The Siren and the Fire: New Poems by John Grey

The Siren and the Fire: New Poems by John Grey


The bird that has no song of its own
gets to choose
which sound will best represent
his fervent mating call.

From high atop a church spire,
he chirps variations
on the theme of a passing fire engine.

The mockingbird is eager
to have chicks.
He is both
the siren and the fire.



Yes, the earth looks sweet to taste
with dew pellets perched atop each blade.
Certainly, the rabbits believe so.
And the groundhogs likewise.
Each are out in the fields nibbling the juiciest shoots.

And no better cruising lanes than the sky
or landing field than the upper branches of the trees.
Birds have been doing this since the age of the dinosaurs.
They soar and bounce, pivot and flutter,
see no reason to stop now.

And about those trees.
They grow like there is a tomorrow,
slow and imperceptible,
drawn out of their roots
by the warm and the light.
Those roots dig down into the soil like moles.
But it’s the heights where
the boughs are at their leafy best.

I have my own path to follow,
a usual routine from the house to the coop,
to pilfer overnight’s eggs from the skittish hens.

If a play,
these would be the actors and the sets.
But it’s early morning.
The scenery is heaven-sent.
The roles are a given.


Copyright© 2022, by John Grey. All Rights Reserved.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead ReviewPoetry 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.

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