Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Gabriella Garofalo

A bit of advice, blue works best if you need

To creep in on the sly, it’s the latest fad,

Peeking at the stunning shows of some wannabe star, Nobody cares about oceans or skies – ‘Course you’re right, no bloody reason

To wake up and listen to a breathing night,

Her lips mumbling in fractured whispers

‘Please God, don’t play dirty’,

But mind, you might chance on a runner in the blue,

A soul clad to the nines who scatters across the sky

Some bright twinkling lights,

A warning sign of a blessed hour that atones for naked souls,

Buildings rising up and wild, dark curtains blocking us

From talking to hidden stars who foster no desire

For stony blindness or witty repartees –

Head to him, fear not the ashes,

The glimpse of perfection, the shades of missing time,

For he’ll shape demise into a sunny spot

Where the candles we thought snuffed out

Run back to life in silence –

And no more shades of yellow, mind,

The fire that wound words thrown to the sea –

Can’t you hear those winged voices, the blaze of memory Inside your time when the clock strikes one

And your night pleads innocent before her looming exile:

Trust me, no help from flesh or pleas,

Teardrops of white quartz and scraps from the sea

Lie on the stones waiting for you, some gifts for you?

Stop that rubbish, girl, they’ll give you only

Infinite rooms, revolving doors, what’s autumn but a witch Who’s shedding blood and life away?

So, does it work? I mean, the light blue fragrance Scenting the playful writing of my pen?

Oh so sorry, I dunno and can’t even hope so.


Yes, dispersed words, loss everywhere

And they’d better get smart with words or guns, snipers:

You badly need them, life opens early in the morning,

The tricky pawnbroker, the crowds –

Self-control first of course, mother Earth eats her anger,

She’s strong enough not to shake branches and body

Whenever soul plays the master of dwellings and woods –

So what? –

Bit too much light in her eyes, she skids, freaks out,

Ends up zapping grass, roots, the green therapy of dreams:

Old stuff, them she should leave alone –

That’s why mothers always so mothers

Ask water for help then bin fruits –

That very orange where you fire

Is a bastard born out of womb,

A long distance from deranged aisles:

Down there stares skip souls,

Outdo silence, strain, out-of-sync-words –

Well, good for you and bless the Lord,


In the good old days you laid the table

And they gave you just bites.


Fancy a bit of trust from the universe

Just when wilful migraines carry on through light?

See, light knows the rays,

Wind the gales, water the streams,

Yet they feel hungry –

What for? Words, the unchaste death of stars or a lazar house?

Make the bread now, c’mon, and be your yeast the wrath

Don’t breeze by, don’t even dream to share it

Or charcoal morsels if he shows up:

Breath stays with you as sheer poetry goes entangled in the green –

So, high time for a clean-out:

Bodies, distressing skies,

The litter of bastard voices when alzheimer

Floods his beaming jumbles entangled in desire –

Here they come, mad trees in green

Dissolve kids and teens, or is the light

In charge of killings?

Whatever, they stop and hurry words,

The song stalking the dead –

‘Dead? You mean they’re free at last’

Hisses the moon ensconced in her safe contempt

For cleansers, brush, set table and shabby stuff –

Get ready, quick, the undergrowth will be home soon

Back to his bites and peeves.


So much for blue-sky thinking:

He smiles, she says thanks, then goes home to make blue necklaces –

Seriously now, in a soap with a happy ending

When the tins of fruit salad drop down

The blue-eyed guy picks them up,

Smiles, falls in love with her –

Different words for troubled souls:

Who cares if leaves fall down in February, November or July, It happens, full stop, you’d better lift scant stares and words – OK, she chose the right time,

Quenched thirst, no need for sounds, sudden blue conquers:

Well, she likes bossing around with colours and desires –

Light and her valets? –

And yes you breathe cold you breathe life into your winter,

You touch his lips, yes, but what a darn nuisance

Hands and primary colours,

Get rid of them or you’ll end up as she did:

Hot tears and scorching pain for a sunset,

What for? Listen to me, just pick a down-to-earth sunset,

Say, a miniature gift, if mothers and days blow their load

In your winter, if cheap full-size sunsets

Give birth to life’s roots –

They’re blue, you know? –

And winters and blue always keep staying the same.


The night you saw the moon and God

Life had just broken souls like breadsticks

So magnets went your eyes –

Every morning he gets in,

No clichés, no worn questions, it happens,

Full stop, breath your enemy,

But the tightrope walker

So gorgeous when holding his breath

Keeps breathing days, rips up your breath, your core,

Plays hard when it comes to life –

Have you ever met him?

Point is you skip shadows and holding trees,

Point is books kiss you off, see?

