X: Poetry by John Grey & Collage by Greg Hanson, 2



The only song Lorna knows is
“Angel Of Death” by Slayer.
So that is the melody she tunelessly warbles
over the baby’s cot
in hopes that it will stop crying,
finally fall asleep.

She picks it up,
clutches it to her chest
like a heavy metal icon hugging his guitar.
She sings some more,
close to its ear.
But the baby only bawls the more.

Anna chants those old cowboy ballads
to her kids . . .
cheating and death and misery.
Sweet dreams are on the endangered list.
Laura beats time with her knees
as she screams out, “YMCA.”

Did I miss something?
Has “Rock-A-Bye Baby”
been taken out and shot?

My mother never sang anything to me.
Just as well, because, years later,
I’d hear her vacuuming the parlor,
belting along to Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me,”
and, even with the home love discount,
the sounds were still excruciating.
Had I heard that as an infant,
that feral atonal uprising
would have scared me off music for life.

There’s a reason
why silence is a song.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Perceptions, and the war poetry anthology, No Achilles (Waterwood Press, 2015), with work upcoming in Big Muddy Review, Gargoyle, Coal City Review, and Nebo.

Greg Hanson resides in Portland, OR. He has served as an online guest instructor to high school students in Hawthorne, NJ, inspiring interest in the work of acclaimed artist, Joseph Cornell, and providing practical how-to knowledge in the art of assemblage and collage. To receive your own online art instructions from Greg, please be sure to give his YouTube a visit. And, be sure to also enjoy more of his ever-growing body of work at Greg’s Mixed Media Gallery.


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