Aviary Photo_131057522945388476

Beyond What We Perceive

I make no apologies.

I see ghosts;
I have felt their breath
upon me,
their fingers through
my hair.

I have flown past
The farthest stars
Carried in the arms
Of Angels
And I know there
Is no such thing as

So, it’s no wonder
They come to me,
They talk to me,
They comfort me.

But you,
You are frightened
by the very notion
that spirits are among us.
You think of rattling chains
and moaning winds,
You assume
Your religion forbids
Us from returning –
But you are wrong.

I have slept on icy planets,
I have dreamed within the sun,
I have awakened to a song
Sweet as a wind chime
On a hot summer night
I have shaken off
this mortal coil,
and I make no apologies
for the ghosts I see,
I only ask:
Can you see me?

Cubicle Life 3

Beyond the End of Day


Look into the windows
of commerce.
The employees
have gone home–
through tunnels,
across bridges,
through car-choked

Some  crossing the
night-stricken streets,
eyeing each red light
like an IED,
and hurrying on
ahead of the morning.

Look into the windows
of commerce, now that
the night has settled in.

Carts with dust rags
and plastic bags
r0ll through the halls,
the hands that push them
and the eyes that guide them
are unknown to the day.

Little voice, little pay,
little thanks for keeping
the cogs of commerce
greased and running
for another day.

Photo: Virginia Galfo: Boston 2015




Moon with red orb

We’ll Go No More A Rovin’ but Not Because Any Of Us Wanted To Let You Go

July 28th marks the first anniversary of losing my office mate, Derick, who was only 28 and left behind a wonderful wife and a two- now three-year-old son. I’m sure I’m not alone in this,  but I still remember how his son’s hair was exactly the odd color of honey/chestnut brown as his, and that I’m still startled when someone laughs, and it echoes his laugh.

Derick’s passing was the beginning. Over the months that followed, I lost my beloved uncle, John, my spiritual adviser, Father Pat, my friend Peter, and my cousin George.

So, for me, this poem by Lord Byron is fitting. The poetry he left behind, after his passing at age 36,  is brilliant and moving.  I especially love this verse, and so until we meet again, I dedicate this poem to you whom I’ve loved and will see again.

So, we’ll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we’ll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.


PS…If anyone can tell me what’s going on in this photo of the moon, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I took it with my Galaxy III in February 2015. I could see a red dot moving along as I held the phone sky-ward, but I didn’t think anything of it because I’m not a photographer by trade; but when I saw this image, the red orb not only appears, but it also looks like something is bouncing off the moon at 11:30. The image is in no way altered, and the phone camera has 8 megapixels,

Colorado 1987

Clouds, They Come and Go

A beloved member of my family has dementia. For him, and for those of us around him, this presents odd moments of beauty, as well as moments of reflection.

For example, when we’re driving somewhere, each of us in the car is called to examine the clouds, their beauty, their meaning, and (it’s unspoken but hard to avoid,) our own meaning.

It’s like when we were kids, flat on our backs in the field, watching the sky change, nudging and kicking each other, betting who could see a movie star in the sky, first. As for me, I never saw anything. I never saw the angels breathe into me the love that would carry me forth. I only see the beauty of the clouds, in their singularity, and in their entirety.


The photo is mine, copyright 2016, Virginia Galfo


Before the Open Road



A broken glass in the kitchen
Slid a shard into my foot,

Upward, inward, biting a nerve
Like a red-hot bolt of electricity;

Much like my first love
Who was angled into my soul and

Hung there vibrating silently
40 years went by.

The thing is, he was innocent.
He didn’t break my heart,

I broke it myself,
He never knew I loved him.

As I pull the glass shard from my foot,
I know that nothing in this world

Could have ever cut me
Deeper than I cut myself.




Windows into the Night

On Sunday nights,
my dad drove the white Comet
down Paterson Plank Road,
past the houses and apartments
tucked into the rocky hillside
as he delivered himself from
his mother in Jersey City.

He had three kids in the 

back seat, along with the ghost
of the baby who died,
and my mother —

chain-smoking Viceroys 
with the windows closed —
as trucks screamed past us
on the Turnpike. 

All I could do was catch
furtive glimpses i
nto the
lamp-lit windows 
on the hillside,
wondering if someone 

was making a cake,
or reading their child s story,
a tale of comfort to soften
the sharp edges of the night,
And open a window
to the morning.



(Photo: Stock Free from  www.pexels.com)



The Muldoon Family 1963

Father’s Day: It’s Complicated


Looking down 10 stories
from my hotel room in Boston
to a street canyon-ed by snow,

I watch  tiny figures
hurrying against the wind,
gripping collars, heads down. 

One man is barely moving.
He’s wrapped in a gray blanket,

and his feet are slightly shuffling.

I need a smoke,
so I make my way down
to the street and the doorman
tells me it’s too cold to go out,
but he smiles as he says it. 

I huddle against the building
as the man wrapped in the stiff
gray blanket draws near
and  I hold out a cigarette;
He stops, and says, 
“I quit smoking in 1992.”

I pull a five dollar bill
out of my pocket and slip 
it into his hand–a hand
that’s brutally cold. 

We look each other in the eye and
without his permission,
I take one of his gloveless hands
between mine and begin rubbing it
between my palms,
blowing warm breath onto his cracked
skin, and when the life came back,
I warmed his other hand.

“What’s your name?”

He answers with one word.

Later that night
as the snow fell silently,
I thought of my father, 
decades gone.

His name was also Eugene,
and I don’t think

he even had the concept of
warmth, not once in his life.

Whatever he was missing
Stalked him relentlessly,
pushing his wandering soul
into the frigid nght

with nothing more than a stiff blanket
and the scapular around his neck.