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a poem by John Grey


a church,
a shout of joy
about fine things -
but then a coffin arrives,
all good will shattered -
God you may be
but you can't stop men dying -
death, the conqueror,
devours another crazed believer -
praise all round -
only the old foolish woman get its right,
her eyes red and flooded -
what a place -
austere and ornate,
bestrewn with stained-glassed prophets -
and the priest, head resting on collar,
drunk on glory,
says everything about Martin
except how eager he was to live -
he informs us all,
that the angel has arrived
from the near sky
but only pigeons have wings around here -
give, old woman weeper,
give tears for all of this congregation,
go red as your blood,
the juice that really holds all this together -
my head is a haze
when I remember
how humbly I set foot
inside this chamber -
but now,
in graying evening,
I too will spare no tears,
only mine are words -
get him back here
and with us all -
none of this monastery cell,
none of this museum of heaven -
later, by the waterfront,
on an old steel cannon,
I point my wrath toward God's eye -
my powder is wet but adoring,
my ammunition, futile on the count of three

© by John Grey
Gutter Eloquence Magazine ~ Issue #26 ~ April 2013    return to top