So You Think a Day at the Beach is a Cure and other poems

John Grey



So You Think a Day at the Beach is a Cure


The beach is busted again,

Waves swab away footprints
like women wiping kisses
from their lips.
Pebbles and shells
are cast aside like unwanted step-children.
Even the horizon is unsafe,
with chop cutting up the smooth
and cloud vandalizing light.
The sound of gull is severed by
the screams of children.
Hands rub wounds into each
other's nakedness in lieu of lotions.
Salt stings like whiplash.
Heat pulverizes skin.
All along the shore,
the sand is buried up to its head
with people.



The Nurse Smoking Cigarettes by the Hospital Doorway

Here are hands that shaved an old man,
that dressed a woman who thought she was
her daughter Jean, her husband Rob,
that now, with equal dexterity can
light a cigarette in brisk wind, because
tobacco is flesh when it's all a job.

There are no people here, despite
the names that hang from bedsteads,
Latin diseases where lives should be,
voices that snap like twigs on forest trails
of throats, that, finger on button, upset the night
with weak hearts, famished lungs, sore heads,
that could equally apply to a nurse at three
a.m., by the E.R. door, smoking coffin nails.



Sonnet Kurosawa


A Kurosawa film series was upsetting
To my pretty date raised on American goo,
Whose Japanese gamut was sushi to tofu,
And not this weird, odd paced, medieval bloodletting,
Endless feudal swordplay, and not forgetting
The tourniquet twists, strange subtexts of’ “Ikuru,”
Or “Rashoman’”s confusing multi points of view
Of violent rape and murder in sylvan setting.

To her, Toshiro Mimne was no Richard Gere.
And “Ran” went in her left ear and out her right ear;
”Yojimbo”, “Red Beard”, “Rhapsody” and “Sanjuro”.
And throw in “The Bad Sleep Well” and his “High And Low”,
”Kagemusha”, “Stray Dog”, more subtitled reasons why
The death toll read one affair, seven Samurai.


John Grey is an Australian born poet, playwright and musician. His latest book is What Else Is There from Main Street Rag. His recent work has appeared in The English Journal, Northeast and The Journal Of The American Medical Association.

Photo "Wiry Beach" by Bella Dante.




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Poems Copyright © 2006 John Grey. All rights reserved.
Photo Copyright © 2006 Bella Dante.  All rights reserved.