blue and cloudless,
hot and steamy
with the sun at full throttle.
A gull perches on a wooden pole,
blood dot on its beak.
A pelican scoops some sea
up in its pouch,
sloshes down to a single gray fish.
We’re seated under an umbrella,
with just our feet in the light’s flame,
toes baked like bread.
A crab darts across the sand,
seeks shelter under my chaise lounge.
Your arm reaches up
to caress a cool glass,
filled to the brim with pina colada.
This is paradise as we know it.
Waves flop on shore,
retreat and flop some more.
A surfer paddles way out,
then returns to us
on the crest of a swell,
tall, erect, well-balanced,
like a statue on a fiber-glass base.
Everything is happening.
There’s movement in all directions.
And yet it all adds up to a calm.
I close my eyes, begin to doze.
The action never lets up.
SONG ON MY LIPS WHERE IT BELONGS
Songs come out of nowhere.
The mood is music-ripe.
I make up words.
Initiate a melody.
People stare at me.
But it doesn’t bother me
to be strolling along
There has to be a piano playing somewhere.
The woods are thick and the trail is narrow.
I smell the piney closeness, almost overpowering.
And my feet look for their place
on this tiny gauge track.
The warblers have all the sky for palette,
fill it with song.
Wildflowers, yellow and pink and blue,
take up the space their roots endow,
always room for one more blooming.
So much green, so much trunk and bark,
and breeze and sprouting,
my identity holds fast
to the next thought and the next.
Better to give myself up to the surrounds,
whisper the cinquefoil and the tortoiseshell.
My breath concurs.
My soul vacillates.
My heart takes one more step..
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Homestead Review, Poetry East and Columbia Review with work upcoming in the Roanoke Review, the Hawaii Review and North Dakota Quarterly.