Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ridges of countless passings


Sixty Years Hence

The howls of youth wail about us.
We steel our ears and still our paws.
Night will hold us with equal measure.

It has always been thus. Bent we set to
the hunt and bent we are taken for it.
The stars slip further away and we dim.


Yet, soil takes the weight of our soles,
bids them press deeply their imprint,
the ridges of countless passings sustain.

This is how we do it: one life at a time.
Mine, yours, theirs, all who went before;
all who lead after; all who never were.

Joseph Gallo
October 18, 2012


Sunday, November 18, 2012

What this has brought you to


Deer Hunting

Focus, not the kill. The unwavering tenacity
of trees in forest. The smell of bark and dying
leaves, everything a tincture of everything else.

Planning, preparing, patience. The blind
cold, the body chattering, ravens calling out
your position to anything that will listen.

Ten-point buck moves into view beneath.
You take the breath, arrest every hope
that has sacrificed itself for you to be here.

The snowcrush, perfect. The deliberate
wariness, perfect. The arrival of destinies
laced in curtains that may or may never fall.


This is what this has brought you to. You
suddenly understand why a natural mirror
is a still pond you must gaze down into.

To take the shot now would be—incidental.
Gypsies always leave one coin in the drum for
good luck, whenever it is deemed affordable.

So you let the buck walk, light a cigarette, let
a loud sigh followed by a laugh no one will ever
hear but you and the deer that refuses to spook.

Shoot the sky and the animal scatters. The report
echoes through the still trunks. Swift tracks lead
a timely misdirection you decide is worth following.

Joseph Gallo
November 17, 2012


Friday, November 09, 2012

Ageless through the underclouds


November Morning

Mornings weave this way in November,
busy violins catching every stitch, moving
ageless through the underclouds like winds
lost to wherever they go when they finish.

Tress dance their boughs as though seized
with excitement at the hands of invisible
things, paper chases other paper torn from
whatever use no longer has use for them.


We are like this, you and I, barming staves
in unheard frettings along unseen updrafts
pulled down for brief musics between small
silences that overtake us sweetly in the end.

So stone holds its own before the shameless
surrender of reddened leaves, vines stripped
of fruit take autumn in for the long sleep ahead
when ice blankets all that seek such comfort.

Joseph Gallo
November 8, 2012