Three Poems

Gabriella Garofalo

Beads bags bonkers–
She bites off souls, doesn’t she?
Oh, she’s that scared ever since
They told her snakes and monkeys
Are the appointed guardians of hell –
Well, they’re not,
Those ladies grinning among crags and wrinkles are –
Beware, my soul, she’s hiding in the corners,
Safe behind the doors of your mind
When the brightest air roused in you
The blazing frenzy of time torching
The ages, the green –
Look, she may be preggo with truth,
She may be preggo with lies,
But feel not guilty, my soul,
As your only sin was
Gorging on primal colours,
Just go lost in a faraway cease-fire,
The silence of moon,
Shelter beyond clouds, nights,
Beyond God’s sighs when he squints
At some crippled light
You unashamedly called bliss –
Or time.


Dead men walking? Ok, we might discuss it,
‘Cept there’s a little problem:
They thrust out from the shelters,
Cling to the breasts, stop hunger –
Ever seen them in that trendy café
All white and steel?
Babies with mothers, red and blue stains
All over the street, a dead bird –
It augurs hope, right? –
But they don’t possess that much those spring flowers,
Only the red and blue you gave them –
At night or dawn?
Come closer, soul, those hands you don’t trust,
At dawn they spin, at night they tear asunder –
While grass and dashing stalks
Dream of leaving time black and blue,
Him and his darned skin,
Trees and moon just grow their light old –
Are you by any chance insomniac? Don’t blurt it out,
Set your breath ablaze when the oh-so-pure air
Warns you’re bit more than the taste of limbs
Or greenwood scent –
The blue keeps still waiting in the cold,
So be careful if light strikes down:
You game, word, for sticking to her in this bloody foul mess?
And don’t you hide my soul, God, ok?
Don’t, just tell me my house got ablaze,
So I’ll inherit the wind and the werewolf’s howls
We two can hear from afar.


Death was your book, she helped you learn
Young leaves fall, young branches die –
Do souls speak louder than life? –
Yet once you had the seeds of Persephone,
Wild freedom so easy to silence
And love saw to everything else –
Then out of the blue fathers, haphazard births –
You a table centerpiece,
Sometimes a guest among
Chipped dishes, animals, the dead –
But why can’t they see the proper thing
Is to lay the mind with your seeds –
Damn her, who cares if she’s ashamed,
Damn dawn, the fake promise wasting your fires,
A Sahara hissing its green anger –
Thank God they fail big time:
Lovers believe in lovers’ gifts,
Women in flowing sap or blazing pronouns –
Thank God you don’t believe, my fruit,
We both know, don’t we, the real fibre,
The rib of our jarring world is distance –
While you dream she’s feeding on her ice,
Is the moon playing Tantalus?
Don’t worry, I’m asking because
We only get a glimpse of ghost action
When our eyes get worn out on shredded charts
Dreams and a high-strung blue
Who’s got no jaded stars.


Born in Italy some decades ago, Gabriella Garofalo fell in love with the English language at six, started writing poems (in Italian) at six and is the author of “Lo sguardo di Orfeo”; “L’inverno di vetro”; “Di altre stelle polari”; “Blue branches”.

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