John Grey

GOOD AND EVIL

The carving on my wall
is some African devil mask
that I picked up on my travels.
The hollow eyes stare
all day, all night,
at the crucifix on the mantel.
There is good and evil
in everything…
even a room.

LOOK, UP IN THE SKY

Crows on a tree branch,
DC-10 heading south.

One gets roadkill,
the other, peanuts and a beverage.

They both fly
but the cabin service differs.

IN THE NURSING HOME

Each confined
to their own room,
the sick can no longer
suffer together.

No communal TV.
The tables are silent.
Cards put away.

Here is an exile
inside another exile.
Even thoughts
can’t find their way
through to other people.

THE FIELDS SURROUNDING THE MONASTERY

Day flips open the land this morning.
Some fields lie fallow.
Others are anxious to grow.
Monks move about them,
praying and sowing.
In a world made brilliant
by the beneficence of the sun.
it never once occurs to them
that they are the only shadows.

THAT POET IN THE FOXHOLES

He was a soldier.
Made it to sergeant.
Three stripes.
Wore them proud.
He wrote poetry too.
Mostly in foxholes.
Never composed one
before he went to war.
Nor when he came home.
Only when the bullets
were flying, did he think
a bloodroot worth
saying something about.
They bud,
bloom barely a day,
then die.
They never ask
for any of this.

~~~

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Sin Fronteras, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in West Trade Review, Willard and Maple and Connecticut River Review.

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Bad News

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I awoke in dimmed light — the spirit of forging on slightly dampened. 
But a new day had begun anew. I owed it to nature to oblige with movement. 

Slow slaps of arthritic pain on the laminated floor bore witness to that effort.
The smell of coffee circulating in my nostrils urged me on. 

Looking out the kitchen window previewed a gloomy day.
Bare brown limbs prominently on display with the sun hidden behind the white backdrop.

I watched as flat and fluffy white flakes mingled with the ice-encased scenery.
The hard-crystalized nature would eventually shatter, litter on the ground indiscriminately. 

Steam from my coffee curled up into view like a typical fog.
This scene of dreariness further clouding my demeanor. 

The TV spouted the daily “Breaking News,” breaking me down even more.
“Does anything good happen anymore?” I wondered. 

The responsibility of my existence sits on my desk chipping away at my bank account and self-esteem.
Once again, screaming, “I can’t give what I don’t have.” 

My ringing cell phone urged a distraction from this misery.
Tears began to flow as another nail hammered in, another in my generation gone. 

With trembling hands, I ended the call and stared out the kitchen window.
And with a heaving chest, a wet face, and blurry vision, I broke. 

I should have predicted the inevitability of heading back under the covers.
The older I get, the heavier the weight of what life has to offer, the more defeated I am.

Reblog – Haiku – ‘Looking at Himself’ – A poem by Goff James

Goff does a wonderful job of giving us a visual about aging but in addition, I could see the weariness of sorrow from a hard life in this piece. I can even see the face of a man who’s made really bad decisions in his life and now having to live with those truths. Well done!

Art, Photography and Poetry

Image and Poem Attribution © goffjamesart/photography/poetry

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Reblog – Daddy’s little girl by Smitha

Smitha did an amazing job with this piece on aging. It really tugs at the heartstrings and HITS HOME.

Eúnoia

When she could stay with you

she decided not to

A list of ‘valid’ reasons she gave –

No better place, save

The home for the aged, she said

The one, where you felt caged

She repeated it oft

Her voice tender and soft

You listened

Your eyes glistened

She said it was tough

You knew she had done enough.

She watched you go

Out of the door

You  waved goodbye

You turned around, maybe this is all a lie

A ray of hope flickered in your tired eyes

Breaking through your formidable guise

Maybe she’d ask you to stay

And wouldn’t let you walk away

But she didn’t, not that day

So you waved, ‘Goodbye’

Doing what’s best

For her and the rest

For you’ve never wanted more-

Than to watch her smile like before

And do the things she wanted to

So she does –

Penning poems

On…

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