Two Poems By John Grey


Names are carved deep in the rough scaly bark
Of a blue spruce, are aged in furrowed gray,
And can be rubbed like gravestones, deftly play
As much a role in memory as the stark
Brown cones that litter lawns in Prospect Park
Where Alanna and I held uncommon sway
And with pocket knife, cut in and away
With clasped hands in the cool of coming dark.

There, beneath the pine trees pyramidal crown,
Lost years past remain dutifully embedded,
Only the needles, silvery-blue drop down,
Callow love, waxy leaves, stay put, are threaded
Through the tree's life story, its dew-eyed renown
Of romance past, not where it was headed.


This is the house I live in now. On all
Sides of me, clocks, new and antique,
They muzzle my own days so time can speak
Unquestioned, from its throne, on desk and wall.
This is the house I lived in then. As small
As dreams allowed, but each year, month and week
Not about their measure, despotic, bleak,
But the real pleasure of each room's recall.

And these are the houses that live inside
Each other. Their passions for all that's past.
The fear of how the moments are applied
To lives. The brief standing up to the vast.
The willfulness of time with all its tide.
The way what is not now will always last.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Orbis, Dalhousie Review and The Round Table. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s