Friday, July 23, 2010

White flags waving unseen


Mornings Like This

when July slips through the hills like an iceberg, her
fire gone out, the sun kettled in a grey gauze as I rise
dappled with gooseflesh after days sweating rivers.

Rabbits venture out reluctant to give up the night's
warmth curled among their kind, emerge with tapered
ears loath to heed the chill clarion of such early quail.

Across the far meadow, a talonary shape sits a limb
of tall eucalyptus. Everything alerts she is there, yet
something inevitably forgets to hoard caution.


In the lowlands, gracklechitter fugues in triple-stops
as crow pepper in a disharmonic counterpoint of mad
calliope whose music drifts up from the faint distance.

Mornings like this might never come again or may of
their own accord. They are not for us to summon or
dismiss, but merely arrive to absolve and immerse.

A thousand poets try and a thousand poets fail. We
stand averse to surrender the collapse of this quickened
looking, our small white flags waving unseen on paper.

Joseph Gallo
July 19, 2010


Sunday, July 18, 2010

All our sorrowless stories

 photo Which-Bird-Breaks-The-Light.jpg

Waiting is unlike anything else. It takes no short-cuts through time; always the long way around through where the story lies. ~Aucassin Verdé

Which Bird Breaks The Light
For Jan

She sends me poems from the in-between place,
the place where pens are dipped into petals that
yield hues given them by rains, rains given their
reasons to release by all our sorrowless stories,
the fancy tales we tell in our sleep and send up
from deep pillows as breath to the waiting sky,
a sky happy to receive whatever is sent for it
knows it must hold everything that matters.

There are some things one can give only to another,
for that person alone and no one else, carried on
shoulders of titans, dawns seen by only their eyes
as they lie draped in veils of their mingleness like
lovers who cannot guess at which bird breaks the light,
light that cannot sense such gentle shadows as they
share, the curvature of rare geometries lost to the
failing perfection of pale tapers that chant them silence.

These are the lines she would choose, the patterns
of words that adhere to no set purpose, their dear
appearance seemingly random and without compass,
veering wildly margin to margin, mattering without
meaning to, but mattering nevertheless, speaking for
the parts of her she once believed might be missing
forever, long-slept yet stirring like the mute piston
of a bulb that moves both earth and sky but to become.

Joseph Gallo
May 4, 2009


Thursday, July 01, 2010

Beyond where june slid down


July Walks In

puts her hands on her hips and
cocks her head. “I’ve brought
you sun, salt-sweetness from
the sea, a gentle something
to move your blinds a little.”

I look at her and there is a
familiar recognition we share
for a split atomic moment.
“Thank you,” I say not
knowing what else she might
suddenly ask or offer.


“Is the roadrunner mine as
well?” I continue meekly.
But she does not answer.
She’s already left her terse
reply on the other side of my
open window—in quailtwitter
and mockingbird squeech,
in the sunned rumps of
darting rabbits and the flat
meander of the blue channel
beyond where June slid down
the hillside to drown in days
gone by, never again to be seen.

Roadrunner sets his wings on
his hips and clurks, “Well,
what are we waiting for?”
I step out and everything I
know has been resummered.

Joseph Gallo
July 1, 2010