the poetry that matters

John Greiner

John Greiner is a poet and playwright living in New York City.  His poetry has most recently appeared in The Chopper Journal, Hecale, Sein und Werden, nthposition, Audience, SubtleTeas, Zygote in my Coffee, The Beat, Tryst, Psychopoetica, The Blue House, All Rights Reserved, The Argotist Online, Moria, Ascent Aspirations, The Green Muse and Inscribed. His theatrical pieces have enjoyed successful runs in New York, Chicago and in Massachusetts.

You can find more of John's poetry at www.baronandcrow.blogspot.com in collaboration with photographer, Carrie Crow.

Veni Lumen



The sound seized

is the sound spoken

            by the master of syllables.

The rapture born

of the word used

            is bound to nothing greater

then the breeze that catches

            the breath of the pneumonic.


In his lungs

            the air fills

the ship

            the ocean

            could not hold.


There is a wheezing of centuries

that leaves the millennium to be diagnosed

            as suffering from a cancer

            far worse than anyone

would have believed at the start.

The things said at the beginning,

                        though eloquent,

are lacking the passionate desperation

of the rattle passed

                        at the end.

            The emphatic grunt

                        is clear,

            never changing, even from the throat

of the master.


His lips contort

            With the heart’s whisper.

The roar of the Atlantic

            divides the light

as waves crash blindly.


It is heard though the age

has passed, buried in language,

            the incomprehensible mutterings

of neophytes who vanish

            in the coming of morning.


In the morning so few remain

fearful of what they will find

            when they make-up their beds of solitude.


For a moment the heart holds the sound

            that will motion it forward.

The lips move stiffly

            as the Pacific swallows the light.


The grunt of the master drops softly,

forcing the centuries forward

            with all of their incomprehensible

mysteries that travelers would have

preferred never to have heard of.

Emphasis on the sound alone,

            the sound that never changes,

and yet no one was expecting

            this as the millenniums pass,

and the sickness of centuries

plug up the ears.


I hear the sound that swallows,

            and the sound that pulls

the ship down in the lungs



The fear that is found

is the fear that is silent,

            the one without syllable

that the master cannot reach,

the one that the breeze

            carries on the word

unknown.  The sound that is silent

            is the fear in which

one is lost without the one,

the fear that holds

no redemption, the fear of quietude

            above the ocean

as the waves crash below.

It is in the sound that the deaf

            man fears the least.





Bookmark and Share