John Grey

INTRUDER

Cougar snarls,
what am I doing in its Eden.
All of the heathen
in a lone intruder
is broached in one long
defiant coyote howl.
Junipers shake
to my trample of a twig.
Wind shifts
at the impediment of my flesh.
I sit on a rock
to clear my head.
But suddenly the rock's head
is as cloudy as the upper sky.
A man is on its throne.
Water falls from high ledge in disbelief.
A creek cannot understand
why it trickles that first step
toward the river and the towns downstream
when civilization is already here,
a pebble toss from its novitiate current.
Send the man away, whispers the canopy.
Who needs his junk, his anxieties,
his hypocritical pieties.
Every forest creature hurtles away
from any place my foot may fall.
The trees would if they could.
Yet I am only here
to wallow in their peace, their loveliness.
How war-like, how ugly that must be.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Homestead Review, Poetry East and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Harpur Palate, the Hawaii Review and North Dakota Quarterly.

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