Three Poems| John Grey



Forest devours wood

like a crow feasting on road-kill,

clapboard and stump,

press-ganged into the cause of future trees.

Even fireplace bricks, hard as farmers,

mulch their way to rain-pocked clay.


The garden has eloped with wildflowers.

Fence posts dig their own grave.


Only glass and metal take their time.

Window shards and rusty saucepans

defy the beseeching roots,

the insidious minerals of the soil.


It’s eighty years or so

since the family were evicted.


Weather harsh,

soil rocky and thin as skin…

northern New England,

is such a haughty, unfeeling landlord.






What’s more important than music?

Not the Sunday edition of the daily paper.

Not if or when the meteor will hit.


I cast aside just about everything

for the privilege of listening.


There goes hope.

There goes history.

And look out highways, city centers and parking lots.

Your time too is up.


I’m drawn to a grace I can never reach,

a stroll across a landscape

that can only ever be unfamiliar.


It’s the onset of Dada

in the human soul.



and yet here I am on the other side





Fog rolls in off the bay

and a woman curls herself

slowly into my arms

with a pert sigh.

Outside may rub against the window

but it’s what’s happening in here

that concerns me,

feeling breaking out enough

to start the nerves jingling,

as soft breasts cross the last frontier

into my ribcage.

There’s time enough later

to complain about the poor visibility.

I prefer fragrance to details anyhow.

So we’re cut off from the rest of the world

in our red-brick walls,

terra cotta tile roof

white stone trim,

rococo imitation stonework.

Life beyond is large and murky,

wet and cold.

It’s like a funeral chapel,

musty and fusty.

I’m happy with small and clear,

dry and warm.

And rites of course,

just not the last ones.


Photo by roya ann miller on Unsplash



John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Stand, Washington Square Review and Floyd County Moonshine. Latest books, “Covert” “Memory Outside The Head” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in the McNeese Review, Santa Fe Literary Review and Open Ceilings.








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