The poetry of john sweet

landscape with you as a crow in the shadows of november pines, searching for food

and hopelessness is a kind of hope,
or at least a powerful drug

you breathe in sunlight and
then you breathe out fear and there
is nothing more difficult than
denying christ, but here we are

a barren field, a dead lawn,
roadside ditches filled with the
garbage of anonymous strangers

twenty years of saying
i love you,
of waiting to hear it in return,
seems like more than enough

all objects shading to blue

all condensation turning to frost

i’ve forgotten how we ever
ended up here in the first place




in the city of silent effigies

no hatred

no bullets through the hearts
of holy men

i sit in
the motionless haze of
august evenings
and write poems for
sleeping children

i hold your hand
in the shadows of
the refinery towers

the bleeding horse stands up
and walks away

i pour whiskey
on my father’s grave
and villages don’t burn
and innocent men don’t hang

the walls are always white
the beds always neatly made

i stand
in the middle of main street
and breathe gasoline air

i hold your hand
in the silence of
wide open fields

flowers grow at our feet
and no one declares war

we wait for our luck
to fail

john sweet, b 1968, still numbered among the living.  A believer in writing as catharsis. His latest collections include BASTARD FAITH (2017 Scars Publications) and the limited edition HEATHEN TONGUE (2018 Kendra Steiner Editions).  All pertinent facts about his life are buried somewhere in his writing.

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