Monday, August 29, 2011

Fleeting lips of unfathomable futility


27 Lines On The Beach

No trace, no trail, no imprint left by tracker or
explorer who raced toward keepless promises
of legend, no marker visible save the sun’s
bright flag claiming this alone as her province,
this littoral of bare flesh midriffed before the sea,
ebbless salt glistening in thin layers blonding sparse
strands of tiny hairs that raise their villous yearn
against a surge that surrenders in rapt allegiance
to fall at her naked feet from two worlds away.

This is you standing before the threshold of our
emergence, where every footed thing walked out
from before we thought to remember doing so.
This is your home as it is mine, as it is home to
every dreamer who dared in our unfolding history.
As we left sisters behind to stroll the deep currents
that wash over us in moments that siren the heart
to soothe their moon-torn stormcrests, so we left
brothers to buoy the bottom of a crabless kingdom.


And so we stand, together in this brief epoch, a
moment of delirious prospect made possible by
luminous shapings of forces we cannot enumerate
by calculation or position by starmap for to attempt
such would be to place a kiss of chance upon fleeting
lips of unfathomable futility. Thus, before you, a
primeval beauty awaits the smooth fin of your foot,
a tidal sky summons you to come forth and breathe
again what once flooded gills to build the first sigh.

Joseph Gallo
October 15, 2010


Monday, August 22, 2011

Whatever falls back to the ground


Mother Of The Sun

One might ask in a room that keeps
a disembodied voice, your father’s,
perhaps, Who is the mother of the sun?

The stranger who bore you will release
a basketful of answers that might leap
up as if into a thundered April sky.

Whatever falls back to the ground
is your answer. We open petals to
read them aloud to one another:

This one says, I grieve myself in love,
I grieve myself out of love. Another
reads: Life is lived larger than itself.


Tomorrow is made mostly of sorrow.
Laughter reminds us this each time we
shake it out across the trembling stars.

The sweet life is sweetened only by
the dulcet distillations of our tears.
We want life, we want love, and get it.

Granite satyrs temper the morning as
boys search the wet grass for ragged
flags surrendered mere hours before.

Girls walk stone bridges like their
mothers before them as if keeping
vigil against a forgotten invader.

Darkness is the mother of the sun.
Her children are born beautiful, sightless,
drowned by loving waves of relentless light.

Joseph Gallo
July 31, 2011


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Worlds beyond this one

Wind From The Sea (Detail) by Andrew Wyeth

Mostly Nothing

Being mostly nothing, I might attest to my time as such.
There were lofty shadows, the lacework afternoon
moving in curtains before an open window above me,
a feel of mother that has never left me in my need
for shelter and comfort found perfectly in a woman.

There were footsteps and misadventures in locomotion,
the fevered spinning set to bones at play, voices
sealing skies forever in a memory of ears and eyes,
weathers without name, days without purpose beyond
getting to the next and the thousands that follow that.

Look at me now, a year from sixty and already marked
by weariness of worlds beyond this one, scourged and
sainted in pressings of flesh well-forgotten and missed,
so dearly missed. Mostly nothing allows for this space,
to come at last to some embrace of mostly what I am not.

Joseph Gallo
August 11, 2011

Helga (Detail) by Andrew Wyeth

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

A place to fail


In The Beginning

No light, no space,
then you. In a window,
sun, summer, a frieze
of seasons, your eyes.

Smile and name, your
absence, your memory,
your becoming, your
continuing, your departing.

Perfection resists, each
atom obeys, variance,
change, compression,
until each persists.

Love needs a place to
fail. In us, it made space
to achieve, to succeed, to
attempt divine permutation.

Then light, then space, no
you. In a window without
glass, without frame, a seeing
of things appearing to become.

Joseph Gallo
August 7, 2011