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Poem by John Grey – Scarred Face in a Mirror May 19, 2018

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Ugly zigzag lines
slide down the glass like mercury,
a recurring wave
that stumbles the sound of confidence.

Flares fly off wherever skin is visible,
May as well point out horror with a cue stick.
And the mirror being cruelly convex,
a face bulges toward its source.

Promised some grafting,
you’re restless as the raindrops on the pane,
longing to be have it done
no matter the cost, the consequence.

Without new cheeks, new chin, new brow,|
there is no tenderness, no amusement, just regret.
A mirror cannot keep a secret.
This is the face that belies description.

It looks much better in dreams.
This view, even in the waning light,
can’t protect you going forward.|
It is a life with visible scars.

It has no dimension other than
what someone did to you
or what you did to yourself.
There is no honor
in any attempt to conceal it.

And indifference is a lie.
You are scarred for life.
You are scarred for living.

BIO: John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Examined Life Journal, Evening Street Review and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Poetry East and Midwest Quarterly.

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Poem – The Couple by John Grey February 6, 2018

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THE COUPLE

Pony-tailed, bearded,
tattoos riding both arms,
his vision of driving big rigs
from coast to coast
has mutated into the reality
of pushing a lawn-mower
through someone else’s weeds.

 Straight out of high school,
bright red hair
too tight to be braided,
both cheeks freckled
and lips cherry-red,
her fantasy was to be a movie star,
but she married the big lug
and now has three kids
to prove it.

They live in a trailer
and barely get by.
They never almost had it made.
They didn’t once feel it
fumbling from their grasp.
The closest they came
was a ride in his uncle’s
ramshackle Chevy
and her drunken night
at a karaoke bar.

Big rig, singing star –
with those two?
Dreams know better.

BIO: John Grey is an Australian poet and US resident. Recently published in Examined Life Journal, Studio One and Columbia Review, with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Poetry East and Midwest Quarterly.

 

Poem by John Grey – The Breaking of the Drought August 11, 2017

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THE BREAKING OF THE DROUGHT

The rain is, at first,
like giant’s spit.
a few drops on the window,
a couple on the roof,
and then a half-hearted volley
that scatters its rat-a-rats
across the parched soil.

But then that giant
switches on his sprinkler system.
There’s no great force
behind the drops
but they slip into a welcome routine,
follow one behind the other.

But the big guy’s not done yet.
He starts emptying out his wells
and the sky is a grey melee
of a million tipped buckets.

Before long, the land is soaked through
and the word “drought”
is as forgotten as yesterday’s pop star.

But that giant likes nothing more
than to light his fire when he’s done,
sit down before it’s huge flames
and smoke cigarette after cigarette.

It’s the same giant.
Despite praise to the contrary,
there is no other.

BIO:

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Front Range Review, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Naugatuck River Review, Abyss and Apex and Midwest Quarterly

 

 

 

Poem – Deaf Man by John Grey April 21, 2017

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DEAF MAN

I have a hard time
imagining where the sound went.
It was here
when I was twelve.
But today, it’s nowhere to be heard.
Without sound,
I can’t even ask somebody where it is.

But I’ve held down a job in that vacuum.
I’ve made friends with my hands.
The sub-titles on my television screen
describe noise to me.

And I have a lover now.
I touch her gently.
Her mouth opens
but nothing comes out
I have to rely on her face
for any and all responses.
Thankfully,
Joanna’s everything sound used to be

BIO: 

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Schuylkill Valley Journal, Cape Rock and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Poem and Spoon River Poetry Review.

Poem – Moontalk by John Grey December 20, 2016

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MOONTALK

 

Moon sings out
any new sighting with feigned surprise.
As ever. Moon, the troop ship,
rampant and denied, its useless blessing secured
during my evening course. Left hip twinges
every step. Evenings are like this now,
my 4th decade backed into a corner,
for one more generation.
a hurricane aftermath piled atop me,
no surprise, barrier wobbling in the bay,
health services used for playmates,
greeting you, I grump, limping,
the end of the year hard upon us,
there it is still, between trees
through the old streets, fading further
on incomprehensible walks with you,
not the fifty seven years, just the voice.

BIO:

John Grey is an Australian poet and US resident. He work has been recently published in New Plains Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Columbia College Literary Review and Spoon River Poetry Review.