December 12, 2014 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION




John Grey





tree stressed out of all equilibrium

dies from the roots up


caterpillar, moth, parasites,

chainsaws all around,

the rush of soil to false freedom


house on the hill above,

road through its valley,

truck fumes, home fires…

all manner of exhaustion


it’s Shady Acres now

but buds won’t buy into it



suburban shade

never was its niche


so it’s out with the old,

in with the new growth


the softest option

sprouts picture-postcard feral


the firmest flesh,

a soft, sad, shadowy dream










Her coming death

she leaves to the rehearsing mourners,

the ones dribbling at her bedside.


“You can have the crystal clock,”

she says to a weeping daughter.

“It hasn’t worked in years.”


“And the souvenir Eiffel Tower is yours,”

she adds, handing it to her balding son

like it’s the Oscar for being the only

balding son in the room.


It’s more like an auction

than lung cancer

and the buyers have been bidding

all their lives.


For her sister, a belligerent cough.

Her brother gets the photograph

of all of them,

the one where he flaunts

a scribbled-in moustache.


Ah, if only her mother were alive.

No one else is worthy

of her smoking habit






john grey

John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in Oyez Review, Rockhurst Review and Spindrift with work upcoming in New Plains Review, Big Muddy Review, Willow Review and Louisiana Literature.


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

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