Poetry by John Grey

Auschwitz at Dusk


Across reverent breath,                              

a wavering light is fading,                         

Outside the camp,

beyond the bones

of barbarism,

a kind of naiveté

still lingers on the heart.

I’m here to know

how ignorant I am

of suffering.

Traces of mass murder

descend into

the chill of wind,

the ripping, tearing selfishness

of my own dark pain.

“You’d have to be a survivor

to really know,”

my wife whispers to me.

Distant bells tinkle

like ankle chains

on ghosts.




What Jane Saw   


Jane saw it.

The van skidded off the road,

rolled over ten times,

crashed into a ditch,


The road was icy, Jane said.

The vehicle lost control.

She heard the screams,

the crush of metal,

saw flames leap up

almost to the tips of pine trees.

Just ashes and crumpled black steel

when rescue arrived.

Many came to the funeral

but only Jane’s story

made it to the burial..


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