Wally Swist – Five Poems

The Rapture


The 28th of October, a Sunday,
and we have just returned from taking a glorious walk.
We were in tune with each other.  We were open
 to each other and we are happy.  When we sit down

in the kitchen, in chairs opposite each other,
nearly immediately we enter into what I call the radiance,
or the realm of light.  In looking into each other’s face,
we see a radiant glow.  The light fills us. 

The lights are often blue or white.
The experience amplifies itself.  There is a different drive,
another kind of velocity.  We don’t question
what we see; although what we each see is different,

and only upon discussing this later
do we realize that what we saw was different than the other.


I see Tevis’ face open into an oval of white light. 
Her hair is also aglow, and as her face reveals itself to me
I see it as the face of her soul.  It appears in the form
of a seraph above her head, bathed in golden

and roseate light.  The heart chakra opens up and light pours
out of the core of me into Tevis— a laser beam,
connecting my heart chakra with hers.  The rapture
is much more of an experience of bliss than I have ever

had before.  We become one this afternoon.  We become one
with the light.  We were fused together
in a divine sensuality in the light.  Later, she tells me
she thought I was God.  I am not God, I tell her,

but together, we experience
that Oneness, thrumming in the dynamo of light.


Halfway into the experience, Tevis enters into me.
It is the most sensual and sacred experience I’ve had. 
I feel her inside of me, inside of my solar plexus, even
for some days afterward.  Her coming inside of me

is something I welcomed, and she felt comfortable
and free enough to enter within me. 
The sense of divinity in her entering me is enormous. 
The intense light and energy winds down slowly—

as do the turbines of great engines, as do the vast dynamos
that might power a hydro plant or a dam.  That is what
they seemed to me: great engines of the spirit winding down,
divinity itself powering down its lights within us.

We relive our having entered into the realm of light
Everything is completely different, while it still remains the same. 

The First Visitation


I had been speaking with Tevis about her spiritual ascendency. 
I’m trying to pull her up after she read a passage that
she found upsetting.  I was relaying to her that her spiritual
awakenings were something she couldn’t forget, especially

in reading anything that she might find perplexing. 
I mention that the guide, Manjushri, who appears in Penny Gill’s
What in the World Is Going On? stated that the guides are
heartened when a person awakens on earth, and that every time

this occurs a light goes on across the globe that the guides can see. 
After speaking with Tevis, I saw an expression of awe cross her face. 
Concomitantly, I felt a power surge around and behind me. 
Tevis describes seeing a swath of purple in my aura, which spreads

over the left of my temple and across to the right of my head in the air. 
She tells me the purple it is the most beautiful color she has ever seen.

We began speaking about this when I felt another power surge. 
This time it is even more intense.  I feel the surge go through my body—
up my spine and my chakras, from the first through to the top of my head,
then, beyond the top of my head.  This time Tevis describes the light she sees

as being colorless.  She also recognizes a design of divinity within it. 
She says it is just spun with energy, that it clicked, as it appeared—a loud click.
Afterwards, in referencing purple auras, we find that purple is a color
of the divine, that, specifically, it is attributed to the Archangel Zadkiel,

whose legions commission mercy and transformation.  Together with
the “violet flame angels” they serve humanity from the Temple of Purification.
The colorless energy flash appeared to infuse me with an awakening,
a purification, an anointing.  Well after an hour, I stand up and feel energy

still shooting up my spine, up my chakras.  I feel the muscles in my body,
in my neck, and in my cranial cavity, instilled with a relaxing sweetness.


I am now aware that I have been blessed, that in this awakening
my life’s purpose has been renewed, that I am open
and receptive to what that renewed purpose is. 
I can still feel the cleansing and the power of the surge activated

by the aura swath and the energy flash (a kind of cylinder
of revolving colorless energy).  The power surge was electrical
and possessed quite an amount of voltage to it—although
the voltage was harmless, life has never been fuller, nor have

we ever been more filled with the sense of the holy.  Afterwards,
I find myself saying aloud, I am humbled, so humbled by this
experience.  I feel a deep humility in receiving such a blessing.
It is a benediction, an act of grace, an anointing—by an angel. 

