La Conversation Galante

Things return to their places, settle
where they used to be: umbrellas, overcoats,
lamps, your books. The silence overwhelms.
Weekends my sister visits, and we talk.
Nights I read your letters, when they come.

Spring’s come as it always has, like an immense
wind from the north. We'll have clear weather,
from now on. Or should I add, I hope.
This morning I counted four sparrows
in the trees - not a flock, but there it is.

I have heard them, hushed, hiding in the eaves,
trembling; then rising at the slightest gust,
whirling like a rush of leaves out, up, into the air.
If it should rain tonight, thunder and lightning,
I should lie in bed all night, listening.

Perhaps it was the summer that led us so,
giddy with the season, the sunlight
and the garden encircling our wandering
like an arm around the shoulder,
meandering all the way into the wood.

Sometimes that evening comes back, flaring
apart from all the rest, like an ember blown back
from ash. How strange summers can be!
Umbrellas, books and lamps, the rain: one seems
not to speak about anything else, afterwards -

Only perhaps the weather, dear friend, if then.
When shall we see each other at last?


  1. Often, in polite conversation - la conversation galante - what is of real importance is what is not being said.

    Touchstones for this poem are T.S. Eliot's "Conversation Galante" and Kazuo Ishiguro's "The Remains of the Day".

    Short link -

  2. Always love reading your work, I learn so much from favorite line it Umbrellas,books and lamps, the rain....I can feel this line...I remember this line...having lived it...blessings...bkm

  3. Things return to their places, settle
    where they used to be

    And isn't that what happens every time visitors leave to go back home? I loved the feel behind these words...

  4. Yes, the spaces between are most telling in this piece, capturing the loneliness and longing. Such emotion tied to the one who is not there.

  5. thanks 4 the explanatory note. your to deep 4 me.

  6. No such thing as too deep! I try to write in several levels in my poems, and the most apparent level is always the emotional surface. If you read into the poem only this, it's still worked.

  7. Such a poignant poem. I love the hint of the unsaid under what is said, and the remembering. A beautiful write.

  8. Very powerful write!

  9. This is so beautiful...this one is rubies.

  10. The stillness, the waiting of this poem is what grabbed me. To me it is as if he is wondering the time spent together meant anything to the other person... a few letters, but no mention of them being anything special inside.


Thanks so much for visiting my site, I'm grateful you've taken the time to read. If you liked this selection, you can download a sampler of (or buy!) my books at the following links...

- Sonata Vampirica
- Sonnets from the Labrador
- How More Beautiful You Are
- Tango Desolado
- War and Ablution

...And, if you can, please leave a rating at It's easy, and it does help a lot.

...Thank you!