John Grey


(listen to the poem, read by the author)

I’m breaking open a box of lozenges
while gulls or scrub jays screech their insults.
It’s a mild sore throat but that doesn’t mean
the holy ghost has not been by.
My touch is so proud of itself.
It manipulated paper, candy, my lips, my tongue.

The sky is nothing but prosaic blue and shredded cloud.
I miss the fat whites, cerulean myth, of a child’s drawing.
And better the misshapen houses that could never be built
than these with their dull white fences, mind-numbing doors,
pressed roses, and myriad rooms in which to die.

It’s not the end of the world, they tell me.
But Pan Am has vanished over the horizon.
The falcon is a squawking bird, not a car.
And I laugh when politicians talk up their vision.
There hasn’t been a real revolution since
the time of my first cataract.
And what do all these maples care?
What about the sea grass?
Do they know that nothing but mist is in their future?

Earth is a language of the eyes and I’m about to go mute.
These voices think they can recreate sights in my hea.4-
The black of my eyes will form a bridge to their disappointment.
They can walk across it but don’t expect me to guide them.

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About the Author

John Grey is an Australian poet and a U.S. resident, recently published in New World Writing, Dalhousie Review, and Blood And Thunder. Work upcoming in Hollins Critic, Redactions, and California Quarterly.