John Grey – Three Poems

Completion Rate

All complete.
The pinkish charm of white clover flowers.
Fern fronds that mirror the green of a hornbeam.
Sky’s windy stage.
Hints of mist like yesterday’s page one stories.
Your face held together by a cordage of light.
Hands descending like waterfalls.
All complete.
All lives content in the one.

All complete.
A profile in spruce.
Eyes untouched since birth.
Mouth shuffling closer,
peels away the air’s silk cellophane.
One kiss to displease
the banality of a moment.
A divine injunction.
All complete.
A breath endures.

All complete.
A day at two p.m. need go no further.
You’re all things a trail map
doesn’t tell me.
Hair arranged as a powerful human emotion.
A head at peace on my shoulder.
All complete.
What’s the opposite
of sensory deprivation?


Sun caught in trees,
deer nibbles clumps of aster,
fruit on trees take
their first baby steps,
prayers already answered,
mantis on window ledge
continues its petition –

first in my head,
first out via fingers –
happenings elsewhere
fill a page –
what I feel
in the shadows still –

sweet fern, pepperbush,
flecked with pastel,
song birds retreating,
night on the verge,
plenty for day to tell you
but can night sky say enough?


There is nothing quite like a slow walk on even slower beaches,
One set of footprints defining me undeniably alone,
For the solitude on such a glorious gold-tinged shore teaches
That no company is more invigorating than is our own.

Gulls shriek, shells roll in my footsteps and I can be perfectly frank
About where I am headed in life. I look myself in the eye
And see beyond the facade, the pretense, the sun-tanned cheery blank
Image that any others on this sandy stretch see. Why John why?

Receives more honest answers than any two-way conversation.
Mistakes are aired. My mind doesn’t go overboard but merely taps
Regret and resolve, mistake and correction, and imitation
And genuine – all the conflicts, here where one more dogged wave laps

Against my toes. Yes, in the swirling footsteps of the sea, its power
Swamps all fakery, informs me, time’s running out, but not all gone
So make the most of every moment, become a new me, devour
The opportunities. It’s life. Be aware of what you’re taking on.

John Grey is an Australian poet and a US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.