Thursday, September 1, 2022



In And Out Of Love


Brief depression.

I fall in love to compensate.

Like a head full of light

that ultimately fades.

Or a pair of warm hands

that cannot bear the cold.


Love, those times,

is like fruit for the man

in the hospital bed.

The sickness cures itself

and the peaches rot.

Or it’s the liberator

who turns dictator.

Or the flowery poem

that, once read

half a dozen times,

joins all the others

in the pile.


Love is good enough

until something better

comes along.

It’s fresh milk

that turns sour.

It’s a lesson

in how to live alone.


Love is what

loneliness gets for its troubles.

It’s perfume at midnight

but halitosis come dawn.


Elderly Couple Make Love

In The Hotel Room Next Door


From the room next door,

I can't help hearing

a series of pained grunts.

Could that really be

the old couple who

smile at me on the elevator?

Then comes the sound of straining.

I hope he doesn't have a seizure.

And why no noise from her?

Has she succumbed to heart disease

and he's not even aware?

Or is she just following the pattern

of their forty years together,

smiling grimly.

pretending she's enjoying it?

He's pounding her worn-out body

and she's trying to remember

where she left her knitting.

Any moment now,

she'll either sigh

or yell. "It's back there on the beach!"

It's not sex as I know it

but, then again, what do I know.

At least they have each other.

I'm alone, unless that is,

self-pity counts for company.

It's naked enough

but refuses to give as good as it gets.

Meanwhile, the groans have stopped.

Now it's giggling, male and female,

that's coming from next door.

Damn these flimsy walls.

They've been listening to me listening.


Need A Woman


Like I need all the letters in the alphabet

to get my point across.

And principles on demand.

Not forgetting travel and time –

all the travel, all the time, there is.


Like I need to look at everything

from both sides.

And understand the law.

Immerse myself in the Old Masters.

Save the government from itself.

And adopt a proper standard of behavior.


Like I need the road to be free of pot-holes.

And ideas to not be so confusing.

And clouds to burst with rain

when the land’s been dry so many months.

And the spirit of myself and all around me

to be renewed.


Like I need dogs and newspapers,

flutes and guitars,

new things and old things

checks and balances,

right and left,

over and under,

west and east, north and south,

what I have now and all that is to follow.


Yes, I really need a woman that bad.




JOHN GREY is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Stand, Poetry Salzburg Review and Ellipsis. Latest books, “Covert” “Memory Outside The Head” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Washington Square Review, Blueline and International Poetry Review.


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