Michel Galiana

Michel Galiana Poems

Dry garden. Stone and thought. And sky and quietness.
Beyond the wall a tree that twists its gnarly trunk.
In me there's no beyond. And all thinks and all weighs.
A point where certainty may reconcile with luck,

A coat of screams and yells lines a rug of ember,
Circle surrounding him and mane that at him tears.
When he perceives the pole wrung by his panic fears,
He climbs up to the top and hopes to recover.

Your body, mainland that swells and roars over there,
And sends out its doubts, its dreads and its wrinkles,
Filling its mazes of barren chinks and crackles
With tribes whose rumours cause your pallet to shiver.

Your love never would have assuaged this hatred
Which cast on me a spell that I could never tame.
Its cry in me soars like, from the torture chamber,
The song that convicts sing to alleviate their pain.

No grass. The ground is bare -either stone or gravel-
Strewn with empty bottles, litter, old newspapers.
Trees, deprived of foliage, with no shade but their trunks'.
Hard wooden benches and a few long stone ledges.


On the brink of slumber there are sparkling landscapes,
With steep slopes of silence over still, peaceful ponds.
In breathtaking heights fly over those quiet waves
Flocks of waterfowl that glide along in thick bands.

I Passed
A carapace harbouring sheer silence,
It smelled of mud and silt, motionless on the path,
A shell where nights gather, if not a cenotaph,

Whether the night haunts him or as a mask hides him,
No matter, he knows where prey and fear lie in wait.
Poacher whose skill daylight disregards as base cheat,
But whose widened pupils know not of our chasm.

My gift was once a coin to buy wheat and power,
Philtre that caravans carried to trade afar,
Gold hand to enforce the Prince's rule and order,
An invisible, yet ever haunting splendour.

I was caught in a whirl, with loud shouts and drum rolls,
Flags streaming in the wind, delirious prophecies,
Squirting blood... Suddenly, from their feasts I was torn
And fell into rest which ignores time and worries.

From our two closed mouths a new island would surge.
No vessel, no time would ever know of its ports,
The ocean of our flesh would dash against its shores -
An island that would be in innocence immerged,

Three forts adorned with arms linked by a rosary
Where fervour was captured in stone and in pageant,
Were a jail roofed with slate and with epic legend
That in twisted soaring flared up - a cemetery

The flight which you suspend haunts your quivering fur,
Echo of wings by some caprice strayed from the sky.
As you feel you could not follow the flight you spy,
Your buried bound is dream, expectation, anger.

Are you the light dancing ahead of the bowsprit?
The reef you're heading for, which will be your respite?
Yet I am the helmsman and I steer and I weight
My holds with your ballast of darkness and of silt.

And since a double night is consuming your brow,
Since Heaven against your years has set ageless flow,
Foams of desires floating above our blood like dews,
Our bodies shall mimic the recumbent statues


Let the dance make the hull be subject to decay,
A crucible for words, I shall free the live one.
Who can deny the wind when the oak crashes down?
In flawless crystal are breath and strength caged away.

Never in life otherwise fed
Than on transient pity's bread;
Frost gnawing at your swaying bones;
Rags that your nudity won't hide;

The arrogant blazon in scornful height towers
Above the simpering gables across the square -
A stone spinet marking out half-tones of an air
Prompting those on the mail to embrace each other.

Marble and onyx are entwined, like in a tress.
In high-perched cupola and triple pediments
Where saints wield their crosses and their tools of torment
Surface and volume are of harmony possessed.

I was a blind woman and groped my way along,
Fancying for my own purpose wind, lightning, ghost,
My window heavy with logics I would have closed
More firmly still than with iron shutters so strong,

Michel Galiana Biography

Michel Galiana's mostly unpublished work consists of: -two essays, entitled 'Beyond your Homeland' (1987) and 'Treatise on Indifference' (1989) in which he proclaims that he wants no part in the collective extravagances forced on us by State and Society -two collections of narratives 'A Trip to the West Suburbs' (1991) and 'The Cry' (1993) . And yet, poetry has always been to him a field of investigation, as well as a form of asceticism. He wrote among others - 'The Dream in the Orchard' (1990) where verse appears in a strict shape to assert the poet's rejection of the visible world, - 'In Memoriam' (1991) , also keeping the strict canons of poetry - 'Out of a Book of Hours' (1992) , a title borrowed from Rilke, which completes the former one and also gives account of poetical introspection but in a less structured manner.)

The Best Poem Of Michel Galiana

Japanese Garden

Dry garden. Stone and thought. And sky and quietness.
Beyond the wall a tree that twists its gnarly trunk.
In me there's no beyond. And all thinks and all weighs.
A point where certainty may reconcile with luck,

Where colour vanishes and fades into absence
Where speech unites with void which abolishes it.
I am aware of naught but a benzoin scent.
Down to the depths of dream just a murmur that drifts.

Further away from me than the stars is that line
Over which there is no ferry to carry me.
I shall be able to invent a space of mine
Or never get over this stone boundary.

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