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.
Man will someday die out With woman right beside him In the for-better-or-for-worse ritual That is just natural Then no one with the capacity Of poetic expression Will look out upon the mountains Smell the sea on the wind Hear the calls of birds to other birds In amorousness or in warning While the waves crash upon a naked shore That lies rife with the living and the dead of the sea Or know the crisp dead leaves Red and yellow and orange underfoot The bugs beneath The million searching animal eyes above The ashes of cigarettes no longer sitting Like disused turds in the bent caps or Of hollowed beer bottles on scuffed floors While men and women waste their little time The music will be in the fat drops of rain Sustaining and devastating The words will be in the wind That chaps the snow and the ice No one will speak of the beauty Not making it any less beautiful by any means And that knowledge makes me sad But heals me at the same time I think to myself as I write this And glance at the clock
It’s such a different Gnawing When the hunger Isn’t in your Belly But your Heart. The first hunger Gets you From the inside Out. The second From the outside In. The violins Play And the drums Rumble on But That doesn’t feed the Belly Or fill the Heart. From the Kitchen I smell the Food cooking From my Bedroom Filled with Music And with Silence. In just Moments I will be half Satisfied.
you swallowed me like the pride I never exhibited. you swallowed me like the whale swallowed Jonah and my small candlelight irritates you inside. you swallowed me like a delicate poison and were too slow to vomit. you swallowed me and I inhabit you. I pound your walls and howl in your hallways. I share your breath, your nourishment, your illness. symbiosis. you swallowed a symbiotic parasite and now I move with you, you move for me, you took me in and you take me in and here I am. my heart races to the rhythm of your pulse, the gnash of your teeth, the glow of your skin in sensual perspiration. taken by skin and hair and soul and hallowed eyes of infinite fortitude, dual solitude. you have swallowed me, poison and panacea and you are nauseous and fevered, but I have made you well. I have filled your emptiness with sadness, a desperate hopefulness, a love unwanted but needed, unfathomed and real and whole and ours alone.