The child’s holding bread,

The mother holds a pomegranate, the symbol of soothing death –

Who knows, she might be friends with Hades and Kore –

Anyway, some think he’s all sunsets and stars,

Some he’s bit hard to handle, a nuisance, an artist,

But he’s just that, my soul,

The unexpected lawn getting greener and closer

God so terribly close when death wore white –

Wasn’t it red or blue? –

Nope, she wore white, as ever the wind’s got that many hang-ups – Of course we both know, stay put and do as we’re told.


Why the hell are they so blind?

Walls, locked doors, barring eyes

Against neighbours seeking shelter?

Look, blame the mornings and their light,

So harsh in highlighting shapes,

So prone to tantrums any time you say

‘For God’s sake, do fade!’

If memory serves it all started

The night when twilight was fighting with darling sweet sea,

A fierce fight indeed, of course the clouds stroke a riot,

The cells followed suit, both eating away limbs and skies –

How dared they?

Yet they did and don’t forget some scatty campfires

Had already broken souls like breadsticks –

Hard to believe, I know, the onlookers,

Be they fretting grannies, doting parents, dazed children –

Tried hard to grab the gist, but failed even

With the help of papers and pundits-

Hard to believe I know, not flowers nor toys can stop demise,

Eyes wide open she simply shakes her head,

Grumbles to herself, shrugs the matter off –

No escape by flowers or toys if the daughters of time

Who think themselves the grandest chicks in town,

Sure, dream on, yeah right,

Named winds, life, demise,

Yet didn’t bother with a healthy nurture –

Healthy? You must be joking!

Rejections are the healthiest way to end the hours

Before sleep turns up late like a lion,

Before the shadows in your mind go berserk

And your lips taste sickly, the drops, yes –

But why bother?

Look, don’t cheat, wasn’t your last thought

‘Darn, at dawn I’ll breathe again!’

O lucky guests, my dearest cherry blossoms, September so ready to make you tumble into dirty ruts,

But ‘I’, that pronoun, isn’t that lucky, it must go on, the only cold comfort

A sound that reminds you of wings sprouting up

For words to fly, yes, that’s what we hope –

At least bit higher.


Oh, yes, yes, first season’s party tonight,

Look how orchids swank, foolish airheads,

While no one ask daisies for a dance –

Sweet shy wallflowers –

While my disheveled soul is waiting

For that blessed distance, the leaves, the trees –

See, her dark furniture haunts her,

A bleak reminder of a sick life –

But you, my blessed green, you know

She longs for shield and shelter

When the bastard autumn frightens me –

My Blue and I mad as hell, no shelter tonight,

Do they fear our icy waves?

Do the fights between our angels frighten them?

Oh, we know those fights only too well:

They are our days, our time, our life –

But you, my life, please don’t run like hell

When looking at deserted rooms,

Don’t go sour if silence lives my soul,

Look, fear not, they’re waiting for you,

The grass, the flowers,

The shooting lights when lost limbs

Dirty our water at night

And leaves shout their envy at the sky –

Please, my life, let go the lost rituals for the god

Of crops and fields,

Don’t go astray among rotten seeds –

Please, my life, don’t run like hell if silence

Raids our soul with words stolen

From the danger of grass –

Let’s help our fallen days

A sham god turned into jerky comets, shall we? – Why not, the undergrowth is shining now,

The wind our legacy and water lends you new births –

Mind, she’s got a steel trap,

So you’d better return them

When women’s eyes dip into dirty waves,

And blue averts his eyes, demise jilts offers,

Wrath, questions, dusty blue clouds:

No glamour for them,

Only the hungry breaths of cicadas –

So what? Our cider we’ll give to a worn-out sky,

That maze where shaking tatters got stuck:

A bit of shirking, maybe poetry, who knows?

Rebel stars, angry angels, Assassin’s Creed –

They were immortals, or so they thought –

But trust you me, once the party is over

The flowers will cross the border,


That first season’s party we call life –

Excuse me, life?

Only heads shaking ‘No, no, no’

When cicadas chirp at full blast –

Their hawkish frenzy get the soul’s goat,

Stop you bloody bright frenzy –

And stop it now.


And this is the bleak truth, the grim diagnosis,

The sister who holds her head high

As you watch the moon laying a cloth of white

And eavesdrop the last screams of days –

The hell with random sparks,

With magenta stains on the fruits,

No way out for you if blue funk blows

In blue excitement, only the leaves

Shall find escape, maybe breathe –

They said it was a haunted house –

By the forests beyond sparks of light, perhaps? –

Nearby the forceful roots made trees

Break up the cement, more power to them,

An old lady lived there with her mate,

A silent illness who would get mad

At the chiming bells, at the laundry

Dancing to the beat of gales –

Such airheads those bells, those gales!

