August 2015

Until you sit in it,
the chair is only potential,
its purpose unrealized,
as if no water burst forth
from the fountains of Rome.

When you settle there
it vibrates with life;
Villa Giulia, Triton, Villa Medici, and Trevi
alive in Respighi’s sweep of strings,
oboes, brass, delicate bells.



            The Edge

         Steven Swank 12 Jan 2015

I live on the edge of your space, your language,
in the borderland of night that is not yet,
though the sun is mostly set.

I look for you among the silhouettes
and shadows of your presence.
If we ever find a way together in some fashion,
a common place or time, let us begin again,
express the rhyme of passion.

Let us find, mutual capacities for speech
to touch, finally freed from the past see how
we might celebrate the now.


            Your Smiles

            Steven Swank 17 Feb. 2015

Your smiles from summer
I have stacked like firewood,
kept sheltered from the rain.

During frightful winter storms
I burn them in my hearth
to keep me warm and happy.


Our Community Porch

                        Steven Swank 5 April 2015

 Cats were under the side porch
when we return for the summer

The kittens awkward and
scampered to safety

Momma cat cautiously approached
and let us rub her neck.

Now, momma and her kittens
sleep on the side porch welcome mat

The hornets come and go
from their home beneath the door

Humming birds, so quick,
fly through the space for nectar

While ants in line forage
busy with the heft of today

And I, with groceries,
stepping carefully, welcome them all.



Poetry book available from my web store


Also available on Barnes &  Noble and Amazon

The Horse Knows

"Steve Swank, artist, poet, musician, philosopher, jack of all trades, and fixer of all things broken, muses on the circle of life in his first book of poetry "The Horse Knows". His poetry expresses his mindfulness of his surroundings as he walks through town or down a country road or eats sushi with his son. Swank's poetry is contemplative, fanciful and whimsical and will appeal to all who wonder about their place in the vast universe.

                           -Carol Karels is the author of Cooked: An Inner City  Nursing Memoir, which received an "American Journal of Nursing" Book of the Year Award in 2005.


"An amazing collection of poems!
Steve Swank's poetry is moving and playful, swirling and forgiving, succinct and alluring, thought provoking and lovely.  It is certainly a book you do not want to miss reading, over and over.  Highly recommend!!"

Susan Linney


As A Poet

© Steven Swank

As a poet
I often have no income
but I am always working
in the realm of words
the eye of an eagle,
the glistening trails of tiger snails
reflecting the inner architecture
of balance and tension
quietly like mirrors.

You are the polished surface
I can see myself in,
inverted in a spoon,
a store front window at noon.

I recognize
the symmetry of your laugh,
the view from your roof.

© 2013


Sack of Hammers

          © Steven Swank

Like a sack of hammers
we throw our intent
in the direction
of our hopes and dreams

As the sack wobbles
in its unsteady flight
we watch weight spin
and mass rotate

We see it land in the bramble
or clouds of dust
as we walk to where it lands
we feel the callus of our hands

As we approach its resting place
we see a new horizon
hear a clearer voice
pick up the sack
make a better choice
and hurl the thing
toward a better idea

Repeating the cycle
we get there in trust
we learn what we can
and do what we must.

Steven Swank © 2012


In The Attic

       © Steven Swank

In the attic the sunrise blast pours
through the eastern window
as I sit at the roll top desk
looking westward across the valley
of our small town.

Beyond are the Ramapo Mountains
so old as worn to bumps
yet they gather first the light of dawn
looking far warmer than the frosted
terracotta rooftops nearby.

The birdbath too, is frozen;
colorful leaves caught there
shine bright through the patterned ice
with marks a fern might make if bending down
during the night to kiss the surface.

A bald eagle has come to rest
in our neighbor’s tree
to warm with grandeur, grace,
in silhouette imposing a silence
on the twittering birds.

Perhaps with a better idea in mind,
it leans forward,
casually pushing the earth away
as wings unfurl,
catching hold,
lifting in slow motion
for the rhythm of flight.

© 2012


Under Snow

       © Steven Swank

dispersed by winds
beneath the snow
wait seeds.

There, to renew
begins the growth
that heals the cut
called furrow.

Bloom where you are planted
with emotion take a chance
nurture both the root and dream
let your body dance.

Empty page potentials draw
baby roots toward timelessness
the poems I send are seeds
cut with the pen from paper pods.

Sent for you to view, and growing
fond, find a place to nurture then
that hearts like plants to blossom
also need the sun.

© 2010