Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Something greater than hours

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Zardeh Kuh

There are places my travel will never embrace, mountains and passes in countries that live only in the flatlands of maps I have collected, goatless, herdless, unfettered by tribes that migrate like blood through lands that have built hearts within them. I shall not ford rivers whose entire lengths are given to me to see at mere glance, source to sea, tributaries perused by the gods that graced them to run rilled and unseen.

Endure, says the ice. Trod, says the high snow. Move, says the grass that whispers from four valleys and a massif away. Slaughter for meat, caress for milk, carry for ovenlorn bread all that you would bear children for in this way and let no mountain resist you, not the summit before you that would keep you for company when the driftbound moon falters in her rise and the wind laments a cloudless sky. What you bring to the world the world returns to you. This is the offering of ages that would know no age.

Move then into the high pass, barefoot and steeped in red snow, the thousands of you who link your passing to the story of your tell, one long unfettered chain of skin and rock and valleys of chanting grass that your animals hum with in mute afternoons and soundless mornings as the sun redoubles back on itself and time loses coherency to achieve a more calibrated meaning measured by something greater than hours or years for these uppermost flowers came before the sun itself could spill upon them, before the travel I cannot confer was ever imagined, before my foot was born in a nebula and a god broke from the icy rock to speak Zardeh Kuh!
Zardeh Kuh! Zardeh Kuh!

Joseph Gallo
November 27, 2005

Monday, December 05, 2005

Unfinished within his kingdom

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What I Wait For

The snow quiets everything. Innocence, like a blanket,
forgives the harsh lines that sing in concertina a severe
melody along the jagged edges of a thin life. It is what
I wait for. A miraculous absolution. Imagine God’s pockets
full of snow and holes in the pockets as he walks empty
plottages and back streets yet unfinished within his kingdom
of chrysalence and light. He is unaware of this. His mind
elsewhere as usual. Far below the Devil makes his black
tracks laid out in misconfused directions to throw off animal,
plant, man. The Devil hates being followed. He’d rather not
be bothered. Together they have much in common. Both the
same red wine, chicken perfect from the bone, the savory
dessert of evening kisses that come when crickets oil the duskset
and stars become the endless oracle they were meant to be.

Snow is the white flag of truce and surrender. It is the morning that
promises and the afternoon that realizes. I can hear it breathe and hold its breath as torchlamps rake the tree bottoms searching for what has failed to remain before it arrived. I turn my head upward. There is a rustling behind the blinds of the sky. Omnipotence is a restlessness unequalled, a persistent path of worry worn down one eternity at a time. God made the Devil to keep him company, a chessmate to wile away the moves and strategies every manner of weather might play on us. Whatever might be lost is kept now exactly where it was. Nothing and no one can take it. Snow is the pale redeemer. Snow and the Devil, two sons of the same God. Paper and fire, the virgin impassioned, a bright blood made whole. It is what I wait for. A miracle of red pockets and white holes.

Joseph Gallo
December 3, 2005