Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A feather that fell


A Morning In August Many Years Later

There was the scent of your skin as you slept,
how it roused me from mine to leave me stranded.

There was the parting of your lips as you sat silent,
how they opened a world I never dreamed possible.

There was the longing in your gaze along the shore,
how the sea answered back with an endless horizon.

There was the single strand of hair still kept in a book,
how it wraps around a feather that fell from your heart.

Joseph Gallo
August 31, 2010


Monday, August 30, 2010

All it has passed over


Moon Falls

under its own weight, laden by the tonnage
of all it has passed over through the night.
Is it always this way, you might ask. Yes,
always. The night is long and all that can
happen does. We survive; we don’t. If we
do, then a poem becomes possible at the
end of it. You rise to stand in a glory of
your own nakedness and gaze out across
the undimming field as the great thing slowly
slips behind eucalyptus, casts the figure
of a lone raptor high in silent obsidian as
sky fails to hold it up and if you press silent
enough you may hear the faint scratching
of dawn skittering in the bush, a stirring
industry convening in the bramble and, amid
this small miracling, your breathing belies you
and you are something new becoming, like all
of it, untested and graceless, congealing before
a breaking of fire and it is good, this; very good.

Joseph Gallo
August 24, 2010


Sunday, August 15, 2010

All that remains to be seen

Every flower feeds a sun
Every spidered blossom spun
Every petal comes undone
As in the end lies what begun.
~Aucassin Verdè


Every Flower

They come and come some more as if the season
were a volcano erupting along the horizon pitting
everything with a scattershot beauty that leaves no
eye unwounded. This one might be handed to a
brown-eyed girl, the future streaming in her wild
windborne hair while that one might be set in a vase
on a nightstand beside the bed of a dying father.


We might go on this way, naming and arranging, but
what’s the use? Is it better to leave the young boy’s
hand empty, his heart unfettered by the innocent perils
of photosynthesis, or place him before the turning
shoulder of a girl that will know the cut fruit of a
thousand fields before the fragrant pass of her time?

So the petalcock casts it starry net and for a moment
blinds the gazer against all that remains to be seen.
We go on this way over and over until the dream
ceases to release us and we press the ghost up through
the dissipation of common rain to fall into the stigma
of a thousand year pistil that leads back to every flower.

Joseph Gallo
August 12, 2010


Friday, August 06, 2010

All that falls as between


The Fabric Of Happiness

We arrive at this day for no other reason
than it is here as we are. This may be our
only chance to cherish such fortune as to
awaken to what has just now become possible.

So we take this day wherever it will take us:
into willing arms of sunrise; reluctant bosoms
of evening; and all that falls as between. It has
always been so. Such is the fabric of happiness.

It might be rain, so shall we seek to thirst.
It might be sun, so shall we seek to make
shadow. This is all this day has come to say.
Do not turn away. Do not turn away.

Joseph Gallo
July 11, 2010


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Nothing happening that has not happened


All nature helps to swell the song and chant the same refrain;
July and June have slipped away and August’s here again.
~Helen Maria Winslow (1851–1938)

August Here Again

and an early fog rolls it over like an underslept log.
I listen for the usual meadow murmur: this sounding
that; that calling out this. Nothing happening that
has not happened in fifty-eight previous Augusts.

I might paint today, or strum strings to break it up.
If I walk out now, I can stand unseen in the middle
of that meadow and let it all swathe me in nowness
for that is the only different thing about this August.


It arrives to arrive, promising nothing, expecting less
than that. You may meet a woman who excites your
body, but leaves you lacking in the seat of your soul.
You might think this would be enough, but you know
the truth of it, that a seabound river has far wiser plans.

Now the meadow is lifting off, crust and earth tearing
away from the underground scattering gophers, quail.
I watch it hover, bleed roots and worms, as if this
happens every day. Slowly it disappears into gray
and I am left to fill the hollow mercy of this hole.

Joseph Gallo
August 3, 2010