Books Reviews

Caribbean Tiers

By: John Grey


The town overlooked
the natural harbor
from a half-circle of land.

It rose in tiers
like the seats of a theater.

Transients, tourists,
occupied the motels
and shabby rental homes
along the beachfront.

Spread out behind
was a belt of shanties
and donkey paths
fifteen blocks deep
that gave way to
dirty plaster pink houses
and tiny yards buried
in mango and palm debris –
occupied by the ones
with the better jobs.

Above it all,
barbecue pits
a few swimming pools
wide cool verandahs –
the abodes of the owners and managers

and towering over these,
at the very top of the hills,
the mansions of the ultra-rich.

Above it all
was clear blue sky,
plenty room to build
but, except for God,
hierarchy all accounted for.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Front Range Review, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Poem and Midwest Quarterly.



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