By John Grey

The Toyota Concert

I admit it. I sing loudly 
all the way home. Beatle hits
from my youth. Standards from
Broadway shows. Anything 
from the great mind morass,

that never has to wonder
why this tune, why now,  
as I pull over to the exit 
lane and the other cars 
zip by me, when the songs

have nothing to do with 
the street I’m on, all donut 
shops and used car lots and 
strip malls and traffic lights
and pet salons and a

car washarama. It’s the jukebox 
brain.  It can’t be explained. There’s 
melody with more baggage than
the Vanderbilts on summer vacation, 
and other ditties that pop up 

out of nowhere and, after I hum 
a few bars,  go back from whence 
they came. Sometimes, I surprise 
myself with how well I know the
words. But with others, I either 

mumble something incoherent or 
make up lines and verses. Then, as 
I pull into the driveway of my house,
the show is over. I am no longer
the sounds of years gone by 

but the ordinary conversation 
of the moment. My wife asks me
“How was the ride home?”
“Same as always,” I reply.
She shows no interest in my current set list.

At the Coffeehouse with a Poet

He shoves
a few sheets
of paper
across the table at me,
says, “Tell me 
what you think?”

They’re his attempts
at poetry –
clumsy, misspelled,
stuff about some girl
called Heather,
who gave him
the brutal brushoff.

I mumble my usual lies
in such situations.

It takes a brave soul
to tell some poor
poetic wannabe 
what they really think.
Someone like
Heather for example.

Driving by the Battlefield

hot June day

driving by the ballfield
with my windows down

REM on the radio

laughing young women
in softball strip
strolling from the field,
gloves under armpits,
bats swinging at their sides

there's something about the sweat,
grubby faces
dirt on knees,
the easy banter

in my mind,
it's as close as females
ever get to being men

and still I love them

more than any guy
you could name

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Orbis, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review. Latest book, “Leaves On Pages” is available through Amazon.

2 thoughts on “The Toyota Concert and Other Poems

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