Posts Tagged ‘John Grey’

John Grey

NOW THAT I’VE MADE IT HERE

Pink sheets of pleasure
open like petals,
float across bare knees.

My head adrift in pillow,
yours warming my naked chest,
serenity keeps us in mind
for moments like this.

Love-making over,
I taste the wine of the results,
mouth the word “heaven”
to the lingering desire.

Can a moment be too iridescent?
Can it overtake, become the all-over mood?

I’ve heard that too much of a good thing
is as toxic as belladonna berries.
So if I grow too happy,
can sadness be my only cure?
If I have everything,
should I hold out for nothing?

They’d have me pray for an ache or two
to worry my smugness.
Or a lightning strike, an earthquake,
anything to singe or rumble
my contentment.

So have I need of disappointment, upset,
unwanted intrusion, disaster, grief, bitterness,
sickness, anger, disgrace, dementia or dread?
Quite frankly, no.
But thanks for never asking.

 

LANDLADY

Her apartment doesn’t pull rank.
It’s on the ground floor
hut, from what I’ve seen of it,
it’s no bigger, no smaller,
than mine at the top of the stairs.

She always complains
that she has no one to help her
and the handymen she hires
to fix a leaking tap.
to patch dry wall,
charge prices near to extortion.
I’m always cleaning, she says.
And when I’m done,
it’s time to start over.

She’s always up when I come home,
no matter the time of night.
And she leaves her door open.
The doings of her tenants
are her only joy.

Her couch is where she collapses
at the end of another tiring day.
Her favorite programs
keep watch over her
as she eats whatever’s handy
from crackers and cheese
to frosting straight from the can.

Tonight
on my way downstairs
I catch a glimpse of her
in the parlor, munching on potato chips.
the crumbs sticking to her robe like lint.

She sees me, says “this is the first chance
I’ve had to sit down all day.”
Her eyes are red, her moustache brown.
The blue glow of the television
unmasks her double chin.

 

YOUR JEANS

You’re comfortable in those jeans,
faded blue, coffee stained,
ragged at the knees,
frayed at the ankles.

You figure you can get
another year out of them at least.

It’s different with men.
When the shininess wears off,
there’s nothing keeping you
from tossing them in the garbage.

Not that you’re delusional.
You follow the abrading, tattering,
of your face, your body,
in the mirror.

You wear the inevitable well
but how many more years
do you give it?

And those men,
picking themselves up out
of the breakfast scraps
and stumbling for the door…
how long before you whisper
that dreaded word, “Stay.”

But, for now, those jeans
make for a body-hugging denim comfort zone.
They slip over your knees, your hips.
And they don’t give you away.

 

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Gargoyle and Silkworm work upcoming in Big Muddy Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.

 

 

John Grey

PARADE

Some are big-boned, some are egret-thin.

For every tall one, there’s another squat and dumpy.

Most are brunettes, a few blondes, now and then, a red-head.

Many noses are up, many chins are down.

Some chatter constantly. Others remain silent.

Morose, happy, solitary, cringing to the crowd,

there’s many kinds, and then the subtle variances,

the loud one in a quiet moment,

the cold one who suddenly warms.

There’s a flood, then a trickle, then a flood again.

Sometimes there’s even none, but not for long.

What starts it? Who knows? But, from time to time,

I hear my voice cry out of nowhere, “Come, lie beside me. Stay.”

***

EMMA GOING BLIND

The dark wants your eyes.

Your pupils don’t know what’s coming.

The faces are about to go unrecognizable.

Better hone up your touch

because, soon enough, the light won’t do.

Sounds are taking on importance.

The TV is killing off your favorite characters.

The newspaper is telling you it’s all a blur.

Color schemes are the enemy now.

Your children are whispering behind your back.

The words “nursing home” pierce your still keen ears,

draw your blood, not theirs.

So what if you bump into the furniture.

If your eyes desert you,

then you’ll learn to see with your knees.

It’s getting late.

Your children need to get back to their lives,

to the plotting of their own offspring.

You look forward to sleep,

your life on equal terms.

***

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Perceptions and Sanskrit with work upcoming in South Carolina Review, Gargoyle, Owen Wister Review and Louisiana Literature.