This poem's setting opens at The Cliff House, a nice eating establishment overlooking the Pacific Ocean near Land's End, San Francisco. The poem ends nearby, in an Edwardian flat above the city's Richmond District.


Galatea

I


The hour has come for setting sun
but nowhere is it seen,
for fog and mist have had their fun
and darkness reigns the scene.

We feel the windblown ocean spray
climb up the rocks below,
the surging weather ends the day
as rain begins to blow.

We brace against the airborne tide
as shoulders kiss the night,
against the elements we hide
while keeping them in sight.

The tavern's warm envelopment
caresses dampened skin,
and soon the chill is fully spent
as we converse within.

From window's view we peer without
and note the surging swells,
we hear the demon's lonely shout
and see the place it dwells.

No gentle probing can reveal
the essence of the beast,
but nakedness cannot conceal,
and naked is the feast.

With open arms the past is born
and nestled on the sea,
and when the veil is fully torn
the soul is there to see.


II


The soul reached out to bare the breast
where flotsam can be found,
to ride upon the moment's crest
and kiss the fertile mound.

A surge of foam around the rocks
rose up into the air,
the upward thrust of frothy locks
of sirens' silver hair.

The power of the ocean's thrust
was felt from up on high,
and demons longed to share the lust
that pierced the stormy sky.

Into the folds of night the storm
lashed out upon the waves,
revealing might within the form
that hollows cliffside caves.

Upon the cliff we slowly dined
on fare of sea; indeed,
the presentation was refined,
with that we both agreed.

The food of life passed through our lips
but not the food of heart,
for there are those relationships
that join, but keep apart.


III


No fuller evening have I had
without the taste of flesh,
but oh, I craved to lay unclad
and let the flesh enmesh.

The beauty sitting at my side,
she seemed so unaware
that the hunger in me cried
to kiss her essence bare.

To feel the essence of her soul
revealed against my tongue
would make the two a single whole
and keep the bodies young.

Unlike the joining of the sex
where man in woman lays,
the pleasing with the mouth reflects
the role that giving plays.

No greater deed can he do she
than give and not receive,
for it will grace her memory,
forever to retrieve.


IV


But on this evening we were two
although we saw the one
and down below our heightened view
the storm had just begun.

Into the night we went again
like lemmings to the edge,
and there we felt the biting rain
and shivered on the ledge.

The crashing surf below our height
entranced us with its size,
for even in this darkest night
it shown before our eyes.

The wind and rain invaded thread
and chilled us to the bone,
into the car we wisely fled
to wait the heater's drone.

Into the night we drove at last,
sought shelter at my home,
explored the relics of my past
and scanned an obscure tome.

By and by more secrets fell
with questions laid to rest,
and all the while I felt the swell
of passion in my chest.


V


At last! Her arms around me came
and pulled me close to her,
my heart sang out in wild acclaim,
the room became a blur.

I felt her face against my neck,
her breath upon my skin,
I fought to keep myself in check
with unknown discipline.

I crushed her to my heart and all
my body moulded fast
against the contours of this small
and beautiful repast.

I felt her breasts against my ribs,
how marvelous and full!
Her fingers pressed like little jibs
and then began to pull.

Oh, how I longed to break this brace
and pull her to the floor,
to place her mound upon my face
until she begged for more.

Oh, how I trembled at the thought
of eating her right there,
of licking her until I brought
her gasping for her air.

To ravish her until she screamed,
until she was reborn,
this fantasy was all I dreamed
and all I would suborn.

But then she slowly pulled away,
and turned as if to go,
and then I knew this special day
would know no afterglow.


VI


And yet this night that I have told
of lives within me still,
will warm me as the days grow cold
and leave me with a thrill.

To love someone for but a night
without sex consummate,
is still to lift life to a height
that nothing can sedate.

To live a night and not have loved
is but to waste a day,
for holding life with hands engloved
is taking touch away.

To live without the heart ablaze
is living in the dark,
to have no moment one can praise
is cold and black and stark.

So now I have this memory
of beauty in my arms,
this perfect flesh, a melody
of vibrant living charms.

Although I never tasted her,
ignited her in bliss,
it is a pleasure I defer,
my loss is her remiss.

She knows she touched me very deep
and in me she lives on,
that life and love is there to reap
before the day is gone.


Jack Keller





This page was created June 2nd, 2000.




Galatea, 1997-2011 by Jack B. Keller, Jr. of Pleasanton, Texas.
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