You crept in holding in your hands

The musty raindrops exiled from Heaven,

You crept in looking for demise,

Sorry, way too late, she was hiding

Among the summer trees –

But who cares, he died –

Demise, tell her you didn’t bury his soul

By the green flame of the hawthorn trees,

Trust me, demise, unlock his soul,

So she’ll never tumble in love again,

Never run riot, never get wild,

Look, give her a loan,

A blue height with a handful of stars,

Let nights wail in their deep cello timbre,

Out of tune, but who cares as long as light

Bends time and two souls can rest in spheres of infinity –

Trust me, c’mon, they’ll never betray love or seasons,

Nor the blue shadow echoing through the rain –

Come to think of it, was that blue love yours or mine?

So sorry, but I can’t remember, my dear demise.


Lost bits of information and Judas flowers

Bloom under the roots, no one picks them:

Wobbly tables, anyone, or shaky souls?

Stop with karma, please, stop with la-di-da words,

It’s just a spat between the sun and moon,

Not perjury, not life –

Hey, wait, you picked her up in a seedy club

Where she sluts in a corner

On the lookout for an easy con?

They’ve got light fingers, fear, the moon,

But only dosh they get,

Shags, dosh, that’s how they learn

Desire shuns waste,

Like ravens he’s hungry only for eyes –

Or so a French poet once said –

Well, give him eyes, if short of them

Give him souls, yours of course

And he’ll be off, a glint overnight –

Yet you think him a light forcing skies –

Yet you think him life –

Well, almost, or the very first time.


Certainly not anaemia, certainly not ethereal The first summer moon, the grass they set ablaze,

The memory spreading seeds of wild voices and frozen trees:

Let friends, jaded skies lead you

To the offspring of clouds and kites –

Do they still call her life? –

While a womb-shaking frenzy

Wonders why we can’t dwell in a blue twilight

In love with Atropos’ threads.

And now you stop whining, soul,

Yes, now, look at those girls

Sporting flowers and pink laces,

Look at them girls on a shopping binge:

Books and bling –

No, not stars, I say bling –

It’s not their fault, mind, if days breathe,

You sure men, white lies, hot stuff matter at all?

C’mon, don’t kid yourself,

Don’t you remember you threw adrenaline to the sky

And got a shock so many times?

You were a child.

Some tips for you:

Live colours, keep books bare,

No lovers, no delays, careful now:

You cut away a chunk of rebel heaven –

The lunatic fringe, yes?

You’ll have to live on new heavens, I’m afraid –

And they’ll grab you on the fly.


Change food, change sky, change everything:

No time, no masks tonight, get a move, quick,

Newlyweds are splitting up,

Some children are born stones,

Some streams or gales, yet she swears

Beasts get silent deaths,

That bloody liar with her spoilt chums –

Let’s hit back, c’mon, no entry

For pastel shades here, sorry,

Only navy blue, dark green get the pass

And where the heck is Cassandra’s stare,

Grab it asap, only those eyes

Can taser to death the boss of our suburbia

Where the days hand over at gunpoint

All colours to darkness and peeps see nothing,

Too busy fooling around –

The sky? Oh, shaking with rage as ever,

The eerie blue light few souls can spot:

Please don’t blame them if they hang out with quasars,

You didn’t scorch the rain for overstaying, did you?

So what? Look, no point trusting a rage

So blue, so weird, who sulks like a rejected lover

Bet she ’ll go over to the first winds that blow –

A blizzard, then? No, our first merc eloped

With some guys picked up on a whim,

Afraid we’ve but one choice left, demise –

What? The snotty nob who gives no answers

And hardly says hello?

No thanks, her loss if night can’t see

The days as a broken promise,

Silence as a yesterday outfit,

Count me out, my sweet Godiva

If the poor darling stands shaky, blue and tired –

Was it death the sky was cheating?

Well, just scraps of blue lies and papers,

Maybe the ghastly sap of your soul, maybe a miracle.


Darn, so strange when trees climb up light,

Winter shakes off men and you eating bread or dim end –

Get on it, they too have red earth, knobbly trees,

Naive bodies that learnt

Just white, just seed, the old taste of life –

Soul, you really think you play nice?

