Winter Safe


Deep snow

merely puts horror on hold.

The streets are serene and safe

because no predator, no prey,

are out in them.


That alley,

smothered by drifts,

was where they found

the guy with his throat slit

just last summer.


The bandstand,

now one huge lump of shoveled whiteness,

was the dumping place

for the young woman

with the drained veins.


Roads are impassable.

Sidewalks are free of footprints.

Even yards are now mounded barriers

between inside and out.


Evildoers wait for thaw.

Potential victims extend their lives

for another season

in front of home-fires.


Maybe it should always be winter,

some folks reckon.

A prison maybe

but with a warden you can trust.


But spring can’t help but arrive eventually.

Dead trees will spring to life.

Not everyone will join them.




Contemplating a Career


You know the routine.
A seemingly abandoned farmhouse
occupied by a family of monsters.
Lots of slashing and whacking.
Anyone who ventures near is prey.

You’re relieved there’s no place
like that near you.
And yet, sometimes, you devoutly
wish there was.
A keep of death.
Lots of weeping and screaming in the night.
Something to get its claws
into your imagination.

A crew of chainsaw killers
for neighbors
sure would spice up
your dull life:
small town,
surrounded by dull-minded
ignorant people.
Maybe they’d even adopt you.
You can seen the headline now,
“Geeky kid turns fiend.”

But no such luck.
Humanity’s turned its back on you
and so have the inhumane.
You look in the mirror.
Such an ordinary-looking
fifteen-year-old boy.
How horrible.
Nothing horrifying there.






I’m a noose.
You’re the drop into unconsciousness.
I’m a rough lasso of rope.
You’re a dwindling echo
of light and feeling.
I stretch and stretch
until your weight is done.
You don’t even know
what’s holding you up.
Your body points
in the direction of hell.
I’m a halo when I’m not working.



John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review. Latest book, “Leaves On Pages” is available through Amazon.