Jack Grady – Resurrection

Profile Jack Grady Live Encounters Poetry & Writing 8th Anniversary December 2017

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Resurrection, poems by Jack Grady

American-born Jack Grady, a war veteran and a past winner of the Worcester County (Massachusetts) Poetry Contest, is a founder member of the Ox Mountain Poets, based in Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland.  He considers himself to be a sort of Rip Van Winkle of poets in the sense that he returned to writing poetry in 2014 after a ‘long sleep’, that is, a hiatus of many years, some of which were passed working in the Middle East.  His poetry has been widely published and has appeared either online or in print in Live Encounters Poetry and Writing; Crannóg; Poet Lore; A New Ulster; The Worcester Review; North West Words; Mauvaise Graine; Outburst Magazine; The Runt; The Galway Review; Algebra of Owls; The Irish Literary Times; Skylight 47; The Ekphrastic Review; Dodging the Rain, and in the anthologies And Agamemnon Dead:  An Anthology of Twenty First Century Irish Poetry; A New Ulster’s Voices for Peace; Poetry Anthology Centenary Voices April 2016; 21 Poems, 21 Reasons for Choosing Jeremy Corbyn; A New Ulster’s Poetry Day Ireland Anthology 2017, and Poesia a Sul 1.  He read in Morocco at the 3rd annual Festival International Poésie Marrakech, as the poet invited by its committee to represent Ireland, and he has been invited to represent Ireland at the 3rd annual Poesia a Sul, in Olhão, Portugal.  His poetry collection, Resurrection, was published in Belfast by Lapwing Publications and launched in October 2017 and is available at Jack Grady – Lapwing Store.  The cover artwork for Resurrection is by Val McLoughlin. 


I have a dream that one day …the rough places will be made plain,
and the crooked places will be made straight,
and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together. – Martin Luther King

I have a dream that one day
armies will shoot with songs instead of bullets
generals will shed uniforms for the saffron hues of Hare Krishnas
Buddha will hold conference calls between New York and Geneva
St. Francis will cradle again the birds of Assisi
and even insects will have no reason to fear us
Lao Tsu will return to expound on mountains
that freedom never crowns conquest
never plants flags beyond borders

The dead will rise to expose
those who killed innocence and blamed the innocent
those whose lies hatched our hatred and turned us into murderers
those who will hear their sneering laughter silenced
by their own spontaneous cries of confession

Machiavelli will erase The Prince as a fraud
Wolfowitz will tell us all Neocons
are trapped in the chaos of the clueless
the Kennedys will unmask their assassins
and spend a week granting absolution
to plotters who never imagined it possible

Isaiah will weep with joy as Israel abandons Dimona
and its shell is claimed by sands of the Negev
Wahhabis will intone the poems of Rumi
Shia and Sunni will greet each other with kindness
while sabres of rage remain sheathed
and lions purr as they sleep with lambs
and shepherds in a world redeemed

Nuclear arsenals will explode with a pop
harmless and hilarious as clouds of balloons bursting
we will at last hear the trees speak
tell us why they are rooted
and how their quiet peace
resurrects flowers and leaves

Gandhi will walk with Jesus on water
and they will hail a resurrected dreamer –
Martin Luther King –
while he hauls into his boat
constellations of fish
with silken nets of starlight


After Guy Goffette’s ‘L’adieu’

She believes you can seize the sea
by the ringlets of its surf
and shake it out like a dirty rug,
make a ship from a forest
with the rivets of your dreams;
harness the wind to a water-witch stick
to discover a secret spring.

She knows such magic
is as easy for you as plucking
the petals of daisies in fields
in a game of I love her, I love her not,
when her heart is in your pocket,
and you treat it like a bauble,
a trinket, a worthless glass bead.

But, to be deaf to her breath –
that gasp before her scream –
when you sever the ropes
of your last bridge to her world
and let fall the last cling of your need:

that is unpardonable; never
should that be.

© Jack Grady