John Grey is an Australian born poet, playwright, musician, and Providence RI resident since the late seventies. He works as financial systems analyst and has been published in numerous magazines including Weird Tales, Christian Science Monitor, Agni, Poet Lore and Journal Of The American Medical Association as well as the horror anthology What Fears Become. He has work upcoming in Sanskrit, GW Review and the Potomac Review and has had plays produced in Los Angeles and off-off Broadway in New York. He is also the winner of the Rhysling Award for short genre poetry in 1999.
To The Lady of All Doves
Behind the Museum of Earthly Delights,
cepheus doves huddle away from blowing dust.
They gather in the salt gardens among
androids and Antares slaves who ignore their
mournful song. No one here feeds the birds.
Robots lack that program. The workers
know no hunger but their own. Yet something
strange occurs when night falls and three moons
float up the sky. Listen and you’ll hear the whistles
from the museum windows. Look up and see
birds perched on ledges, soft hands reaching
through laser bars, suffering the sting to offer
crumbs. In cepheus dove dreams, the lady of
all doves blows clear the dust, forms clouds from
puffed-up feathers, then bursts them with her talons,
gifts rain to the bone dried land, in resplendent greenery
a feast for all. In the dark throes of the waking day,
some crumbs left on a sill make do for bird mythology.
They peck, they chortle, they fly up to their roost.
Guards snarl, why do you feed those worthless birds?
A strange question to ask of the lady of all doves.