John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in The Lyric, Vallum and the science fiction anthology, “The Kennedy Curse” with work upcoming in Bryant Literary Magazine, Natural Bridge, Southern California Review and the Oyez Review.
AN INVALID AT THE WINDOW
By John Grey
Texture’s like dead leaves
covering a path,
Mist rises through tree and thicket.
I spy subtle movement
in the eyes of
a cold blind angel…
when clung to a face,
the fog can be about anything sorrow.
nothing, not even the dead,
is indemnified from change.
In the duck pond,
water comes together with the grass,
clings like hair
to a rotting dock.
A rabbit nibbles,
from hunger to sacrifice
in the twitch of a nose.
I still know
the sudden freeze of window tears,
white rose petals
with the feel of a strange room.
And dew on weeds –
a cryptic passageway
back to my own self.
I read books,
circle passages with dark rings.
I look for patterns in events.
But everything’s a lone rider
through the enveloping gray.
Finally, sun busts up
the lies on the surface,
draws maple and ironwood
into my picture,
festoons them with leaves, with crows.
My book drops.
My leg aches.
Outside is the story worth telling.
EMMA AND I ON A SUNDAY MORNING
By John Grey
I’m up early on a September morning. It’s fifty degrees out.
So is the sun. The shade from the omnipresent maple is
unnecessary but who am I to argue with that full flush
of living logos that towers over the house. A tribe
of titmouse and chickadee greet me, the high-pitched
peter-peter, the abrupt descending scale. A dove splashes
in the bird-bath. Crows occupy the neighborhood roofs
but won’t come down to my level. They chatter between
themselves as they await the morning road-kill but there’s
no dead here. The house is asleep but for me. I breathe
out like exhaling cigar smoke, though it’s just the air
spiraling up in invisible clouds. The light is an express from
Dame Fortune. It exalts the garden, celebrates the lawn,
halos the sparrows as they leave their tree-trunk nest for
the very last time. Already the shadows creep away and
the quiet constants are upon me: the placid blue, mercurial green,
the steadfast gray/brown of the fence. Head reluctantly lowered,
I read some more of “Emma”, every page a delight, its heroine
uncontained by words, nestled beside me, whispering in my ear,
the need for, the possibilities of romance.
But my love of another is spoken for.
My love for all I see will have to do.