Monday, April 11, 2011

John Tustin - Two Poems


often I pray
there will be less
in death.
not nothing,
but less.

less time,
less space,
less want,
less need,
less love,
less hate.
less capacity,
less hunger,
less thought,
less necessity of thought.

how many times
can we see
the snake
devour the rat?
how many times
can we watch numbly
from desolate windows
as the leaves redden and brown
and push off
like suicides
from the same trees
and the same trees
and then different trees?

I want less drowning,
less thirsting,
less sun,
less dreaming,
less sleeping,
less dimly lit rooms,
less waiting for buses
or changes
or the desiccation of the mind
and body.

I lie here
in a pool of myself
and my senses and mind
with all of it
and it is too much.
just too much.

it is a rummaging
of eyes and bodies
and transposing souls
and maybe death will be
a clarity.

less ambulances,
less dirt,
less psychoses,
less neuroses,
less cancer,
less victims,
less saviors,
less survivors,
less shapes and noises
and noisemakers
and reasons.

and less prayer
and less need
to pray.

especially that.

Lighting Cigarettes for the Dead

Lighting cigarettes for the lips
of the dead.

The sun sets and the martyred moon
hangs limp and pink
from the hangman’s noose.

Blood is still red,
creases grow deeper.
Spiritual infidelity.
The gun duel every sunset between
the flesh and the spirit.
That’s all that is certain.

I can’t tell you
how to live.
I don’t have the qualifications.

Eyes staring off listlessly
in the midnight dark.

Egrets take off
from the marsh
leaving little expanding circles of cadaverous water
from their sudden flight.

The fish don’t worry,
too dumb to know what may be

The fish are better off
than us.

We wait.
In line.
In church.
In bed.
On the assembly line.

Knowing the beak is like
a spear.
The talon will tear us to pieces.

One fine fat blind distorted gray day
we will be gone.
Dead and buried
and forgotten.

Like the rest.

Our memories
to the raindrop
and the teardrop
|and the silent ripple
in the marsh.

The ambulance comes down
from up on the hill,
shining and roaring

from hell
to oblivion.

Here and gone
in a gleaming silver flash.

We’re just along for the ride.

John Tustin has two children and a cat. is a link to his poetry online.”

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