May 6, 2014

Present Tense by John Grey

Volcanoes long since blown their top,
now an exercise in calm,
their anger, their fury,
long abated, just some chunks
of gray larva here and there,
to show the eye where the earth has been.

There's scientists still gouging out
those dinosaur bones,
reconstructing the long ago,
before there were scientists,
And a fossil has it on good authority
(itself) that desert used to be ocean floor.
Look at the night sky,
light from light years away,
twinkling data even for the likes of us
who were cavemen when they started out,
and are still more buoyed by romance
than the facts.

The past isn't at a loss for evidence.
It's at our feet. It's underground.
It's for our edification once the clouds clear.
And then there's the present,
no place but where I am:
a year, a month, a day,
some rocks, some ground, a star,
and me, a local man.

John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in Slant, Stoneboat and US1 Worksheets with work upcoming in Bryant Literary Magazine, Natural Bridge, Southern California Review and Soundings East.   

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