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Four Poems...

Lightning Bugs


Branched bogs, a curiously quiet

afternoon, rapt, mad with heat.

We keep throwing rocks, despite

the moans, the pleas,


after cursing turns to begging,


lightning bugs dot the darkness 


frogs quiver 


call out.


Last time the stream ran too

high and alliances were laid bare,

our sinew fraying

in time, tethers becoming water, accepting

consequence, asking questions into the 

silent night.


And so, it felt right to heave, to

rebel against the soil itself, to

forget what we had learned.


Being the stagnant water or the

thousands of humming mosquitos flying

weakly to wherever the wind pushed,

we found ourselves no longer able to

return home, we

having forgotten the language of parades

and roadways,

there being something about the grey clay

of eroding riverbanks

that cannot be translated.


Until now this much was obvious, that 

the rules never changed,

that we had never left the woods,

never would.




Carry with you a thousand miles of rusted fence.

Slurry upland and rest

by the prickly

holly nest

grazing on the leeward

of changing hills’

dwindling roots.


It’s shadow, memory,

as shadows are

hiding the face

, avoiding stepdads,

metallic clink,

fork on plate,

amplified in quiet rooms.

In lucid daydreams


the dirty water

fills the potholes

every winter, we

embrace like a 

Goodnight kiss, saying,

Does it mean anything if

cows are happy


when the veiny storm clouds

settle above in bulbous purple


when this town’s muddy ditches

are just one year






We make do with brackish tributaries,

rusty crab cages sloshing through

the thick grey chop, or…


The alluvial plane is silent, a

semi-aquatic meadow on the cusp

of billowing smoke and the apparatus of

industrial revolution decay.

An ornament hung on humid reveries we manifest

among sagging willows.


When mud is your milieu, the

nostalgia is warmer, it has

other connotations, as if we

had the luxury to  



Upstream, furnaces burn,

whole economies built on

sweat and Sunday mass.

We hear differently and speak


When the shadows that separate 

work from worship embrace

our faces.




Fearless parking lots the

headlights again, reflected in

Big Gulps and soiled paper.

Endless smoke, a single blinking light.


The future comes in

loosely tied shoes. There are

probably some other intentions

out on the edge

of the park, always helicopters

swirling in code. Trees here 

are accustomed to bowing.




Bio: Gregory McGreevy lives and writes poetry in Baltimore, Maryland. His work has previously been featured in West Trade Review, The Finger Literary Journal, and The Northern Virginia Review, among others.

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