October 20, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Elijah O’Donell¬†photo



John Grey







He writes a ball of pure lead,

vivid as a new planet come into view,

with eyes overwhelming,

lodestar bright and hard.


He writes Atlantic winds stirring up sea-grass,

painful looks, lighthouse remote,

distant ancestors who appear in dreams,

the cricket’s chirring and the snakes’ hiss.


He writes the desire aching in his bones

and the bright colors of its release,

the grinning face of reward,

the pin-prick pointillism of feeding hunger.


He writes a butterfly’s response to blooms,

a razor’s tenth cut of the morning,

the largesse of grass and dandelion,

the soundtrack to a life’s wither.


But he lives like a pauper and a hermit,

a passive, an anemic, and a wisp of paper

whipped by wind, soaked to ripping point by rain –

no wait a minute – that’s one more thing he writes.








A bird’s song just arrived,

scattered silence. –

we fall inward, we kiss,

we wake up sated.

It’s a true planet –

the city is alien, out of reach.

Fingers touch down on you

as forest air evens our nerves,

and my mouth happens upon

its sacred tongue,

holds nature to its promise,

arranges with my heart,

blue streaks of sky.

the distant clouded mountains,

as morning petals open

like constant lovers of the sun.


Blood dances barefoot

and hands know where to start a fire.

My head remembers

last night’s fox or crackling flame,

bodies pairing up

with lovers of each other,

time so critical, so imperative,

spinning around and stretching outward

the beginning and end of all things –

the days before and after –

and now, a new light is

content with small matters

like the lifting of a stone,

the light in your eye

the skinny track of spit

that tingles on my tongue –

thrust of water unraveling

as it boils for coffee.


Day, it’s your move.







John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Perceptions and the anthology, No Achilles with work upcoming in Big Muddy Review, Gargoyle, Coal City Review and Nebo.

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