John Sweet – Poems – 6

all pain, all grace
by John Sweet

sunday morning suicide rain and
the phone doesn’t ring

the walls tremble, but stand

call my life a life but

                     what if?

takes me almost 50 years to 
realize i can’t save anyone

i grow tired of standing in as a
metaphor for a better person

i grow tired of myself

there are songs written for dead men
and there are songs written
by dead men, and there are all of
us who live in between

there is the feel of electricity
when i touch your skin

the hum of quiet joy that
forces blood through my veins

let me become who i 
always thought i was and
the past will be forgiven


sort of a purplegrey pulse behind the
eyes that comes with living in the 
age of murdered artists

a stomachful of
someone else’s blood

a punch in the throat

this man with the gun
says he needs to get high

wants to shoot the ideas out of your head
and this dog at his feet just
begging to be kicked

these children’s bodies dumped in
shallow graves because not all wars are
formally declared

not all victims are remembered

you kill what you fear and then
you become who you hate

we laugh at the pain of others and
hope that it makes us holy


John Sweet sends greetings from the rural wastelands of upstate NY. He is a firm believer in writing as catharsis, and in the continuous search for an unattainable and constantly evolving absolute truth.  Some serious stuff, right?  His latest poetry collections include Heathen Tongue (2018 Kendra Steiner Editions) and A Flag on Fire is a Song of Hope (2019 Scars Publications).