I feel cleansed and purified, my consciousness made more sublime—
no other experience has been of such an enormous magnitude.

Learning to Forgive, Second Angelic Visitation


Tevis and I are speaking about forgiveness.  We are speaking
about my forgiving myself, as well as my forgiving others,
and letting go of the pain inflicted on me by others,
when Tevis looks up over my left shoulder, and her eyes widen. 

She begins to describe a similar swirl of energy that
had visited us the previous evening.  I feel a presence, or presences,
behind me—a hand, or a feather, touch my left shoulder, 
after which a high voltage of energy, which feels like electricity,

courses through me.  The energy charge makes me sit
bolt upright in the chair, and I close my eyes, the energy rising up
from my waist through my torso to the top
of my head.  I am not only cleansed, but also experience a deep

purification, judging by the intensity, and because of
the profundity of the cleansing, I feel that my karma has been cleared.

For several days, we research violet light and angelic visitations. 
We read time and again of the Archangel Zadkiel, who is
a member of the Violet Flame Angels, and that, he is the Patron
Angel of all who forgive.  Zadkiel and his emissary angels reside in

the Temple of Purification.  This being the second visitation by
the angels, it seems quite personal and specific, and has provided me
with the grace and the blessings to move forward to accomplish
whatever it is that I need to do.  I have made strong resolution

to forgive everyone and anyone who has inflicted pain on me in
any way, to offer compassion to all, and to bestow mercy on those
who are in need of pardon.  I feel much like Saint Paul in having
been struck down by a blinding light, and who, afterwards, preached

the word of Christ across the Old World.  My work is to offer
forgiveness to everyone, and to all those that I love, including myself.

Angelic Visitation Redux


While I am steaming a mushroom and brie omelette, Tevis looks
over my head and shoulders, as we were speaking, and she announces,
“Our friends are back.”  At the same time, I sense them, and just
as I do, I feel another electrical charge go straight through my body,

from my lower legs all the way up through the top of my head,
channeling up the chakras.  The energetic coursing of grace streams
through my body, which I feel for several minutes up to an hour later. 
Tevis also feels a tingling in her.  Afterwards, we stand, clearing

dishes and speaking, while a second visitation of angelic emissaries
pay us yet another visit.  Another significant aspect of this is that I sense
their presence again—a chill flows down and across my shoulders and
back, which make the hairs on my skin stand up—not in fear but in

feeling the otherworldliness of our angelic visitors.  The angels themselves
instill this sense of the sacred by how they make their presence known.
When Tevis tells me she sees an energy field around my body, she says it is
tinged with a faint violet color, the color of the Archangel Zedkiel. When
the angels revisit us again that evening I once again experience another
glimmering streaming through my body, the electrical current that radiates

throughout the body when the angels touch you, or come close to you, as if
they were breathing in your ear.  When Tevis sees the angelic visitants arriving,
she sees the various colors and shapes, such as the orb of light, a startling flash
of light, or the swirling energy ball.  She also views the violet swath of the aura

spreading out two and half feet from the left side of my head over to the right side
of my head and right shoulder, the royal violet color attributed to the Archangel
Zedkiel, the color, Tevis says is the most beautiful she has ever seen.  We concur
that through the newly-made constancy of their visitations, the angels announce

themselves with explicit congeniality, with warmth.  Distinctly, the angels are
a felicitous presence.  Intrinsically, we feel them as beings who are enormously loving.

