Poetry Drawer: Explaining my Silence: Solar System: The Losing Game: Her Man Returns: The Current Occupant: The Cry by John Grey

Explaining my Silence

It is unsaid, this night, tongue crushed,
silence crawling out of its hole
and into the moonlight, the salt air.
I am a history of silence, with you,
with anyone of the past, the present,
the future. You wait for my commencement,
its following, but how to reckon truth
eludes me. My speech instead decides
on agitated mumbling on the dark inexorable,
the universe unbelievably immense. I cannot speak
of all that terrifies me so nothing is said, to you,
to someone, but to you above all others. I’m the
winter sky frozen with stars, on the beach, clung to
footprints, and the ocean listening, seething and heaving

Solar System

We’re down here
concerning ourselves
with pitiable stuff
like did I ogle
that woman who just passed by
or why did you buy
that new microwave oven
when the old one
still works fine.

the sun is slowly burning
itself out.

No knowledge of our lives.
No familiarity with our emotions.

it will cave in, fold up
in one almighty bang.
We’re out of its league
with our modest implosion.

The Losing Game

He lost money on the prize fight.
And the poker game.
And the roulette wheel at the casino.

He lost money through the hole in his pocket
and the woman he gifted a fancy bracelet to
who never afterward returned his calls.

He lost money on the stock market.
Then he lost money on the church
that he tithed to his entire life
that left him as nothing more
than a body in a hole in the ground.

Tree roots benefited
from the minerals in his rotting corpse
as did the weevils and the worms.

But, as far as I know,
no money changed hands.

Her Man Returns

A small blue Japanese car
pulls into her driveway.

It’s as thrilling
as the rose she planted in early spring
that’s now blooming in the height of summer.

Though not blue.
Though not Japanese.
And, of the bees
that buzzed away from its bud,
not one knocked on her door.

The Current Occupant

In this room are some
who will never be again.

One is sitting on the bed.
Another pokes in the drawers.
A third interrogates closets.
The flightier kind
gravitate to the ceiling.
The dour, the funereal,
lie down in the dust.

Most likely.
They resemble me
and yet are remnants
of other lives.

They’re cursed with
hands that don’t touch,
mouths that can’t speak.

Yet, I dread the feel of them.
I fear what they have to say.

The Cry

In one house, the attic window
is a long, painful cry.

And that cry passes through
glass and darkness,
treetop and streetlamp,
shivers the sidewalk below.

It resonates with the primal dynamo
from which everything comes
but also the fear,
that all living matter
must now come to a stop.

A woman’s face,
wide mouth pressed against the pane.
upholds this dichotomy.

But then two bodiless hands
squeeze her white throat,
cut off all sound at the source.

The street now reflects
the silence before life,
the silence that comes after.

As the only witness
to this frailty of life
it’s a struggle, on my part,
to be anyone.

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

You can find more of john’s work here on Ink Pantry.

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