A Poetry Showcase September 2022 with John Grey

TORNADOES

So many tornadoes
that year
like they were having 
too much fun
turning the sky green,
ripping roofs off houses,
juggling cows and horses
and trees and tractors,
flattening and raising,
killing or sending 
a warning signal –
you won’t be so lucky
next time.

Saw the footage later on the news,
after we slunk up from the basement
to a house still standing:
great grey syphon,
barn corkscrewed,
car spun like a top.
A telephone pole 
crushed an old lady
while she was calling her daughter
in Omaha
though there was no film of that. 

And some guy was discovered
in the canopy of an oak –
still breathing –
and a trailer came rolling 
down the highway sideways
with the family inside
on some crazy fairground ride.   
They made it out okay.

Tornadoes are like
the big kids in school
who think they’re playing
when they grab you by the throat
but really don’t know
their own strength.

You try to avoid them.
It’s like trying to avoid air.

IN THE ANDES 
                                                      Page One
morning has been through similar
but as night disperses
it figures maybe it can do better than that

           even without another living soul

then the coughs and the spit
and the insane laughter

	clocks move just rapidly enough

and the coughs and the spit
crisscrossed with stupid tears
	
	dawn’s this Yeats’ trimeter 	

: recited in small chunks
: as much about a sea-lion as the sea
: a clunky Buick or a daffodil – take your pick
: a very normal happening in the guise of a coincidence
: a float in an endless parade 
: like a ghost moving through a refugee camp 

	light stops to meditate on a window-pane	

I am in Chile
in a breathless town 
high up in the Andes
and, from every vantage point,
I see enormous mountains
reaching to the sky.

	there is enough outside for me to sit by a window

no snow
just a fine kettle of green
interspersed with some brown
some purple

	keep the eyes steady and the landscape takes care of itself

even as the clouds sweep away.

	breakfast tastes flame-cooked


IN THE ANDES
                                     Page Two
mine is a favorable gut-wrench
a heart
flattened by a thunderbolt
of sight and sound
 
	eggs like the hens laid them special
	
coffee that’s a story-teller
head a boisterous mix of hydrogen and oxygen
thoughts that grow more visible with every sip
and despite the zigzag scar
a belief that there is no pain

travel’s a feeling like no other
even the silences enlighten me
but the Andes go one better

fresh sound wind
think I’ll take a stroll 

infinity redux


GHOULS?

Standing behind the yellow tape
as the body is pulled from the river,
the crowd directs its attention
less to the corpse
and more to their own inner natures,
their reaction to all the phenomena
they observe in their daily lives
that doesn’t concern them
and yet, has an effect, nevertheless.

Not even the intervention of more cops 
in cars with sirens whirring
can interrupt the flow 
of visual response and ego,
anomaly and individuality.

What is one person’s tragedy
is a metaphysical state 
for so many others,
not the rescue team 
pumping the chest futilely
or the forensic experts 
gathering evidence 
but those with no role to play
other than to assign 
their visceral reactions 
to the correct feeling. 

Yes, to some, 
these onlookers may be ghouls.
But by necessity, I’d argue.
As a process of learning 
more about themselves.
Otherwise, it could be them
behind hauled from the water.
And who’d be left
to stand behind that yellow tape.

SHE

shaves her legs,
	on hot days
	lathers her skin
	with sunblock,
is on time
most of the time,
	remembers to
	water the flowers
	and spray perfume
	on her wrists,
is often too good to be true,
	doesn’t make much
	of her Irish ancestry,
can be glamorous
but mostly looks practical,
	can be detected
	but not always deciphered,
can leave my mind fidgeting
and my heart reciting Swinburne,
	loathes drama,
	adores love,
is often seen by the pond in the park
explaining to ducks that she 
hasn’t any food for them,
	or at a musical
	singing under her breath,
or trailing behind a guide
through an old historic house
to learn how people lived
	or laying roses 
	at her father’s grave,
while all the time
answering to her name
when I call it
	but never to the word
	“she”.

THE DICTATOR WATCHES HIS FAVORITE TV SHOW

He turned on the television.
What the family would be watching this night
was decided long ago.

The tenseness shrank away from the room
to be replaced by a cold air of resignation.
It wasn’t the easiest oxygen to breathe.
And talking was impossible.

Then having chosen the program of his liking.
he turned toward
the ones occupying the couch and chairs.

The screen came to life
but his audience seemed
like corpses in its pale blue light.   




BIO: John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Stand, Poetry Salzburg Review and Ellipsis. Latest books, “Covert” “Memory Outside The Head” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Washington Square Review and Red Weather.










By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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