The Windmills Tilted Me by John Tustin

There were years when the sun came up red
And the ground was wet and cool in the morning
And I woke up on some of those mornings
Determined to tilt windmills
So I went out there and I tried.
And what I have learned is that the windmills
Not only do not move:
They do not care about
Some ignoramus on a nag with a
Papier mache lance that falls apart
At the first hint of rain
Pounding and pounding impotently
At foundations that have withstood
Volcanos and earthquakes,
Hurricanes and revolutions
And Communism and democracy.
Now the sun comes up as soft and yellow
As an imitation butter patty
And nothing about me grows thicker or lusher than before
Except the hair on my eyebrows and in my ears.
I read and I listen and I write;
Still, I do those things
But my lance is crumpled in the corner, completely forgotten
And my nag was happy to be put out to pasture
Two decades ago.
Listening to Mary Gauthier and listening to Lucinda Williams.
Reading Edgar Allan Poe and Ana Akhmatova.
Not really doing anything, though.
The sun has melted me.
The dust that swirls has swallowed me up
Little by little, day by day.
There are so many days and they are all the same.
I bashed up against the windmills
Wishing to tilt them
But with the sheer obstinate repetition of it
The windmills tilted me.
Photo by Jonas Von Werne on

About the Poet:

John Tustin is currently suffering in exile on the island of Elba but hopes to return to you soon. contains links to his published poetry online.

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