The Desert Song


Changing woman is the earth mother,
growing older with the seasons,
killed off by winter’s end,
restored to childhood in the spring.
Thus the chants rising up out of the colored sand,
the wind-shaved rock, the haughty tableland.

A man sits at the edge of an unmade bed
in a desert hotel, chews on a cigarette,
rubs his fingers across his stubble-sharp chin.
Crack mother is the loud hiss, the slow poison,
the slobbering host of hell-holes just like this.
He runs his finger-nails down his face
like scratching a myth in sand,
hums a country song
whose words he’s long forgotten.

From medicine man to medicine head,
the voice, the nature, absolute.

John Grey

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

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