The Buried Witch by John Grey


She wakes her lips with a chant
that calls on the little light that remains,
face pressed against a clump of concrete,
inhales dead roses between the sobs above,
the sparks of humanity,
strokes the fur of the ghost cat
that tiptoes across her crinkly lap,
trapped in a near-fleshless jumble of limbs,
that drip with spider husks,
onto the remains of her cloak,
wrinkled hag, husk of a woman,
always parched, sometimes delirious,
listening in on the world above,
that thrums in stunning storm-clouds,
a dream October in its finest mourning colors,
oblivious to her muffled moaning
up through the bone debris,
crimson ponds, the rancid mire of tears.
a song that could once slay enemies
from as far away as the stars,
now an echo of her gasping dried-up need,
the murmurings of a corpse,
an invocation rejoicing in its own madness,
the emaciated bride of a fallen wizard,
doomed forever to the tombs below the earth.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Stand, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books, Leaves On Pages, Memory Outside The Head, and Guest Of Myself are available through Amazon. He has work upcoming in Ellipsis, Blueline, and International Poetry Review.

Published 5/5/22