Monday, April 28, 2014

Foolish trees and talling grasses

 photo Swift-Returns1.jpg

Swift Returns

The day swifts return, wind will flush
the foolish trees and talling grasses shall
whisper names already known to you.

They are not yours, but belong to you,
nevertheless, for you will know them
by their music of cut air and silence.

Whitecaps in the distance will roll over
themselves before dark islands scratched
along a smeared and undefined horizon.

Nothing you can do while you doze in the sun
will matter even if you were given to do anything,
a prospect to which you remain happily unwilling.

As we breed devotion, only that which we
instill it with shall remain devoted, the hapless
sheepdog long left to dote his grazing flock.

 photo Swift-Returns2.jpg

Will that be me at your feet, curled in cruel
punctuation asking something I could never bring
myself to ask of you what I would not ask of myself?

Sommersprossen dappled across a grinning face,
the season that teases them out as if a thousand
tiny supernovae erupted all at once but to vex you.

These are where I would put the kisses you have
long sought and yearned for, the squandered leftlings
of one passion or another, one requital scarcely enough.

When swifts return they bring with them all that
remains indefinite, all that promises never to make
one promise, for what is promise but a tender lie?

What swifts take with them when they vanish with
the dusk is not enough to account for all the fireless
stars we cannot see until we enjoin the unlasting light.

Joseph Gallo
April 27, 2014

 photo Swift-Returns3.jpg

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