3 poems by John Grey

John Grey


but your bones aren’t air-pockets.

You’ve no beak, no claws,
No wings or feathers.

A leap of three feet in the air
is followed by a similar drop.

You’ve not the lightness
to keep your ascent going.

And your descent
is like your life.

It will never break
with gravity.


And now it's your exercise kick,
jogging around the neighborhood
early summer mornings,
winter evenings on the treadmill
coached by a weary video of Jane Fonda.
Gray sweats have come into our life together,
along with assorted vitamins, strange sodas.
You've made a pledge with yourself
to live better, live longer.
But what does that leave for me,
seduced into the rim of your world
by grilled chicken, fish,
more vegetables, less pizza.
You should know by this
that based on your forays
into religion, yoga, Armenian cooking,
origami, chair refurbishing and bonsai gardens,
only you can occupy
the center of your life.
All the perspiration is dripping from your pores.
The aches, the twinges, are the indignities
of your joints alone.
You can tell me all you want
about how you haven't felt this good in years.
So what about those years
when you felt less good.
How much better was that.


This is where all the people went.
Some to shrines, large and small.
But most merely prop up plain stones,
at the sides of the winding pathways, 
in the weeds by the rusty fence.

The sky stirs 
in a way the earth cannot.
It is darkening.
This soil is always dark.

The first few drops
send scattered mourners
to their cars.
A scrawny stray dog
seeks the shelter of the willow.
It’s been another fruitless day
spent searching for its master.

Bones and brass,
rosewood and embalming fluids,
so much is underfoot.
But only rain 
is buried in the sky.

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John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Stand, Washington Square Review and Floyd County Moonshine. Latest books, “Covert” “Memory Outside The Head” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in the McNeese Review, Rathalla Review and Open Ceilings.

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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