They say no, they say you write

Loss and amnesia too many times:

Of course the moon reads, but dare not say

They’ve just found some green on the road,

She knows you listen to play it safe and be polite –

No more fibs, she’s right:

Years and decades the word hid exiled

In the flimsy white of the waves,

Water for trees and night hunters –

Now she’s out, she meets stark bodies, raw food,

Gives them the slip then hides

Earthquakes, reminders and colours –

In the attic? –

They scare her, see, she’s used to white –

Meanwhile you rattle on, isn’t it the electric chair

A summer that hides from you

Jitters and heat in the heart of the days –

Oh well, no one minds:

Men shake dust from tangled hair,

Women slake stares and desire,

The blonde smart scribe displays her limbs to the creatures,

So foxes can rush and grip some stylish fair ladies –

All for the best, who knows, them

And their maddening white.


Death was to her a good-sized room,

Squeaky clean, decked in blue and white,

Sparse furniture, the bare minimum of course –

Just for a change, a bloody change she’d like

To reawaken as a land:

Maybe suburbia past a comet

Where the offspring of elves

Weave tales of ordinary people

Who slept with unicorns at long last –

No questions and a dark stillness, got it,

If April turns out a harvest of riddled questions

If light looks nastier than a tension headache –

Heavens and myths can’t help you,

They can’t hear your voice

While moon and wombs scram

And a sour taste of green stays with you,

Grass, daffs, pomegranates –

Shame he hasn’t got time

To care for your fruits,

It’s getting late, you know, so off he goes –

Hades can’t handle desire or upset –

Only red, he claims, must shield

November’s leaves from scattering stares

And wouldn’t you like to be a leaf,

To free your red when life messes up –

Look, be very afraid of such thoughts

If you haven’t beheld the blue hour

When charcoal skies silence

Almond blossoms and branches sigh bare,

When fire blazing blue on the streets of her body

Gives rise to high tension,

To fear from the depths of the earth –

Feel it among devious candles?

Well, luckily you’ve got different lights,

But so young –

Just a glimpse from the sky, then

Assault and battery cross his mind.


Enigma, the electric blue sizzling

If words try to stone you dead

And shrilling voices throw back to you the sky:

See if she cares you look sharp

Now that she’s the moon –

You never go wrong with blue, anyway:

A wailing toddler on the verge of choking

While parents sing him a lullaby,

Jobless young men, gazes lost in space,

Jealous fathers fear for girls having fun:

Beaches, white sand, clear blue water –

Sometimes they happen to forget

They conjured when young the mercy of wolves – And who are you, how dare you say “Forbidden fruit, don’t touch” – Witches, mothers, cities?

Other stares must hit down your rattling nights, Stop this fuss, cut it out,

For other souls, not yours, the sky will root –

Wait, he’s just sneaking the blue in,

That fake cheap kindness

When you ask for help and look so needy –

Yes, tell him he’s holy and perfect,

C’mon, tell him you’re going for death –

If death isn’t in make do with coffee –

Of course with due blessing of mothers and their ilk.


Hold on, desire is looming,

Moonlight chairs in radiance

Over the vault of wisdom:

Nature, you’d better paint in blue

Mushrooms, flowers so gaudy in their red,

Or have them hide from star to heaven:

Is that yours, the mighty lure of thirst?

No way –

Ever the light monger she glides along

As waste, stubble and bushes burn ablaze –

Forget it, fire, those souls are hounding

Darkish rooms, silent stones

In the evening’s last starvation,

Will light pop in out of the blue?

Not that she cares if the air is shaking

Or you feel roots among shivering grass –

Ask her if she’s on time, fire,

While words go to shreds

And my eyes desert your voice –

Demise, you’re but an outsider to her whys,

It’s only fair for light to dwell in other places,

Where troops cruise the streets,

Black Marias speed like hell,

Riots all over, wolves howling again,

Do they need her?

Of course, that’s why young women bother

With hidden dreams –

Or lace as second best, when dreams go awol.


I saw a dead bee on the floor,

The ambivalent sky mocking her snuffed-out wings

In a sunset syndrome –

Spiders much faster,

Unless you sweep the cobwebs off the walls

They can live on –

Not a leaf, not a whisper,

Not even the first white page of a book,

A bee, it was a bee, the very first moment

I saw it I knew:

I’d be sold down the river –

I know, they taught me there’s blood in my veins, Blood in yours, but what blood?

Afraid I’ve got only a virus, a shadow and a tree

Ever since those two stares

Let the oceans overflow,

Ever since love thrust me out

To a blotchy room, maybe the souls

Who believe in love and oceans

Balled it up, maybe those who scream

It’s only sex and puddles –

Long story short, you’re still there,

My dead bee, my memento on the floor

While the sky blinds himself in a fit of rage,

While I make my mind a jade –

Yes, I’d ache to be like a Theban king, sadly I’m not – Because that’s the blood running in my veins.


