1. Swamp Song
Late afternoon appears to these dead eyes.
Sun sinks into marsh, the octaves of a boyish
mind remembered. Osprey links up with her
nest, moves in substance fine as feathers,
sleek as bone, sleeps beside the harp, conceals
herself in darkness. Cormorant, at a fatal moment,
stops clocks in all directions, frays the strong
song in its grip. Copperhead of such beautiful music
and yet the space around it grown so cold.
2. Steady Now
and here’s the elevated wooden trail
the hollow echo of my footsteps
ever the orphaned brain, the abandoned heart-strings
the only solid footing means so much to me
it is the dove, the divinity, the silken light –
I want to hang from storm clouds, above thick reeds,
in ignorance of body and my mind’s madness
across a land of shifting unsteady surfaces
as light falls, youth ends, sun’s trapped furiously
in a gator’s jaws
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Examined Life, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Poetry East and Midwest Quarterly.