John Grey

A Morning of Crows

So why do I dread
the appearance of crows in the morning?
They serve a purpose,
eat carrion,
clean up the dead that litter the streets.

Yes, there’s time
that they’re caws are anxious, excitable,
as if they can’t wait
until some poor critter
is smacked by a car.

Or, even worse,
they’re on the lookout
for some guy
fallen down a crevasse in the forest
or stabbed in the back by a total stranger.

Good or bad,
they’re still black-cloaked harbingers of death.

They grip tight with their talons
to the overhead wires.
But only because my nerves aren’t available.

A Man Visited by a Dead Wife

In ashen light
silk stockings dance,
fill up with flesh
and floral garters,
a navel swivels
the air to waltzing,
and a woman’s face
eats half the dark away.

His fingers endure
a clandestine tremble,
an agitated pitch
that sasses
the covert bastion
of vanished bliss
beyond the frozen sheets
and the hammering mattress.

Sweep and quiver,
her glowing curls
spike with bouquet
of uncorked champagne,
thrash madly
like uncharted beasts
against his eyes
in siren throb.

Dance of decay,
of trumped-up loneliness,
attends crucifixion
of tear down cheek,
dimming fluid,
illusory steps
on a mind’s polished floor
lash out, soar high and damned.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Tau, Studio One, and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Naugatuck River Review, Examined Life Journal, and Midwest Quarterly.  

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