art by the feral artist
John Grey is an Australian poet, and US resident, and has had work published in the Tau, Studio One and Columbia Review, with work upcoming in Naugatuck River Review, Examined Life Journal, and Midwest Quarterly.
The Last of Nature Boy
Do you remember the honey-crisp apple
through which you devoured fall?
Or the limb that broke under your weight,
sent you crashing back to the earth?
Have you really distanced yourself
from the fate of foliage, all the while believing
how that leaves you free for people?
Part of others indeed.
You're part of the grass but you forget its smell.
You're part of the mulberry bush
but you've washed clean that stain.
You want from family, friends, lovers.
They are all your needs, you figure.
Not rain, not wind, not the way things grow
and die and bud again.
Your mind no longer sleeps under trees
or splashes in waterfalls.
Its boundaries are house and car,
funerals and weddings, laughter and company.
Once you fished at the pond
and you never caught a thing
but the dream of yourself
blending deep with the scenery.
Your hair was cattails.
Your eyes were dragon flies.
Your mouth hummed the language of bees,
or cracked open the quaint quack of mallards.
But third floor apartment now
and much traffic.
Telephone and email
and a job designing handbills.
The past is an old growth forest
and they don't exist anymore.
The present is human nature
and it's not natural.