Selected Poems From


Poetry and photographs of the Yosemite Region

Poems by Scott Galloway & Photographs by Jay Galloway

What's on This Page

This page contains a selection of poems from VEIL OF MIST, published by Solo Publications in 1987. VEIL OF MIST is a collection of poems by Scott Galloway with photographs by Jay Galloway of the the Yosemite Region in California. The 74 poems and 27 photographs of VEIL OF MIST parallel the journey of the Merced River from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range to the snow covered crest where the river is born amid peaks and glaciers. On this journey, the five chapters of the book explore human relevance to the environment. Jay Galloway's photographic topics range from intimate nature studies to Tuolumne Meadows winter scenes.

Copyright Information

All text and photographic images are copyrighted. Copyright by Scott Galloway© 1987 Copyright by Scott Galloway ©. 1996. All rights are reserved. No poem or section of a poem, no graphic image, and no photographic image or portion of a photographic image may be copied, printed, distributed or used for any commercial or business purpose, or for the purpose of distribution electronically or in any other form without the express written permission of the author.

Selections From VEIL OF MIST

Painting The Night

Nancy's Poem


Earth Dream

The Hands of Lyell


I go to the garden to brush my teeth
In the old lead-lined sink
That once did the laundry service
In my house by the sea.
Now it stands at three thousand feet elevation
On a ridge top, between rows of corn
At the edge of the deer fence.
It is blue black night,
And I with brush in hand turn the brass handle
Of the faucet and fill my mouth with water,
Cold mountain water,
Falling into the basin of the lead-lined sink.
The water-light of millions of molecules of water
Like stars from the faucet dances across my face
Fresh in my mouth and falls
To the cold grey lead of the sink.
I leave the garden, and pause to look back
Through the Chinese gate.
If I could paint this,
I think. It is not an original thought I know,
But if I could paint this,
This shining of water and stars,
And the shining of crickets
In the dry summer grass,

If only tonight I could paint this.
I turn to walk back to the cabin.
If only I could paint these stars
I would have canvas and paint,
And a feeling of the night.
But now as I write, the bowl of blue rotates slowly
And the cricket's song drones on
Without paint.

Other selections from VEIL OF MIST


You want to reach out.
There is no one to reach.
It is you alone
Who guide your raft
Over the glass lip
Of the window that looks
Into eternity.
Those who do not come
To feel the river's power
Do not see its danger.
They are lost
To more than the shelter
Of your skill
As you guide them through your rapids.
They are lost to the soft song
Of the canyon walls.
They are lost
To the symphony of green curls
And foam white peaks.
They do not reach out.
They who bob
Their way
The raging storm of the river.
They are lost
To the peace and power of the river.
You will haul them in
Belt first, thrashing,
But they will not be back
To run
Your river again.

Other selections from VEIL OF MIST


A fresh cut pile of pine and oak
Stands like an old friend
With a new face
Among the dry leaves of early Autumn.
As Autumn turns in golden October
To brittle brown November
The pile will grow.
I will cover the fresh white cut
Faces of the logs
With a tarp to keep what rain
I can from the wood,
And the snow will come in December
To cover the logs.
They will come into my cabin
One by one,
And sing their song of light and heat
To warm my winter nights.
Now as the sun still shines
On their grey bark
They hold their warmth
Shining it softly in the morning light.

Other selections from VEIL OF MIST


When the Earth has violent dreams,
It dreams mountains.
When the Earth has lofty dreams,
It dreams mountains.
When the Earth has sacred dreams,
It dreams mountains.
From the high windblown ridge
Above Snow Flat
I watched the Earth dream
Clouds Rest,
Mount Watkins,
And Half Dome.
From the mist of snow clouds,
White mantled, they appeared
And disappeared into vapor
Grey granite masses,
White capes of snow.
The Earth dreamed well
That evening,
As the Sun's passing
Yellowed the dream born clouds
And turned the snow capes
To pink and cast them
Onto the dusk grey granite.
I returned to Snow Flat cabin
And found there,
A warm wood fire
Of split pine crackling,
And tired laughter
Around the evening's meal
In preparation.
The people there were not dreaming
Of mountains.
They had their fill of mountains
That day.
The people dreamed of food.
I felt sharp contrast
To the dreaming peace of rock
And snow,
Until I saw the two of you
Lying in each other's arms.
There were the dreams of love in your eyes.
When the Earth dreams well of love,
It dreams lovers.
For a moment that night
I thought I saw
A fine white mantle of snow
Upon your shoulders.

Other selections from VEIL OF MIST


Slowly the line
of climbers
On the glacier,
Their cramponed feet
Riding the crests
Of still frozen sun cups;
Pink algae ridges,
Deep white caves
Beneath their feet.
The Lyell-McClure saddle
Lies ahead,
Then the rocky crest of Mt. Lyell.
The sun burns
The skin on their faces;
White hot glare of alpine
Cold white reflection
Of light from snow.
Hands that red and hard
Clutch tight to ice axe blade
Soon will feel with tenderness
For small ledges of stone.
Hands thrusting deep into
The intimate spaces
Between fractured blocks
Of granite.
Rough hands driving ice axe tip
Deep into ice,
Soft hands of livers
Caressing grey stone walls.

Other selections from VEIL OF MIST

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