John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review. Latest book, “Leaves On Pages” is available through Amazon.
THE WHALE HUNTERS
lilting gargantuan refrains of music that cross Bach with Schoenberg, millions of frequency modulations crisscrossing the deep-sea - the largest creature to ever have existed, the biggest brain on earth, giants of self-awareness, empathy and expression, behemoths of playing, teaching, learning, inventing, leviathans of love, colossi of caring – okay so let’s kill one shall we - those that remain: goliaths of grief, mammoths of mourning.
I’m not trying to listen in, but what can I do, with the tables close, and some couples so loud, their incessant chatter can be heard three blocks away. And, besides our prolonged silences create a vacuum that sucks up surrounding sounds. So, as I settle back in my chair, I become this perfect antenna, pulling in the electromagnetic waves of her complaining, his anger, vibrating enthusiastically as bitterness turns to sorrow to apology and finally to smiles. The broadcast ends with protestations of affection from both parties. Our date concludes with someone loving someone.
THE BLAME GAME
Not the usual mindless entertainment on TV but the thundering roar of the Nuremburg Rally. Can’t say this is what I want to be watching. Not the super-race goose-stepping on parade. Not the little loud man with the moustache. Not the ten thousand salutes. Not the big lie. If I want violence and terror, there’s always cop shows. If I need to see what arrogance looks like in the flesh, then it’s politics as normal. But my hand is frozen to the remote. I can’t change the channel. Or even turn away as people are loaded onto trains. Or at the unveiling of the death camps. Then the trials. The pleas of ignorance. “I was only following orders. My job. Why blame me?” And I was only watching what public television was broadcasting. Don’t blame me for adding to the ratings.