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.
THREE A.M. AND ALL IS WELL
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.
GIANTS AMONG US
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.
BREAK A WEB, JOURNEY ON
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.