The Dark Place by John Tustin

The dark place where these words
come from and all the other ones;
this bottomless well of emptiness,
this black pit with no sound
or sight or smell.
I pluck the words from there
like grapes from a vine
and I don’t know how
they got there or
why I’m the one
chosen to retrieve them.
I don’t choose the time or the place
or the manner of its coming.
The words are blood and muscle
and all of the bad things
the world wishes it could
seize up and spit out.
The words are diseased and desperate,
gleaming jewels of overcast misery.
Even the chosen words of
softness and empathy and love
have a tinge of damp sorrow
and hidden violence.
How did this tiny world not collapse
like a dead star,
like an exsanguinated  rat into
the nil during the years
the words could not escape?
I dwell in this dark place
and sometimes these gloriously vivid
dark words take wind
and land on the page
and I put my name on the bottom
of the page because I own the words –
but I do not make them:
I don’t know how they come
or why.
But when they stop,
so will I.

Photo by Ahmed Adly 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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