I’ll be honest, I’m feeling guilty,

Take for instance my darling friend Persephone, So close to my heart:

Well, I can’t help being green-eyed,

Free as she is to dive and hide into the abyss

Anytime she fancies to, the gutsy girl!

See, I always leave the door of my bedroom ajar,

Just a tiny glimmer of light, as the dark spooks me

Despite my lust for waves,

And yet we are great pals, aren’t we,

We chat about his wanderings, my still life,

Funny indeed he left full of blast

Dying to get a kick out of battles and wild sea,

Funny indeed he left with a crew and twelve ships,

Yet came back alone, only to find his flat

Rife with scroungers, an obsessive wife, a dying dog – And no, don’t get me started with his many gfs,

A lady of mature age who wolfed down the crumbs from his table,

A conjurer who saw men as they are and played along,

A naive young girl so sweet on him –

Was she head over heels in love with him?

O dear inconsistency, such is life –

I know, the warriors who struggle with the sea

Entice us women, how can we resist?

I for one find his sweet talk so charming

As to ask him for lunch twice a week –

Know what, once an ancient light tore my soul to shreds

So I can’t, I just can chase no sky,

Luckily my friend shelters me in his eyes,

If not his heart,

O dear inconsistency, such is life –

I’m a compliant castaway in a shaky truce

The silent hideaway where we hang out,

No waves for me, no shipwreck, no ‘coming home baby’,

Just the words the stars whisper to me sometimes,

Not that I understand them right –

Maybe their fault, maybe I’m tone-deaf –

But mark my words, one day I’ll get the guts

To blame the trees:

They act rude, particularly those twisted

From the very day of their birth –

Takes one to know one, right?

I know, my ambivalent knowledge

Can’t set my days straight, meantime

Draggy balloons are plodding through a steely sky –

Shame blizzards failed to blow in and rupture at last

Balloons, clouds and time.


Is it the air Persephone breathes

When free from the caves –

It is, the woman says –

Is it the ivy eating away the ancient walls –

It is, the woman sighs –

Is it the cussed shadow you can’t shoo away

No matter how hard you clean in the corners –

It is, the woman replies –

Is it the gnarly old lady who sits in the room,

Best friend to the cobwebs, both declining to go –

It is, the woman agrees –

No need to spring clean:

Leading you astray by moon or by seed

Doesn’t work for the sky, he’s hungry for more –

So don’t ask if he deserves your eyes,

It’s not a tryst, just the hunt she dreamt up

When eyeing white books –

Not death, but nearby lights in suburbia –

Oh yes? And since when you’re an expert on light,

Dazzles, mood swings?

You, a soul?

Ask Odysseus for tips,

He might oblige

If you say yes to his womb –

That’s what she hisses, no waste of words,

So keen on fraying fabrics or plots

She just drops the ivy and the air,

The cobwebs, the shadows, the ladies,

She even forgets all her aliases –

Depression when rushing to a cuppa or a drop.


Is that you? C’mon, c’mon, don’t shy away,

Darn your polluted blood, there’s poetry there –

Death you don’t curse if old hags

At the bottom of the house give no shelter no food,

But simply live your breath, your enemy at dawn –

Stop saying fathers,

Not wombs nor hands fathers got,

Stop saying he worked by his hands,

Stop saying this stop saying that –

Oh, the dirt you can find in tabloids and souls:

Locked doors, shredded glass all over the floor,

The garden waits –

You know it’s bound to happen

So take care and hold your breath,

Those crooked old branches don’t look

Too keen on falling down, do they? –

For next misapprehensions, soul,

The garden still waits.


Let reckless flowers rise to your eyes

When shadows live round the corner –

White, very white the sculpture

Where women crash among the azaleas,

Where the first fruits of awakening

Fall on the edge –

Look, there’s a sad story behind:

It was a place of early death for men,

Women got by like wrinkled redwoods –

Grab what’s left, intrusive skies and hunger:

Something’s burning.

Sometimes poets or those in their stead

Wave branches to nourish the soul,

Words for all seasons –

Sometimes, a deplorable accident indeed,

Lips fall down soul and disappear,

Simple as that –

See the trees, the electric wires?

If strangers hang around the sky frets insomniac, So he cringes and sells cheap,

For a bit of shadow and a scent of words,

The land he loves, sleep –

You say there’s light, there’s light you insist,

Sure, but it’s uncouth,

When you first met she hit God,

Upset new births, growled inside you,

Then you cheated on winter and snow went missing – Please don’t glim her now blinks an on-off light –

Yes, fireflies showing up, don’t you know they give advice In the most unusual ways?


About the Author

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 and Blue Branches.


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