Before My Time

It was a different time. No metaphors. No symbols. A raptor swooped down. A massive lizard fought to the death with another of its kind. It was before words and high-rises and love-poems to forgotten women. It wasn’t about us. The world was not bewildered by our absence. It spun and giant creatures went along for the ride from soggy swamps to pre-human skies. No one made coffee. Nobody puffed on cigarettes. Nothing gave a damn for history. And monsters roamed. They weren’t just trapped in stone. There was no good and evil. So missionaries were unnecessary. Philosophers likewise. It just doesn’t bear interpreting. No astrology. No kings. No working stiffs. No drunken oafs. The world was as raw as ice-wind, as fiery as a sunspot. Life was short but frequent, as instinctive as breath. Nobody dug in the mud, for a bone, for the shape of a leaf. What is a fossil now was everything then.


John Grey is an Australian poet, and US resident. John has recently been published in the Homestead Review, Harpur Palate and Columbia Review, with work upcoming in The Roanoke Review, The Hawaii Review and North Dakota Quarterly.