John Grey

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The Dying Pond, a 21st Century Art Installation

The pond boasts more colorsArtwork by Gene McCormick
than Monet’s palette.
The birds who drink from its waters

must feel as if
they’re visiting a gallery,
one where they get to sip the paint.

The water’s brown and yellow,
with green streaks
and an occasional red ooze.

It reminds me of the hair of
the young tattooed woman who waits tables
at the local trendy new restaurant.

But her tresses aren’t dyed
by nearby factory spill,
or whatever comes down with the rain.

And she can go back to
her natural shade anytime she wants.
The pond must work with

the chemicals it’s given.
Some warn our drinking water
is headed the same way.

I can just imagine it: abstract expressionist coffee.
Pollution and java - two things at once
to keep me up at night.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in
That, Dalhousie Review and North Dakota Quarterly with work
upcoming in Qwerty, Chronogram and failbetter.