THREE POEMS by JOHN GREY

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN


It was back in the Garden

when it was just two people,

one man, one woman,

and there were no jobs

because jobs weren’t needed,

for all was provided for,

from luscious fruit,

thick shady forest, perfect weather,

to creatures neither wild nor tame,

but perfect accoutrements

for any situation.


Sure, there was the one tree

of the forbidden apple variety

that was marked off-limits

but everything else

was for the couple’s pleasure.


But then the snake got involved,

sold the female

on the thrills to be had

by biting into one of the fruit

from the off-limits tree,

and she succumbed

to his seductive hiss,

even involved the man

in her disobedience,

unwittingly introduced the concept of sin

into Eden.


This led to banishment,

the need to provide for themselves

in a hostile world,

sex, offspring,

and a situation where everything they did

would be a moral, a warning,

a metaphor, a literary reference,

for those that followed.


Your friends you get to choose.

But you’re stuck with your creation myths.

 

TO THE BIRD WHO FLEW INTO OUR WINDOW


Dear bird.

That blue sky

reflected in my window

is just that – a reflection.


What you just flew into

is nothing but glass.


Luckily,

you were merely stunned,

could gather your wits,

fly on.


The thing is

that this house

has many windows,

many images of blue.


The clue should be

the wood frame that surrounds them.


What I’m trying to make

you understand is

that this is a house,

a human habitat.

The windows are for us,

the family, to look out of,

to make believe we are part

of what’s outside.

And, yes, that includes sky.


It’s best for you

if you’re fully aware

of our intentions and pretentions,

and how architecture

is predicated on our lifestyle.

In other words,

for your sake,

and so we have no

unwelcome surprises,

you stick to the real sky.


You know,

the one with the drones and airplanes.

 

CAVEMAN


Hands in cave pool,

splashing face,

spitting driblets.

You could be a third way,

this restless

got it one moment, lose it the next,

kind of guy.

You'd have one pocket empty, the other full.

And one hand would steal

what the other couldn't give away.


Chilly water.

Quivering flashlight,

A great number of

no-name bats.

Secrets are impossible to keep.

at this beer-soaked wedding party.

People feast on rumor like bees on flowers,

Tell the ugly truth now.

Forgive yourself later.

Or, better yet,

if you’re the gossiper,

claim amnesia.


Squatting,

face as hairy as a caterpillar,

and just as many moving parts.

Everything in nature

is an outraged mixture

of slow anguish and bottled fury.

In the domain of human linkage,

you know you’re not at your best.

You choke on what you ever saw in her.

There’s not enough

trapdoors to go around.


Stand upright.

Throw some shine on the leaky walls.

You’d rather be home with the baby.

Feel the wrinkles in your brow.

Fingers like cars on a bumpy road.

You left early.

One last glance in her direction.

Still infatuated with bourbon and the dark.


Crouch again.

No sign of your eyes.

A breeze from somewhere.

Such an unanswerable question

Survive first, that's your motto.

She's no longer within your reach,

only your want.

She’s run off with an ex-boxer.

He’s right ear looks like a club steak.

So much for the former debutante,

You’re both actors frozen in tepid applause,


Something in the water.

Blind fish perhaps.

Skittering.

Afraid of the intruder.

What if you told the world you were the father?

What if you love were less juvenile?

You could be building a nest

for your pink shivering offspring.

Instead, you’re exploring a cave.

 

John Grey is an Australian poet/US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books “Leaves On Pages,” “Memory Outside The Head,” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Ellipsis, Blueline and International Poetry Review.