The Small World

by John Grey

It’s blanched white tunnels

that tube-worms dig,

swirling around in complex patterns

like the trail of a child’s finger in cake frosting.

Or the emerald gleam of glowworms.

Or tiny scarlet and blue-jeweled crabs.

The world offers small

as much as it does large.

A lizard stares up at me from beneath a rock.

Its eyes are two black pinheads.


There’s a drowsy buzz

where dragonflies feed.

And blenny darters skirt

the limits of a pool,

feasting on midges.

Even the leaves for grass are in on the miniature.

A cricket pivots on one.

A second is free but blustered.


I am on my knees,

immersed in a world.

strong in detail

but thin on drama.

But then a bobolink

claims an unwitting fly.

I spoke too soon.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Sin Fronteras, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in Plainsongs, Willard and Maple and Connecticut River Review.