My Nature

John Grey

I’ve visited the jungles many times 
thanks to the Nature Channel.

Yes the big cats and the mighty elephants
and rhinoceros never fail to stir
but there’s always an insect or arachnid
I’ve never heard of
that does some amazing things:
like a cockroach that eats its partner
after they make love
and a spider who weaves an enormous web
that, in human terms,
would equate to half Manhattan.

Some guy dressed in khaki shirt and shorts
invites me to bend down with him
and watch a beetle maneuver a ball of dung
a hundred times its size.
And then he picks up a snake by its tail
as he explains to me how its fangs
contain enough venom to fell Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I’ll never remember the names of these tiny critters
but, when I’m in their moment,
I too feel the urge to feast on a naked body
or spread my net so wide it traps,
sucks the life from, all of Providence
or roll my next year’s sustenance
across a mile of desert sand
or even wrap my mouth around the ankle of
the former governor of California.

Yes, I’ve visited my nature many times 
thanks to what I call the Jungle Channel.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Orbis, Dalhousie Review and the Round Table. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Lana Turner and Hollins Critic.