front yard
John Grey

The May Featured Poet is John Grey

Please feel free to email John at: jgrey10233@aol.com

john grey


The house looks so cheery
from the outside.
A fluttering reef of
pink flowering begonia
borders the front door.
Pansy petals overlap
a blur of color
around the base
of ocpatl in bloom
White York roses
climb the trellis,
open petals
at the urging of the light.
Pinnate leaves of sweat pea
hem the side windows
and a marble humming bird
forever prods their nectar
with its beak.

If I didn’t know better,
I’d say this place is occupied
by an elderly-retired couple
with the time and the flair
for gardening.
Even now,
late afternoon sun
can find no menace
in the shades, the windows,
the attic dormer and the eaves.

So how many bodies was it
that the cops found buried in the cellar?
Twenty three—half a football squad.
Okay, so I’m sure their deaths were violent.
But I’ll bet their graves are kept neat.


your monster
docs not kill enough and.
even the few times
when he does,
your gore quotient is too low.

As for your demons—
you wouldn’t know evil
if it flailed your youngest son
right before your eyes.

And when your ghosts appear,
your victims need to drop dead sooner
and your poltergeists
break cups and plates—
what's that all about?
Why not a good old-fashioned
saucepan to the skull?

Add to that my wife is sexier
than your succubus,
and my kid’s got nastier looking acne
than the pustules of your plague.

Truth is,
if you could replicate
the desolate, desperate, bloody
killing fields in my head,
then maybe could have a deal.

Let me tell you that right now.
There’s a creature rampaging through
my brain that's part-vampire,
part-werewolf, with a little
zombie, banshee, mummy,
thrown in for bad measure.

He’s out for fresh kill
but, for now,
rejecting your story
will have to sate his appetite.


Our dead just keep piling up.
The city smells of them.
If it wasn’t for the crows and the jackals,
my neighbor would still be rotting
amid his roses and hydrangeas.
Now, it’s just his bones
feeding next year's blossoms.

We’ve run out of places
to bury them.
We're even fresh out of folks
Who’d even bother to mourn them.
They filled a space
and they’re still filling it.
That’s why an additional question
has been added to the census form.
It’s not just
how many arc living in your household?
how many are dead?

The world’s a charnel house.
We survivors have been reduced
to stepping over corpses,
waiting for flesh to rot away
before we can snare a seat
in a restaurant
or at the theater.

My wife’s in her sick bed.
The doctor only gives her
another six months to live.
But that’s forever in dead years.

John Grey is an Australian poet, but a resident of America. His work has been published in New Plains Review, Perceptions and Sanskrit with work upcoming in Big Muddy Review, Gargoyle, Coal City Review and the Coe Review.