Crawling Through the Grass of Grief

Closeup photo of beetle in blade of grass

A Poem by John Lee

As I crawled through the tall

grass of grief I saw so many

interesting and disquieting things.


The priest asks us to bend our knees

and pray but doesn’t he mean crawl?


Crawling makes us indistinguishable

from nearly eight or ninety percent of life.


Ants crawled right by me yesterday

on their way to work.


Ants don’t take off Christmas Day

anymore; they used to when they were pagans.


Beetles crawled over me as I

wept my way through the tall grass of grief.


I heard one say “that is the first human

I’ve seen here in a long time.”


“Yeah,” said his partner, or wife, or son.

It is hard to tell who is whom in the beetle world.


“Most just go down as far as a bending

knee asking the new God to bring back whatever was lost.”

2 thoughts on “Crawling Through the Grass of Grief

  1. WOW!! (I can’t believe I’m only the first one to comment on your poem, John!) OUTSTANDING!!

    What I like about your poetry (my favorite of yours probably being, “Thunderstorm In Mentone”) is how plain-spoken and direct it is as you touch on painful human emotions, yet which are seldom addressed in such a healthy way as say, writing a poem.

    I was there at a Mentone shop when you gave a reading one Sunday evening after that year’s Alabama Men’s Gathering of which at that time were your latest collection of poems. I still have my autographed copy “Houston to Austin” you inscribed, keep up the soulful work, John!


    1. Russell,
      I’m John’s assistant, Kathy McClelland. John is not feeling well today, and therefore, I am replying to you. I’m sure John will reply when he’s feeling better.

      Thank you for your kind words that I know John will appreciate even more than I.

      Take care,

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