John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Stand, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” “Memory Outside The Head” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Ellipsis, Blueline and International Poetry Review.


With sleep at such cross-purposes with my life, 
is it any wonder that I rise at odd hours?

And, as that same state is so compatible
with who you are,
no surprise when I hear,
from the depths of the darkness,
"come back to bed."

I stare through the window
where stars intercut with memories.
I think of space ships
and imagine the strangest of alien races.

"Come to bed."
And miss the Hyades cluster -
no way.

I go downstairs to the kitchen.
It's no shock that the moon has followed me.
A little of its light
sheens the table top,
burnishes the nobs of the old radio.

"Are you okay?" 
asks the voice from the second floor.

I could be a wolf
for I hear the rising in my throat.
Or an owl,
that typical nocturnal hunter.
But I'm more of a pilot
guiding whichever room I occupy
through the corridors of empty space.

You roll over, fall back to dreams. 
I am at silence attitude 
and stillness speed.


There’s no hope of me
ever seeing you again.

A pair of giant invisible scissors
has snipped away 
the seams that held us together.

You floated one way,
I another.
Not a trace of you came with me.
Nothing of me went with you.

One afternoon, at the airport,
I looked on
as a young woman welcomed home
a soldier.

It was the handiwork
of a giant invisible net.


There are no barriers
to a brisk walk 
through the woods.

The trail is lightly traveled.
It’s not a parade route
for families and their possession.

The eyes of refugees
are as invisible as spider webs,
and yet we break them,
we feel their threads.

Our slowdowns limit themselves
to dead bugs at the outer rim,
the crawling arachnid at the center,
a license not to feel
beyond our current situation,
to be as ignorant sniffing wildflowers
as we are when scanning newspapers.

We cross borders 
of forest into glade,
fernery into riverbank,
and are never once turned back,
always admitted.

The freedom that comes with this
is palpable.
Thin and broken,
but palpable.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.