John Grey – Three Poems


In The Middle Of The Lake

I cut the engine.
Drift in place.
One ripple among many.

I hum under my breath
to rocking boat
silent under its breath.

I take on a journey
in nuanced, inexhaustible,
movements of lake water.

I’m going absolutely nowhere
and yet there’s these words
that describe where I’m headed.

Song Of The Willow

Willows also bear the river sound.
from tree to tree, a murmuring,
down from the first stunted saplings
in the rocky hills
to the last wisp of pale green
smoke-like foliage
floating up from the marshy mouth.

Back and forth,
across the fluttering stitch
of shadow and sunlight,
willows bend to harmonize
the cadence of the current,
the rhythm of
the river’s running spine.


A horse halts on a near hill,
reminds me of old
images of art,
a steed’s stillness,

a sculpture carved
with grass and butterflies for trimmings,
an artist’s great creation
where, compared to mountains,

it’s the horse that gravitates
into a state of granite, stone,
steady through the body,
held firm by my eye.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

Beauty begins with the natural world. Whether it’s the fiords of Norway or the thick jungles in the far north of my country of birth, Australia, the heart is engaged before the head has had time to define what exactly it’s looking at – the dredging and earth moving of the last Ice Age or what happens when heavy rains and intense heat get together. 


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Sheepshead Review, Studio One and Columbia Review, with work upcoming in Louisiana Review and Spoon River Poetry Review.