• John Grey

Selected Poetry by John Grey

Photo Source: Raw Pixel


Like magic,

a drop of rain

plopped from the sky.

A lizard’s tongue

grabbed at it

but missed.

A toad jumped

into its path

but that watery gem

ricocheted off

its scaly back,

tapped the head

of a startled rattlesnake

then fell between

a scorpion’s clutches.

It hit the earth,

dissipated on contact,

with no object in mind

but frustration.


It’s our tenth anniversary

and I'm like the bystander

with his head in Lazarus' tomb

or combing the dregs of the wine,

the crumbs of bread and fish

for some clue as to how

the miracles were accomplished.

And how come we’re still together?

And what’s with plumbing?

And electricity?

And us?

And how does a jet plane

stay up there?

Or a giant cruise ship not sink?

And us?

What about us?

There are people who get it.

They’re tradesmen.

Or they’re engineers.

Or they just have faith.

It’s our tenth anniversary.

There seems to be no science involved,

so I’ll just have to believe it.


How flat the landscape,

and dry as an uncle's jokes,

scattered rocks

with grizzled green spinifex for company.

I'm flying over

the grim retirement of the world,

the old age home of ribbed red dirt

and feckless camel herds.

Sun is such a searing dreadnaught in the sky,

you'd swear it's never going to set.

For there’s heat enough down there

to frazzle time.

I look out the window,

waiting for a sign of human habitation,

a tin-roofed shack, a man on horse,

a nomadic aboriginal tribe.

But there's only space,

empty of life,

full of the alternative.


Sly and solitary,

but seldom seen

doesn’t make the leopard

any less a creature.

Just utter the word –


you’re stalked by

the sound of its name.


mute feet

to spotted velour coat

to head half-jaw

and teeth as honed

as calcified spears,

its physiology

becomes its physiognomy –

immaculate hunter,

cold killer.

And yes,

always out there somewhere.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review. Latest book, “Leaves On Pages” is available through Amazon.