John Tustin’s poetry has appeared in many literary journals, online and in print, since 2009. fritzware.com/johntustinpoetry contains links to his published poetry online.
THE WORLD IS JUST FLOWERS
“The world is just flowers In dirt,” Says me, the great philosopher After six beers becomes seven And forty hours worked in three Days falls down on me. “The flowers are just waiting For the sun to set them on fire,” Says me, the expounding poet After eight beers are gone And the music plays Against the backdrop of little sleep. Now here I sit in my glorious anonymity As I watch in bemused horror A million flowers in flames, Burnt down to ashes that blow away In the wind of the night Under the cool distant moon. “The world is just flowers And the flowers are just ashes,” Says me after ten beers. The flowers being hours, The hours being meaningless, And I am tipsy but not drunk And anyway, you know me, I may ponder life and flowers but I’ll never be too sad or tired or Too drunk to lay the truth on you As the flowers burn to ash And the moon watches without a movement Or a word and the wind drags the ashes Over the fields of memories that become Forgotten As I sway.
There’s a gentle simplicity To this irrevocable and unending sadness. It is a combination of my bad chemistry And my bad circumstance. There is some comfort in knowing why Nights like this occur. I am loved, I have love, I create love, Yet I lie in the dark and just wish That I wasn’t anymore. I know the reason for it. I think of the evil I have done And the evil that has been done to me And then the good that I have not done. I wallow halfheartedly in this sadness, Sobbing into my hands, Stumbling from the bed To the bathroom mirror To have harsh words With my red-rimmed image. Then music plays And I am soothed like the beast I surely am. My children come into the focus Of my mind’s eye And then that beautiful woman Who loves me more Than I can possibly love myself Stands before me As if rising on a half-shell And I know one day These new circumstances Will short circuit This bad chemistry.
I am a bum Too proud to cleanly shave, To stop my unsociable behavior: Too destitute to stop My supplication. Too drunk to care What the difference Might be. I leave it To the mathematicians With the caveat That the bum In boxing Always took His punch Without A bitch Or a single Sob.