Sleep as a regenerator?


Forget it.


ItÕs more like a coffin,


all soft and satiny,


but with a lid anxious


to slam shut


and a world full of


hungry worms and weevils


at the ready.


As for dreams,


theyÕre just subconscious




The truth is in the nightmares.


There really is a monster


crawling out from under the bed.


A demon at the window.


A revenant emerging from the closet.


WakingÕs no help.


DayÕs merely a gravesite.


From morning until sleep-time,


you dig your own.






Cracked sun and crescent moon,


pastel horizon, orange and red.


ItÕs been a day when so many have fallen,


when eyes, up and down the block,


have shed too many tears with too few hands to wipe them.




The light did such damage.


It shone on people who werenÕt prepared for it.


Like an archaeologist, the brightness


dug up new wrinkles, old scars.


It provided more evidence


that itÕs near impossible to love another human being.


We were all exposed.


And didnÕt appreciate the attention.




But thatÕs done with now.


The rumpled will soon be ironed out.


The faded will acquire distinction.


The shadows have a job to do.


Without interference,


they do it willingly.


The truth is pitted


with the darkness I prefer.






Yes, soon.


But right now, IÕm marveling at this miracle,


its thousand or so variations.


So quit hammering those lips,


smudging the redness,


and pacing the floor, wearing out your shoes.


I just want this moment to myself,


so I can be in my body,


my heart, my head,


without being skewed by interruption.


IÕm feeling my pulse.




IÕm gathering thoughts.


ItÕs wonderful how theyÕre there


when I need them.


My bowels move.


My blood circulates.


My nerves act as a courier


for the brain.


So do you mind


if I celebrate this quietly


and alone.


DonÕt worry.


Your time will come.


But, for now, IÕm who I am.


You can be who you are


while youÕre waiting.


© John Grey


Bio: John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Midwest Quarterly, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, Hawaii Review and the Dunes Review.