Poetry by Australian Poet, John Grey: Reading a Book in Coffee House


I wonder if you kids will ever understand

words written over a hundred years ago.

You’re face to face on Skype.

Your fingers are texting much faster

than their lips can sip

iced cappuccinos.


Would it ever occur to you

that there’s something in this book I’m reading

more relevant than your on-line chatter,

the grins of Facebook friends.


You no doubt reckon even 2010

is the deep dark past,

that the nineteenth century

is just something scribbled

on a classroom blackboard.


One of you is sending an instant photograph.

Another is streaming

the latest pop sensation.

Irony, revelation, artistry, genius even…

how will they ever gain a foothold?


Meanwhile, I’m bent over a novel,

more in its pages than

the crowd around me.


You may occasional look up

from instant messaging,

see me sitting alone.

But I am not alone.

Are you?

John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Tau, Studio One, and Columbia Review, with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Examined Life Journal and Midwest Quarterly.