John Grey’s Morning Toast: Two Poems


Waiting for the toast to be done.
Pouring coffee into a cup.
Morning dew like angel’s spit.
The sun – a critic who loves everything
it lights upon.
Apron of blue jays.
Sparrows suddenly on song.

The breeze.
The orange on the sill.
A game of solitaire not yet started.
Red queen on black king
sings the voice in your head.
Open the window.
Artificial pine scent meets the real thing.

Fish in the bowl
fed by fingers.
Mourning dove takes a dip in the bird bath.
Dandelions open-faced,
glad to steal the grass’s thunder.

The mirror.
Not bad for…
how many years is it?
Mind awakening.
Slippers still asleep on your feet.

Some things it might interest you to know.
Others oblivious.
Bright hazy windows.
Morning news on the radio.
His and hers salt and pepper shakers.
Vase of radiant flowers.

Life in the trees.
Life around the rim of the coffee cup.
Toast pops up
like a graphic on a TV screen.
It’s the face of the man
you spread your butter on.



I travel the
inevitable landscape.
All is
at shoe-sole level.
A compost of
living and dead matter.
Things crackle or recoil.
My footsteps
are responsible.
Surface irritates
my medial plantar,
tickles my
superficial fibular.
How easily
will reality let me fall.
How will it reward me
for years well lived?
By passing my blueprints along?

It’s downhill from here
and yet the way feels awkward, painful.
I’m almost to the plain
but the slope’s intent
on dragging me below.
Into its roots if it must.
Which is no place for my uniqueness.

I’m still alive, I say,
whistling, idling, brain’s
motor in neutral,
squinting at the light,
wary of the coming darkness,
breathing as best I can
and speaking
as someone unseen
shoves a cane into my hand…
for gripping I wonder
or for slamming myself


— by John Grey

Copyright© 2021 by John Grey. All Rights Reserved.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, and Hollins Critic. Latest books, Leaves On Pages, Memory Outside The Head, and Guest Of Myself, are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Ellipsis, Blueline and International Poetry Review.

John Grey’s Morning Toast: Two Poems
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