Saturday, March 31, 2007


There were amber trees swaying
In insistent wind that autumn,
Against the kind of indigo sky
That makes your eyes behold
All that isn't real --
Ghosts stirring in oleanders,
Scenes of primal ages,
Flesh roasting over campfires,
And ancient storytellers rising,
Painting mythic battles in thin air.
You'd swear it was all real --
The smoke and the night chill
Of indigo promises that had to be broken.
I saw you walking in a blue trenchcoat,
Hallucinating about your faithless man
On your way to an immaculate room.
And it struck me that once, I rode up
On a horse and bid you ride with me
To where the camp coals smoldered
After I told others the stories
That really happened long ago.
There were indigo promises then --
All broken now, just like
Your man's promises to you.

Copyright 2007, by Jon Gregory. Actually written in December 1997.

Friday, March 30, 2007


In my posthumous life
I gaze on yellow skies
I walk among the shaven apes
And hear their primal lies
The streets of my exile
Are stained with blood and paint
No shotglass spiked with turpentine
Can strip the inner taint
In my posthumous neighborhood
The houses look the same
The all-electric monuments
To those who play the game
In my posthumous living room
My soul finds brief retreat
From innocent and fruitless quests
And a heart's relentless beat.

Copyright 2007, by Jon Gregory. Written in 1992.

Monday, March 26, 2007



At night, as the city gained sleep,
I turned the key,
And began my missions of discovery.
On winding winter roads
I'd take my chances,
Gauged with care,
Between swigs of beer,
And thanks to a silent God
Who might be there.
Quinching his thirst for dark
A man can get lost, or die.
But night can serve us liquid dreams
That keep the roots
Of rootless souls

Copyright 2007, by Jon Gregory. Written in 1993.
Previously published -- somewhere.


This peculiar day I had not planned.
I rose from my bed and went to the can.
Following close was the family cat.
Groggy, I stared at her and my bath mat.
The face of the Holy Virgin was there,
Between the soap stains and a few cat hairs.
Later, I showered; my mind in a daze.
God gives us hints in mysterious ways.
But without a thought, I stepped on the mat.
My weight mashed the face of the Virgin flat.
I told my wife I'd spoiled this vision.
"Fool! We could have been on television!"
"I think we're better off," I had to say.
"You don't want strangers camping here all day."
"And not in that bathroom," was her reply.
She seemed to think this a joke or a lie.
So I simply went about my business.
But minutes later -- God is my witness,
While bringing the paper in from the yard,
I dropped my supermarket discount card.
And it vanished into infinity.
Swiped by some otherworldly entity.
Later, at work, while sifting through the news,
It seemed I was getting another clue.
Brain snatchers working in the state of Maine,
Marauding baboons on African plains;
And then, yet another Mary sighting
(At least when viewed under certain lighting),
The Virgin Mary's likeness on rye toast --
An unlikely sign from the Holy Ghost.
My mind drifted into a Web site haze.
God gives us hints in mysterious ways.

Copyright 2007, by Jon Gregory. Written in 2005.
Previously published in The DFW Poetry Review.


In my youth I ran down a road
Surely bound for sublime success.
With fewer years, a lighter load --
I felt I jogged among the blessed.
The race was still a pleasure then,
On cool, green paths of life's high quest.
Forgetting how much pain had been,
I thought I could outlast the rest.
But then, one day, the pain returned.
It racked my ankles, feet and knees.
Forgotten lessons were relearned,
Then I saw as the hobbled see.
I realized I'd heard many lies --
How destiny is simply will.
And so, for me, the road has died,
And in its place, a slow treadmill.

Copyright 2007, by Jon Gregory. Written in 2005.


As she ran her fingers through his
Negative externalities,
They found out what stagflation is.
And both soon felt quite ill at ease.
The invisible hand of doubt
Slowly set forth to measure out
The object of self-interest,
Whose outcome is considered best.
A clear case of market failure --
Too few dollars for public goods.
Where Smith had failed, perhaps Keynes could
Win over her better nature.
And laissez faire, a theory, died.
So high demand -- how short supply.

Copyright 2007, by Jon Gregory. Written in 2002.


They walked across suspended time,
The water's languid dance below.
A river floated future rhymes --
Their past, a painful undertow.
He walked back for another look.
Her life stood still, as in a book
With pages pressed in brittle stone.
She knew too well he walked alone.

Copyright 2007, by Jon Gregory.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


The face of the clock
Was torn in two.
Gore and puss oozed
From the raw, red half.
I woke sweating,
Heart pounding, then realized
It was a dream,
And turned off the alarm.

The clock at the office
Is digital, pitch-black
With crimson numbers that glow
With ominous liquidity.
As I turned to hack
On the terminal, neck stiff
And aching, I understood.
Time is not money. It is blood.

Copyright 2007, by Jon Gregory
Previously published in The American Dissident