SPECTACLE
by John Grey    YOU WANT ME TO COME HOMESure I miss the snow.
That sunlight twinkle.
The purity. The fineness.And this steamy heat
is like a python squeeze at times.
I laze about
Get nothing done.
It’s weather for the uninspired.But I remember all
that shoveling,
the effort it took
to dig myself out,
to live.
And the icy surfaces.
The paths here
may be overgrown from time to time
but they’re always walkable.Nothing quite like
sitting before the hearth
on a bitter day of course.
The local equivalent
is sitting out on the veranda
between the sun going down
and mosquito squadrons
taking off from swamps.I’ve swapped cabin fever
for snakes,
numb fingers
for sweaty underarms,
blizzards for hurricanes,
and you
for the ones I’ve gotten
to know down here.Isn’t everything in life
a tradeoff?
Besides, I have to be somewhere.
Is it my fault
that everywhere else
won’t hear of it?     SPECTACLEDawn,
clouds break,
new light
nudges aside
leftover darkness.Crowds already gather.
in the town square.
You trudge slowly
toward the waiting gibbet,
guards on either side.
A figure in a black mask awaits.It’s time to ride the horse
foaled by an acorn,
to ascend the nevergreen
that bears fruit all year round.Knot is checked.
Trapdoor likewise.
Hempen fever is in the air.
Time for you
to waltz on nothing’s dancefloor,
to loll your tongue for all to see.
The rabble is here for a show.
So die quick, die brave, be entertaining.    DUCK EGGSOddities
cry out to our cameras,
as like all good tourists
we stop to admire the pyramids of duck eggs.
This, at home,
would be passed by in an instant
but, at this height,
with more mountains beyond us,
and the wild music of the land
piping into us from all directions,
cowbells and church bells
ringing in harmony, 
and the flowers in full bloom
and under our noses,
and the men and women in native dress,
dancing and singing
when they’re not selling,
and everything smelling of cedar
and cheese and cattle hides –
this is local color.
And local color is a stop sign.
It comes down from the houses on the hillsides
to greet us.
It’s foreign,
It offers a view of something
other than ourselves,
with a goat thrown in for good measure,
plus cooking, alien to our nostrils,
but not to the quail
sizzling on the grill.
The air is thin.
The sun merely mimics the sun we know.
But we’re surrounded by ceremonies,
can’t stop pointing out another ritual
and snapping it prisoner
into our digital memories.
We need proof that we have been here.
Duck eggs and the cry of a vendor –
no way they don’t come home with us.   About the Author:John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Fall/Lines, the Coe Review and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Cape Rock, Poetry East and Midwest Quarterly.  

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