Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Through feral verses

 photo Sirensummer1.jpg


Sirens howl hurt and carry up from the flatland
into creekdens where they find company in sleeping
coyotes who awaken to answer in hurt back.

This happens every time someone hits a pole,
starts a lint fire, falls off a ladder, crashes a motor
scooter into a pedestrian, shears off a hydrant.

They’ve been up all night hunting vole and rabbit,
quail and kingsnake, anything else so given to use
faint starlight as a guide through shared hunger.

Sirens stop, but the hurt continues until it swells
into silence, the song of it sung together, from bitter
beginning, through feral verses, to unsettled end.

Joseph Gallo
July 21, 2014

 photo Sirensummer2.jpg

Monday, July 21, 2014

For as long as we can

 photo Roma2.jpg


Across the late ages we walk as if it were good to be alive.
The blank stare of statuary rests far beyond all we can see.
The ways in which stone weeps assures the graces of rain.

Mad bells break the light leading up the empty steps.
Smoke lifts the underskirting of low banking river fog.
Carriage horses move cobblestone in slow treading tides.

Bridges move out in all directions leading to and away.
Trees dance in still life lending roots to the rising moon.
Stone fountains bleed alpine water a hundred centuries old.

Above dark vicoli, wicks fill windows with sprites of small fire.
Doors and drawn curtains fall in empires to night blooming flora.
Two figures sway and move in a ribbon along a dark balustrade.

Love is made of such things, ageless, persistent, unspeaking.
Ruin retains all evidence of such passage toward the stars.
We will stay for as long as we can, for only as long as we can.

Joseph Gallo
July 20, 2014

 photo Roma1.jpg

Friday, July 11, 2014

This realm of plenty

 photo Owlescence1.jpg


Every night she comes as her kind
have done so for millennia. The night
needs her. The night wants her.

A crook in the palm, a limb
in the oak, her tapered shape
fits both with caressive perfection.

This is her domain as the stars
concede dominance to what sees
beyond them in such dim provinces.

 photo Owlescence2.jpg

Gaze that does not falter, scanning
the meadow for anything that moves,
moonless windcaper notwithstanding.

What will surrender to her remains to
be decided, an ill-timed scurry for orts,
one unadvised reconnoiter for shelter.

In this realm of plenty, she will
have the best of it, not all, but
what will stay her starry night.

Joseph Gallo
July 9, 2014

 photo Owlescence3.jpg

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Before the holes appeared

 photo Scenes1.jpg

Scenes From A Day

The woman on the bus crosses herself as we pass
the Catholic church, kissing her saintly fingertips
as if she’d dipped them in consecrated honey.

The joyless man in the greasy ballcap, his hands
in his pockets feeling around for whatever bliss
might have been there before the holes appeared.

The woman at the blood pressure machine
laughing when I ask if you’re supposed to put
your arm or your head into the narrow tester.

 photo Scenes2.jpg

The grandfather with his two grandsons sitting
down to a served breakfast, few things more
promising than freshly plated eggs and bacon.

The girl with the needle she wants to put into
my arm, to draw what the vialed morning gives
us in this moment that bleeds quickly away.

The man in the jeweler’s shop window, leaning
out into the unglassed world, no one inside
but him and all that precious ticking time.

The woman with the walker, smiling as I hold
the door open, happy to do so for the minutes
it takes her to arrive at our unscheduled stop.

Joseph Gallo
July 9, 2014

 photo Scenes3.jpg