FEATURING POETRY BY JOHN GREY AND RICHARD KING PERKINS II (AUGUST 17TH, 2015)

Checkmate?

John GreyA Friendly Game of Chess

Such a bizarre game of chess.

Your bishop cheated with my queen.

My knight beheaded your lead pawn.

Your king rustled one of my horses.

Pieces drifted onto the wrong color squares

or made moves not in the rule book.

Blood was spilled during en passant.

Check was nothing less than an insult to integrity,

a stain on the other’s honor.

There’s was fencing, forgiveness,

Verbal abuse, power-plays, hugs and kisses.

and even a riot at KB 1.

I don’t remember who won.

It could have been a draw.

It may not have even been chess.

Gator Watch

John Grey

Below your reflection’s brown ripple

among rotting logs and cattails,

an alligator’s gray-scaled head breaks the surface.

In your mind, there’s only ever

been the one of these giant reptiles.

It’s a million years old.

Its hunger is prehistoric.

And it has always dwelled here,

within a jaw’s-reach of the fishing hole,

where you dangle your line and lure,

a modest trap compared to its

occasional murderous thrashing rampage.

Unblinking eyes excuse its lack of memory

What it can see suits the monster well enough.

No, it means you no harm.

Your thin tough body

is not in its repertoire of kills.

It just wants you to know

that all of time is watching.

And it is still and silent,

infinitely cold-blooded.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Perceptions and Sanskrit with work upcoming in South Carolina Review, Gargoyle, Owen Wister Review and Louisiana Literature.


Low Clouds

Richard King Perkins II

The young married guy at the diner
whispers loudly
to his unsympathetic wife:
Please, please.
I don’t want you to leave.
Stay with me, please.
You’re the only one
who understands my farts.
She walks out into the low clouds
never looking back.
He sinks into the padded bench
passing gas, misunderstood.

Yuma Air

Richard King Perkins II

You have heard the owls questioning below the cloud circus,
slow talons releasing earth. If a balloon could feel

this is the dangerous love it would submit to. In Yuma, the owl
is a tangent of horizon, a focused thirst above constant night.

You are small and lithe; you wear it perfectly, but someday,
you too will feel the slash, then the slowness of escaping air.


Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage.


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