August 21, 2017

John Grey’s Poetry, Part Two

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John Grey’s Poetry, Part Two

As promised last month, here are three more wonderful poems by our frequent contributor, John Grey.

ALL IN ONE DAY

We drove the ocean road,

smothered in fog,

could barely see the blue expanse,

all our vision was in the hearing

as it pounded the shore below.

 

But then that fog lifted.

The day was all of a sudden

warm and dazzling.

 

We stopped at a meadow,

picked wildflowers,

spotted a fawn with its mother,

hiked a trail to a waterfall

and rested in a cool oak grove.

 

We ate outdoors

at a roadside restaurant.

We saw a lone surfer

testing his skill on medium-sized waves

at some unnamed beach.

 

Clouds moved in

and it began to rain.

The wind picked up.

My wipers beat like my heart had earlier.

 

*

 

SAM

He fishes through the ice

and he plays an antique dobro.

He’s maybe in his fifties.

still in good shape,

and he wears his gray hair

in a pony-tail.

The women who knew him

when he was young

still look at him

as if he still is

though his face is lined

and his eyes a shade less blue.

Even old Ma Jenkins

once accidently

came upon him skinny-dipping

in Myers Pond

and she didn’t turn away.

He was the first in town

to get himself a tattoo

and also the first

to stop at only one.

He drinks but a little

and he doesn’t say much

but he’s in these dreams of others

where he drinks a lot

and says even more.

The dreamers wake up smiling

while their husbands snore on.

He doesn’t encourage them.

He merely goes about his business

which is his and his alone.

It could be ice-fishing.

It could be plucking

on his dobro.

This is enough for him.

It’s enough for everybody.

 

*

 

ON YOUR WATCH

You’re the very last one in the bar.

at the window table,

sipping on a beer,

staring out at the moon,

the supermarket parking lot across the street

and the occasional people stumbling by.

 

You’re content in your role as spectator.

You’ve retired from active life.

No plot will have you.

There’s someone out there

playing your younger self.

You just stare,

for hours if you have to.

 

The moon’s near full.

Mysterious shapes abound.

The supermarket may be closed

but there’s occasional action

in that parking lot.

Kids doing wheelies.

Maybe some drug sales.

Or even occasional bursts

of cramped passion.

And as for the ones

out on the sidewalk tonight –

they’re at various stages on the way

to becoming who you are.

 

You haven’t done it all

but you did all you could.

You accept your own frailty.

You give regret a pass.

The next stop is death.

And it grows dark quickly

in that part of the world.

***

John Grey is an Australian poet and a US resident. His poetry was recently published in Homestead ReviewCape Rock and Columbia Review with new work upcoming in Louisiana ReviewPoem and Spoon River Poetry Review. Fictional Café was graced with three of his new poems last month. We look forward to his next submission.

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