Poems by Daniel Galef

Soliloquy for an Imaginary Tragedy

We’re cast on a lightless, heartless world like dice
thrown by a subtle god. Where once we land:
a gaping gulph, by ruby river spanned,
too swift to ford, too deep ever to ice.

This crystal rill like boundless fire flows
between a world of forms and one of forces,
a hidden cave the crack from which it courses,
the sea to which it drains, no pilgrim knows.

Once waded, it can never again be crossed.
No memory survives it; from out a borne
of placeless, timeless void, we meet the morn
with unseen eyes. The past, like dew, is lost.

Return, and stand at banks of fire gazing:
innumerable fire, the world’s heart blazing.

 


 

The Ghost of Antigonish, Nova Scotia to William Mearns

(spoken by the subject of the poem “The Little Man Who Wasn’t There”)
1899

Why think you that I linger on the stair
Advancing on it neither up nor down?
I’m hardly powerless; a hearty scare
Has given me (and this house) wide renown.
And yet I still stand stock-still on the stair
(I easily could upgrade, haunt some manse
With all my fame accrued) and chill the air,
Motionless on my inclined expanse.
Forevermore I’ll wait upon this stair
For you get my state through your thick head:
To ascend (or descend—whichever fate is fair)
Is not the lot of all the restless dead.
“Why are you here? And how?” I wish you’d say,
Instead of “How I wish you’d go away!”

 


DANIEL GALEF‘s poetry has been published in Measure, the Potcake Chapbooks, and the Scrivener Creative Review. He graduated in 2018 from McGill University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Plumber’s Faucet humor magazine and won the 2016 McGill Drama Festival for his musical play The Stars.

Copyright © 2019 by Daniel Galef. All rights reserved.