April 5, 2017

Three Poems by John Grey: "Highlights," "Weather Forecast," and "Stars"

John Grey is an Australian poet and US resident. He has been published in New Plains Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review, and has work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Columbia College Literary Review and Spoon River Poetry Review.


Streets after rain, every road, a rainbow.
I don’t dare tell you that’s just oil slick.

You dart from one color to the next,
skirt flying out from your knees,
wet hair sweeping across your throat,
whipping and whirling, doing its own laundry.

Neon catches your left eye, floods the right.
The science of light is on my tongue’s tip, goes no further.
Why spoil your appetite for doctored brightness.

Another night of devouring chandeliers,
sipping candle flame, dancing to
the minored falseness of a silvery disco ball.

You run the gauntlet of the traffic beams.
What can I do but tango in and out
of street lamp shine.

I catch up with you, hug you, kiss you,
beneath the fullest of moons.
At least, it’s either the moon
or something similar.


Hills in the distance,
white. Trees dead
or merely snowed under.
What’s the difference?
A month apart.
Is weather the
best the world can do?
A thunderstorm
tried and failed.
A blizzard did its best.
And now, outside
is just this random
fluttering of the
white stuff.
But it doesn’t know
the first thing
about missing you.
Maybe if weather
could pace or sleep badly,
if it hung on its mail-box’s
every word.
Another week
and you’re home.
The forecast says,
I’m cold but clearing.


Night’s giving birth, pressing stars
to her dark belly. At a child’s distance,
these are dead ones living forever. To you,
the many of the self could do worse
than shine indifferently on all that’s
to come. I look up, feel for the solitude,
the way it doesn’t move, merely points
its light outward in unknown company
of these others. I have a friend who’s
a Libra in the way that I am no sign.
Heavenly bodies strike a bargain
with her patterns of behavior. At an
old man’s behest, they closely approximate
heaven. To a pain-driven world,
firmaments are wonder drugs.

© John Grey

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