August 9-15, 2021: Poetry from Dominic Bond and John Grey

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Dominic Bond

Dominic works for a mental health charity in London partly due to his own experiences, having done something like this since graduating with a degree in Politics. He writes poetry among other things and has been published online on and in print in Driftwood Press, Poetry Birmingham and Kallisto Gaia magazines.

The following work is Copyright © 2021, and owned by Dominic Bond and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Dressing up

One of the last ties I saw Dad in
spews out musty breath
from its awkward pattern,
a dust like that on the letters
he kept from the rest of us
fearing his castle would fall down in ruins.

Each tie was a mask projecting an image
so he’d look just like the others,
men who were tall,
men who were strong,
men who won votes and had our faith,
who leave a shadow on our modest stage
imploring their vision.

I keep one handy for marriages and deaths,
a taste of dignity
in the splendour of churches
whose eyes see my deceit,
my tie alive on a breeze,
no more than a leaf
adrift on the wind.

 

Had you been here you would

see your grandson’s face
watch a river unfurl through concrete shadows,
his feet dance through leaves
scorched by frost,

hear his voice like bird song ease
our stilted movement,
in his hands the answer
to dying,

through his steps the passing of light
eases our fear of ending.

John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Orbis, Dalhousie Review and the Round Table. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Lana Turner and Hollins Critic.

The following work is Copyright © 2021, and owned by John Grey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Silent Lesson

The teacher cannot speak,
dumb since birth,
conducts lessons with notes on paper,
or a blackboard and chalk.
The class were warned beforehand,
sworn to best behavior by the principal.

American History works as a series
of names and dates.
Each President is minted in large letters,
his achievements circled in a book.
She points to child after child
to be her voice for as long as it takes
to win a war and free the slaves.

Some students are fascinated by this
learning by stealth.
Others are bored but the unexpected quiet
is like a watchdog.
They fear that their own voices
will be a signal for it to attack.
So they bite their mischievous lips.
They don’t even pass notes.
What’s the point when the teacher
is doing the very same thing?

Of course, that doesn’t stop
the usual cruel nickname invention.
She is, behind her back, Harpo.
But, even in the worst kids,
real vindictiveness
can’t get beyond sympathy.

So class becomes a kind of compromise.
Her teaching skills,
the kids’ penchant for misbehavior,
both stop at the tongue.