“Here’s A Poem” by Jack Grapes

Jack Grapes

Here’s a poem that has not
been revised or rewritten
or read aloud or cut
or extended or given to a lover.
Here’s a poem that
has no code word, no
name for something else,
no intended meaning,
no axe to grind.
Here’s a poem inconsequential
as a thumbtack.
Give me a penny for it
and you’ve overpaid.
Lose it and it’s still there
for all that it was worth.
Here’s a poem less than
twenty lines.
Defend it.

Jack Grapes

from his book “Trees, Coffee and the Eyes of Deer”

All Rights Reserved

© 1987

“Another Sentence” by Jack Grapes

Photo by VC Ferry

Every sentence is another sentence,
really another life.
Someone’s always one step ahead.
The streets glow from the snow plow’s blade
chipping up stone with a daylight flash.
From here, the same tree out back,
the same asphalt roof,
the same wounded clothespins
shifting on the line.
Sometimes the man hanged is a hero,
sometimes a traitor.
Perfect sight and perfect blindness
when it suits our needs.
One day you realize
that you cannot break out
of your own bones.
There is snow-mush in the gutters
and along the highway,
melting here, turning to rock there.
Something’s always a step ahead.
Every sentence is another life,
really another sentence.

Jack Grapes

Jack Grapes

from his book “Trees,Coffee and the

Eyes of Deer”

All Rights Reserved

© 1995

VC Ferry

© 2009

“Suspect” by Jack Grapes

Suspect
the poem
that is not
a matter
of life & death.
It is like
all the other
poems
that are not
matters
of life & death.
When a man
talks to you
without
blinking an eye,
when a man
listens
without glancing
over his shoulder,
his hand
is on a knife
and he knows
what he wants.
He wants
your crippled mother
clutching that
foolish poem
in her
wheelchair
hands.

Jack Grapes

Jack Grapes

(from his book “Trees, Coffee and the

Eyes of Deer”)

All Rights Reserved

© 1995