John Grey, 5/19/2014

Current Occupation: Laid off
Previous Occupation: Bank teller, Financial Systems Analyst
Contact Information: Australian born poet, US resident since late seventies. Worked as financial systems analyst. Recently published in Connecticut Review, Alimentum and Writer’s Bloc with work upcoming in Pennsylvania English, Prism International and the Great American Poetry Show.





For those who don't know

the meaning of work,

let me explain it to you.


The phone rings.

I answer it

An envelope is dropped

on my desk.

I open it.

An email pops

into my inbox.

I reply.


It's a series of reactions

like when the doctor

taps your knee with a hammer

to test your reflexes.


In fact,

my lower leg

often responds

with an unforced kick

to various office stimuli.


It's a brave boss

who bends over

near my shoe.





On rocks in the Rhine,

the Lorelei strum harps,

chant their plaintive songs.

They are lovely sirens,

beautiful women,

luring sailors to their death.


In the third cube from the rear,

right side of the aisle

facing the supply cabinet,

the clock on the wall

is that river rippling through

the German valleys,

the hour of five p.m.

is the voluptuous maiden

who sings to entice the likes of me.


She promises, not drowning,

but a ride down in an elevator,

a squashed trip home via commuter rail

and a quick meal, an hour or two of television

before sleep.


But then comes morning

when the down city dragon

of 8.30 a.m. emerges from its cave.

There are knights in this world

who can slay such beasts.

The rest of us are thankful

if we dodge the fire.

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