Thoughts of a big cat
I don't do this for the fun of it.
It's life or death.
I need meat.
The savannah is stocked with it .
I hunt with stealth, cunning
and short bursts of surprise.
keep to the tall grasses,
mv steps as silent as the dead.
The wildebeest and zebra
gather here every morning.
I can watch them.
They can only watch out for me.
Even though they cannot see me,
they know I’m somewhere.
They are in their numbers.
The herd is inviolate
bin there are some, at the edges.
who are prepared to die.
An older beast will wander off.
The sick, the weary,
will stake out their own sacrificial altar,
In some ways, they appreciate
how a meal of their sorry flesh
translates into my replenished vigor.
My teeth, my claws,
will kill one
without any prolonged suffering.
I'll bear with me,
not just their meat,
but their spirit also.
I’m glad to be of service to them.
But that’s not why I do it.
Under lock and key
I don't pretend to understand
this sovereign state of being.
Not when the green fields of my youth
have been scarred beyond comprehension.
We needed another strip mall apparently.
We couldn't live without
a towering block of flats.
Much of my childhood is private property now.
And I'm the one who's locked out totally.
Or could even be shot just for remembering.
My people are dead and I can live with that if they can.
But the landscape had a pact with me.
Despite asthma and hurricanes, broken bones and fire,
we'd always be here.
But bulldozers dug up my promise.
Landowners sold it to the highest bidder.
The current owners weren't even born
when I played ball in their new living room.
No fluttering grass. No trees. No pristine air.
Maybe they're still not born.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Stand, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” “Memory Outside The Head” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Ellipsis, Blueline and International Poetry Review.