John Grey

Heart's Journey The heart needs bandaging from time to time.It hurts. It retreats to its cage. Too much letting itself go.Too many times up against its frozen counterpart.It bleeds. It's forced to drink its own bloodfor sustenance if it wishes to survive.It's yet to meet a loverwho was worthy of its tenderness.That's the theme here.The heart sets itself impossible tasksand is beaten down for its troubles. The heart needs these moments to itself.To stay behind doors.Read a book, watch a movie,something where peoples' heartsreally do find common ground.So what if it's fiction.The best of life is fiction also. The heart mends and then it takes more risks.It busts right through senseand out the other side to foolishness.That's where the wounds come in.And the bandaging. And a further retreat. In essence, the heart is cyclical.If it looks back, it can see what it has to look forward to. My Definition Night air leansinto grass and trees,cradles bird shapesin its shadows. The backyard maple,an exile by day,recasts leaves darkand branches black, rejoins the pack. Midnight’s lifeis as faint to the eyeas baby’s breathto the ear. The earth recuperates,from sun’s heatand people trampling. I lie awake,listen in onblood repeating,over and over,what it has learned by heart. Though lying down,I am the last man standing. A Wildlife Trail I saw a moose in the far north of New Hampshire.And a bear on a beach from a shore-hugging boat.I still see deer in the patches of woodlandthat suburbia's momentarily stopped gunning for.I heard a coyote howl once.But a wolf, never.And bobcat, mountain lion -aren't those zoo animals?Possums and raccoons I know are out there somewhere.Without them, there'd be no road-kill.When it comes to my daily routine,I must make do with squirrels -gray ones of course.Their red cousins keep a wild thing's distance.There's always birds of course.Even in my neighborhood,pigeons and house sparrowsdon't have it all their own way.My grandmother used to singthat old chestnut,"The Bluebird of Happiness."I can well believe that combination.That must we why I never spot a bluebird.I live in an unnatural worldwhile on constant lookout for the natural one.A robin bounces across my lawnon a morning worm raid.Once, he ate out of hunger.Now it's to convince the worm to stay. John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in West Trade Review, Willard and Maple and Connecticut River Review.