Two Poems

by John Grey

THE CURIOUS CASE OF ALL WHO CAME BEFORE

Having finally found the right woman,
all the wrong ones seem like total misfits.

Why did I ever waste all that time with them?

They probably say the same about me.
“I thought for a moment…but it soon became obvious…
so why did I still try to make a go of it.”

Many of my feelings of the time
are captured – trapped even –
in various poems.

It’s difficult to tell something called 
Ode To Michelle”,
written when I was seventeen years old,
that it doesn’t know what it’s talking about.

Yes, when you do finally come across the right woman,
you may find yourself, from time to time,
talking to poems.

FORWARD ONLY

Children don’t retreat to the womb
and, even if they did,
their mothers would immediately eject them.
Nor do winds suck back every leaf they’ve ever blown.
In this life, there is no reverse.
Snows melt water tumbles down mountains, into lakes
that feed rivers that follow gravity’s will
all the way to ocean.
That’s just the way it is.
And, despite what my memory may tell me,
the moment of our first meeting
is duplication proof.

Look at the calendar.
It’s like a one-way street
heavily traveled by days
and months and years.
The last thing that happened
has no lasting cachet.
It’s merely a prelude
to what’s happening now.

I’m on course and I have no way
of stepping aside and watching how well I’m doing.
So I grow older.
But I never do catch me at it.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Schuylkill Valley Journal, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Columbia Review and Spoon River Poetry Review.
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