January 4, 2016

Three Poems By John Grey: "Being Unidentified", "A Spring Boy", "My Morning"

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.


Drifts of snow
don't inquire about back rent -

wind comes down from the mountain,
not the ledgers of the middle-aged woman
in apartment one-

there's frost on the window -
on every window -
from those who've found work
to the ones who've given up hope -

winter's just being winter -
it couldn't thaw
even if it wanted to -

the chilly designs
don't discriminate -

and they love
to glaze over glass
for some reason -

my finger sketches my name -
the blizzard gets it backwards
if it gets it at all -

I could have the money
I might not -
and what about my prospects?
is it too January to tell?


All afternoon,
mild misty rain,
enough power from above
to spark the wheat buds,
gray clouds on a tight hold
by a sun
ready to nudge them away in time.

Stork on chimney,
such an authoritative figure,
dismissing winter,
heralding a vernal eruption.

In the news,
it's all war in the Middle East,
shootings close to home,
Ebola in Africa.

I am delighted
but then again
I'm still a child.
I don't read the papers.
I don't watch CNN.

All I can do
is relish the good times,
anticipate them getting better.
This will happen automatically.
It's the upside
to the nothing I can do about it.


Life slipped out of cold,
lifted me up in its orange hands
Light made small work
of the last of the shadows.
then focused attention,
swapped the immediate for the ultimate.
Light and life and I...
we found ourselves hunting with the same weapons.
A woman's sweet face.
A coffee cup.
A song on the stereo.
No more Dickens’ waif
selling matches to the dark.
No more fat man with small face
drugged by pillow.
But agile, nimble of muscle,
able to shinny up that ladder to the gods
a little ways.
Ah, morning.
Like dropping in on who I was
this time yesterday.
Like finding gold coins on a children's island.
And you say there'll be more of these.
Can there ever be less of anything again?

~John Grey

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