Michel Galiana

Rookie (1933-1999 / France)

Conspicuous Summit - Poem by Michel Galiana

I won't have reigned over conspicuous summits.
Though my wheat was stirred by nightly bustle of slaves,
All I percieved of it was but the sieved shades
Of the fire whose glare lit the uppermost limits.
But since I committed to writing all I dreamt
I'll know how to tie up words drifting asunder
And how to gather in the secrets that shivered
On the fringe of the void wherein my life is framed.
Off the shore of a time when flight has taken me
I keep a watchful eye on the wake and don't know,
-Though unable to guide, skilled in astronomy,
A fool who is not fooled by the shuffling billow,
Who is tossed by the stars, more than by wind or sea
On this vessel hindered by its sail- where I go.


Nous n'aurons pas régné sur la rive notoire.
Les esclaves de nuit s'agitaient sous nos blés
Et nous ne connaissions que les reflets criblés
De ce feu dont l'éclat aile le promontoire.
Mais puisque j'ai fixé mon songe en l'écritoire
Je saurai renouer les mots désassemblés
Et je recueillerai le secret qui tremblait
Aux marges de ce vide où s'inscrit mon histoire.
Sur la berge d'un temps où ma fuite me prend,
Je veille sans savoir où doit finir ma trace
-Impuissant à guider, mais des astres savant,
Jouet et non joué quand la vague me brasse,
Des étoiles heurté, plus que de flots ou vents-
Où cingle ce vaisseau que sa toile embarrasse.

13th March 1989

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Poem Submitted: Friday, December 29, 2006

Poem Edited: Friday, December 17, 2010

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