Sonnet: La Dolce Vita Nuova, or The Sweet New Life: Angelic Presence

This morning Tevis and I are in deep conversation over her little sewing table
that we use in the kitchen for our meals.  We speak about our relationship. 
I am relaying to her the depth of my love.  As I am speaking with her, I feel
a presence on my right shoulder, feel the angelic visitants approach me from behind,

causing the hairs on my back and neck to stand up, precipitating pinpricks and
a chill that crosses my upper back, around my shoulders.  Tevis looks up
at the ceiling, says she sees a bright light above my right shoulder, then feels
a powerful surge of energy rush through her, and she begins speaking to me about

how I need to assume the strength that she is infusing within me from
the angelic presences.  During the time she is speaking to me it is unclear as to
whether her voice is entirely her own, or if, at least partially, her voice is one
that she is channeling by one of the angels.  Her voice is quite strong, but it is also

filled with kindness and love; it is both healing and nourishing, both expansive
and nurturing, and our entering into the radiance is filled with a new sweetness.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

            My partner described her semi-wakefulness this morning as her finding contentment in her integrating the events of her life over the past year and more as discovering that everything fit together.  The noted mythologist and expert of comparative religion, Joseph Campbell, describes a similar experience—during those times when we seem to have an overview of our lives, when we view our lives as a tapestry that has been woven together of apparently disparate events but which we can now see as exhibiting a pattern.  This is beautiful.

            Beauty is unique in that it can be seen in all of its many facets.  The 2015 film The Fencer, which was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the Best Foreign Language film and a Jussi Award for the Best Foreign Actor for Mart Avandi’s fine performance in portraying the story of Estonian fencer, Endel Nelis, exhibits such beauty.  It is a story, as all of our lives are, of what Joseph Campbell terms the hero’s journey.  There is beauty in this, too, since we all leave who we once were and voyage out beyond ourselves, often in a circular journey, whereupon we eventually return home.  However, return is never what we thought it might be—since we have been changed, even if those awaiting our return, as do the children the fencing teacher coached and the woman he loved, who steadfastly waited for him, meet him at the train station to welcome his homecoming.

            Homecomings are naturally beautiful.  We leave and return home daily.  However, sometimes we return back to ourselves to find that we have come through either a dark night, with its intrinsic process of rebirth, or through an entirely different type of process, if we have rigorously kept to whatever spiritual practices we may have maintained, and have been graced by either an awakening or even angelic visitation.  Such experiences are only the beginning of seeing beauty in all of its many facets.  Such experiences are often thought of as being ultimate and final encounters with the sacred and the divine; however, they truly indicate that these same experiences, which are, indeed, breakthroughs are limitless.  There are as many opportunities to experience awakening and to be graced by visitations as there are stars in the sky.

            Love and beauty are limitless.  We can view the tapestry of our lives and begin to understand how we are connected to it as well as how that same tapestry is connected to the tapestry of everyone else.  Our courage in this is not only be exemplified by diminutive Marta, a student of Endel Nelis, who is pressed into competing with a much larger and older male fencer in the national fencing finals but also by Nelis himself who had an opportunity to escape but chose to lovingly coach Marta on the sidelines instead of opting for a false and empty freedom.

            Considering our lives and seeing how all of what transpires in them fits while lying awake in the darkness before dawn is active grace.  Moments such as these provide us with sustenance and nurture us.  These moments are beautiful — as we return home either outwardly or within ourselves, especially when we find that we are filled incontrovertibly with a light that newly illuminates not only our own lives but the lives of others we know and meet on the way.


Wally Swist’s books include Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012), selected by Yusef Komunyakaa as co-winner in the 2011 Crab Orchard Series Open Poetry Contest, and A Bird Who Seems to Know Me: Poems Regarding Birds & Nature (Ex Ophidia Press, 2019), the winner of the 2018 Ex Ophidia Press Poetry Prize. His recent poems have or will appear in Commonweal, Rattle, and Transference: A Literary Journal Featuring the Art & Process of Translation. Recent books include The Bees of the Invisible (2019) and Evanescence: Selected Poems (2020), both with Shanti Arts.