John Grey

From a Cliff Top

On the cliff top, I sit and watch
the uneven ocean surface.
While the gulls squabble
over a smelly fish head,
my thoughts flutter like shuffling cards.
My projected joy ride in rampaging breakers
soon has me surfing through spiritual posterns.
It's how I monitor the universe.
Apply the complex rules to the simplicity of self.
It's a discipline that's the very opposite of discipline.
Adoration, letting go, transcendence.
Every angle, every counterpoint, obliges.
The sky, the sea, even those frantic seabirds,
choose for me this spot of contemplation.
I breathe in the salty wind they blow my way..
I exhale just to see where it takes me.


An Article of Faith

Flashes of light from a variety of sources, tin cans to a goldfinch's feather
or a gray rock or a meadow packed solid with dew.
Titmouse begging with notes in a non-musical headwind
to a thick stand of woods that may or may not encompass his kind.
That inspirations are so brief is what surely must make them timeless.
Otherwise, why rest the body against a splintery fence post
and look and listen, as if the huge things worth knowing can be gleaned from small
Pink cheeks of bearberry, the waving of yellow flags, bee and butterfly
swapping notes on the clanging bell tongues of the twinflower.
A flock of geese overhead, a journey in fact reflected on by a journey in spirit,
a concerted honk in honor of what instinct set out to do.
A field of mushrooms, each in turn clinging to the spot most moist.


John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in Oyez Review, Rockhurst Review and Spindrift with work upcoming in New Plains Review, Big Muddy Review, Willow Review and Louisiana Literature. He can be reached at