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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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THREE POEMS

Elaine Moynahan




THE TRAIN TO BOSTON

 

There’s a grey glow

early evening

late November

silhouetting browns rusts

surviving greens unseen

unless you catch them

just before

night swallows white

and the wild art

spray-painted on the backs

of old buildings

passionate cement wall rebellion

truth you catch in a millisecond

as the train rushes by someone’s

poured out life

almost obliterated 

by the black spray paint of one unmoved

who doesn’t know wrong

from light.

 

 

 

THE EARTH IS A WOMAN WITH SCARLET LIPS


It is neither hard nor soft

this rain,

but boring, benign

 

like the balding man

in the wrinkled brown suit and loosened tie

in line at Dunkin Donuts.

 

The drops splat on the leaves

flat as the expression on his face,

without charm or character,

 

without threat or consolation

though the woman with the scarlet lips

waits for Coffee Man,

 

waits eagerly,

loves him as the earth

loves this plain gray rain

 

for slaking her thirst

softly, gently

for a change,

 

her sighs rising

as the sighs of the earth fill the air

with the sweet scent of wet loam

and worm-riddled richness.

 

 

 

THE ANCIENT MARINER

 

Life morphs from light to lead

                in the slice of a second,

                                careless mistake,

                                                best of intentions

                                                                wrong time, wrong place

 

 thus the albatross about his neck,

                heavy wet feathers,

                                heavy body deadweight,

                                                wretched burden heavy

                                                                as each of us has known.

 

We are born,

                make choices, die:

                                these facts of life we share

                                                along with the mists and storms

                                                                and ice-spitting winds of life in general

 

but the secret burrs and barbed thorns,

                the decisions made not in the sun,

                                these things we carry each one

                                                like the ancient mariner,

                                                                haunted and alone.