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by John Tustin



I Can’t Defy The Rain


I can’t defy the rain

As you stand there holding it in your hand


I can’t deny the shadows of the night

As they swirl within your mysterious hair


I can’t forget the clouds

As they emerge from your lovely deadly mouth


I can’t grasp the earth

That is your miraculous and trembling brown body


I can’t breathe without the air

In the sky of your laugh and in the atmosphere of your smile


I can’t ignore the stars

As they lie imprisoned in your deep secret eyes



I can’t defy the rain

That you hold in your hand


My own body deluged

At the very thought of your hands turning over upon me


The sound of your voice is the tide

Your open arms the waves upon the sea


As they recede and as they fall

Away from my heart and upon my heart like a resolute stone


Your heartbeat the birdcalls of the morning

Your pulse the brash singing of the moving rivers



I can’t defy the rain

I can only pray for it like a farmer whose crops are nearly dust


I can’t desecrate the memories of the history of our time on earth

That are expelled in your every whisper and sigh




a line, (a short blue one)





It was like a revelation

The first morning I woke up

With your body beside my body,

Smelling your presence like fresh coffee.

You were all of the angels singing

And beating their wings in time

Like that Rolling Stones song.


There are devils hiding beneath the beer caps

And angels swimming in the suds.

Tonight the angels are swimming

In some kind of Busby Berkley synchronicity

As I remember small times,

One by one by one

With you having this hold on me.


The devils will wait for another night.


It was like a revelation

The first morning I woke up

Knowing you would never return,

The room smelling like nothing

And me feeling like nothing.

All of the angels dead for a moment,

Only to return as ghosts

In nights like tonight.



a line, (a short blue one)



The Shape Of Her Mouth


Just thinking about the shape of her mouth

Is three guitars and a mandolin

With a banjo and a stand-up bass

Playing a song about the most beautiful woman

The singer has ever seen

Dipping her feet into a frigid river

On a sunny and cool April Sunday morning

With a laughter in her eyes

As she thinks of the man she wishes could be there.

Just thinking about the shape of her mouth

And the music plays so sweetly

That I weep

In the darkness of this room, this night,

This world.



a line, (a short blue one)



Whiskey Mixed With Honey


I dreamed her all of my life

and then one day she was there

in front of me:

skin the color of whiskey mixed with honey;

not only a voice to match but a heart;

an acre of wavy black hair that shines insanely red in the sun

and eyes as dark and voluptuously mysterious as obsidian.

I drink deeply of her

as she burns my gut

while soothing me,

making me dizzy and silly,

enamored with and guilty of my happiness.

Intoxicating, sweat, deceptively addictive,

I drink deeply of her

And am broken down in eyes like earth;

Built back up in eyes like earth.

Built back up from a boy

to a man.

The man I am.



a line, (a blue one)


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