Warm Up with Poetry

Enjoy the writing of Mr. John Grey!

WOMAN ON THE MOVE

 She’s 89, still drives a car,

this ancient wreck she refers to

as “the machine,”

A miracle, the radio still works

and she still finds the one station

that plays classical,

her favorites Bach, Beethoven,

that whippersnapper, Mozart.

She only steers that beast to

the supermarket and pharmacy now,

ten blocks, crawling twenty miles an hour.

The van comes for her

when it’s time to see her doctor.

She walks a little

though she’s not too thrilled with stairs.

And her son, all of 61, must come for her,

if she’s to visit family.

Of course, those rides are accompanied by

that dreaded rock and roll.

Her life is all about transport,

going somewhere.

Even when she’s sitting in her kitchen,

drinking coffee, playing solitaire,

she’s never far from the next bathroom visit,

laundry cycle, telephone ring,

Seventh Day Adventist at the door.

She knows that if you stop too often

then you stop for good.

In her mind, even close at hand

is a place she has to get to.

 

 A CAT PERSON

 You ask me how I am with cats.

With cats,

I’m Beethoven,

deaf as a door,

writing symphonies with my ear

hard against the piano keys.

 

With cats,

I’m de Kooning

splashing paint all over canvases

or Mohammed Ali

pounding out Sonny Liston.

 

I’m Edison inventing the light bulb

or I’m Jefferson,

up half the night

drafting the Declaration of Independence.

 

Hey, I’m even Mark Twain…

remember Huckleberry Finn

and I’m Jeremiah the Prophet

and J.M. Keynes,

Keynesian to the core.

 

And let’s not forget Douglas McArthur,

Benito Mussolini and Carl Sandburg.. .all me.

All me with cats.

 

I’m David Hume, the philosopher,

and Pittrnan who invented the stenographer

and Babe Ruth pointing to where

that next home run blast was going to soar.

 

I’m Moses, both Ed the hurdler,

and that Red Sea parter

and not forgetting Hiawatha

and the Venetian Boys Choir.

 

Sorry, I thought you said

who am I with cats.

 

Really, you’ll find I love dogs

more than anything.

DETECTING

 A guy’s in the park with a metal detector,

sweeping over the tall grass, looking for treasure-

He finds a coin here and there, though

his man’s toy fails to detect a wind-blown, twenty buck note.

Tin cans send that apparatus into ecstasy

but fine jewelry leaves it cold.

He figures he’ll get rich this way,

the earth giving up its bounty just the way God planned it.

But at the end of the day what does he have:

three pennies, a rusty key and a hub-cap.

Late afternoon, he packs up his car, goes home with nothing

but promises himself he’ll be back the next day.

A guy runs a detector over his life and hope pops up.

John Grey is an Australian born poet, works as financial systems analyst. Recently published in International Poetry Review, Chrysalis and the science fiction anthology, “Futuredaze”with work upcoming in Potomac Review, Sanskrit and Osiris.

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