John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.


So I was told,
my duty…
stand here
with gun
pointed so…
if anyone approaches,
ask them to identify
if they refuse,
shoot them…
it was a simple approach,
easily understood,
impeccably carried out…
and yet,
here I am,
back in civilian clothes
with stuff to guard
but weaponless,
without clear orders,
and there’s a string
of potential intruders,
on the roads,
the sidewalks, at work,
in the bars, the stores,
aren’t these strangers aware
that if this was war
they’d all be dead…
even the people I know
can’t say who they are
and why they know me
when I put them on the spot.
I live among all kinds.
There’s no good answer to
who goes there?



My sister calls
reminding me that
today is the tenth anniversary

of our mother’s death —
I sit with her words
in my head

like discharged shotgun shells –
I feel the need for an old photograph
or a letter I’ve kept –

nothing revealing
unless handwriting itself
is a revelation
in these days of the internet,
email and social media –

ten years without —
just the sort of thing
time would say
as it counts its millions
and parcels out so little –

I’ve found the photograph –
it’s gray and fading
and the letter,
make that a postcard,
from the days,
late in her life,
when she treated herself
to more of the world
than just the one with us in it –

my sister calls
to remind me that we were young once
and where we are now
was as far ahead of us
as the possibility of her dying –

minus ten years of course –
minus a face and a hand
and a pen.



The world sees you coming.
It needs a fall guy
who crumples to the pavement
when all others walk briskly by.
It’s got more than enough men
in brown suits clutching briefcases,
swinging their umbrellas like pendulums
steering like clock-work
into front doors of skyscrapers
at 8.30 a.m, Monday through Friday.
But the world doesn’t run like
a well-oiled machine
otherwise it wouldn’t be the world.
Someone should clutch at their chest,
go pale in the skin,a
crumple at the knees,
totter, topple,
then smack face down into concrete.
And the world needs these others guys
stepping over or around you,
muttering “drunk” as they rush to the job.
The world rotates on an axis of indifference.
And without you,
it’ d have to stop and give a damn.Bio is as follows:


About vision791

Pushcart nominee Jeanette Cheezum has been published on several online writing sites and in fifteen Anthology books and four poetry books. Three of these books have made the New York Times Best Sellers list. Awarded The Helium Networks Premium Writer’s Badge, Bronze Creative Writing Award and a Marketplace Writers award. Recently she has published fourteen ebooks at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. You may find a list of some of her work at
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One Response to John Grey

  1. Roberta L Troy says:

    Wow. All very moving.

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