Monday, April 14, 2008


This is posted online elsewhere, but the link is almost 10 years old and one day, who knows when, it will probably disappear.

In preparation for that inevitability I will re-post these poems for posterity here:

by Keith Giles

I remember the closing eyes
the last breath
the silence after the snowflake
of life has melted and gone.
I yearn for words of comfort
for great peace to blow the hurt
away, for a brief minute to share
your name in this November sky.
I understand
the sharpness of tearing away
into something only memories can gather,
the great depth of wishing
the ears could hear
or the blind could see
the way you will always feel.
Only sharing in the likeness
of your sorrow I may speak
without a sound.
I will take your burden
we will find a quiet hill somewhere
and our fingers will press down
and pull away the land
together we will bury it.

for my friend Paul Moore


by Keith Giles

River of remembrance
river of pain
two sides of the same
rusted coin
found at the bottom of yesterday's well
a wish that went unanswered.

I've seen this movie once
before, same clothes, same lines,
same ending, I am
the same.

A shroud for April
raging from the grave
two hands grasping nothing
as in life, so in death.

Precious, fragile, temporal
there are only a handful
of names, I am among them

A pale horse waits
to be mounted, stomping clay
with impatient hooves of bone.


by Keith Giles

There was rhythm in the air that morning
a seed-planting rhythm in a land
of broken ground. It traveled
from my heel to
my fingertips and
circled in my neck until
I bowed my head in submission. The beat
continued, echoed across
the arid stretch
of the hillside and all
of the faceless people stood
swaying to the rhythm
the compelling metronome
of hammer and nail and
the crescendo mounted until the blood
the blood gushed hot and wet onto the grass
we held our breath until they lifted
the crossbar over our heads, until the sky
turned to black cloud, until he whispered that it was finished and the soldiers took him down.
But the rhythm never left my feet
kept time with
the beating in my heart, turned
my blood to wine.


by Keith Giles

I see a moon
out of orbit
falling into
a laughing star
like fears
feathers dark
and spreading over
my child's bedroom window
wings tempered in iron
furnaces of light
tap at the glass
deep, bloodless
eyes below hooded lids
that open and close
with falling of rain
or stars
solemn, avenging.

In the doorway
in the dark
aware of every breath
no one sees me
no one smiles
tomorrow I will summon a Doctor
a specialist, a grandmother
a friend
and my wife
we will all watch a different part of her
as it passes into the raging star.


by Keith Giles

Not running anymore
the thunder of blood in my ears
the only hint of rain
quiet lightning across the tree line
shatters the night sky for an instant
then heals again
heals in me the storms you've raged.
No answer in the whisper of leaves, no
hope in the cold of a cat's-eye moon
I inhale my portion of the dark
exhale the deep ache of your ghost in me
give back all the hurt I've ever known.
I give it back.


by Keith Giles

beside a slow river
receiving alms
of sand, wages of heat
prayers of rain
I admit failure.

beneath tired limbs
ghost-brown cicada shells
cling to the gray mesquite
where I lean my shoulder
contemplating nothing.

in the long shadow
of a sage-covered mountain
bound in a chain
of wondering
I am quiet,
holy and evil in a desert of wandering
souls, driven by thirst
and sin, forgiveness
and sand
receiving alms
wages, and a few
heavy prayers.

All poems copyright 2007 by Keith Giles and may not be used, printed or reprinted without permission from the author.

Contact me at
"elysiansky" at hotmail (dot) com for more info

1 comment:

Parousia said...

Words that matter will come with power...
The world cries out for love this hour...
He has stripped the seeming beauty
From the idols of the earth
With no sense of right or duty,
He's the sight of Peerless Worth.