Wednesday, March 15, 2023

What Color?

 —Poetry by John Tustin, Myrtle Beach, SC
—Paintings Courtesy of Public Domain

She sits alone at her window with a glass
of wine,
Looking out at the water receding in the bay.
Two cats sleep in another room.
The only light is from the moon that comes in
and falls on half her face,
Leaving the other half in total darkness.

If any man or woman were to happen to
look up
And see her face in the half-light of the moon,
her eyes that just stare off like that,
They would correctly conclude
The woman looking out from her window at
the bay and holding a glass of wine
No longer has any love.


What color?
What color was there
When I opened my eyes?

There was blue
And there was yellow
And there were streaks of green
That flew like comets
In a purple sky.

That was then.

What color?
What color is here
When I open my eyes now?

I open my eyes
And it is the same
As when they are closed.
No, it is worse
Because when my eyes are closed
I can imagine
The blue and the yellow
And the streaks of green
That used to fly
Like comets
In a purple sky.

Now, eyes open,
There is only black
Just as every living flesh
Must become powder
And ashes


She walked across my sleep—
The errant daughter in my dreamscape.
She wasn’t a child anymore
And she was not yet a woman
But in between those two worlds on
the tautest tightrope
For at least a little while longer.
Her face was thin with worry and sadness.
She put her arms around my neck,
Smelling like she did when she was a baby.
Then she told me she loved me as much as
she could.
While I tried to interpret what she meant
She kissed me on the cheek
And told me she had to go.
I watched her walk away, disappearing as if
she evaporated
And it was then I asked the mist that remained
If I would ever see her again.
There was no response to my words or
my tears
And in the days since I’ve woken up
The answer has remained the same.


Judas had a job to do
And he did it.
Someone had to be the one
To pull the trigger,
Take the 30 pieces of silver,

Push the prophecy along to

He was do and die.
At least that’s my take.

Maybe God warned him
He would be vilified by billions
For thousands of years
And his name would become synonymous
with betrayal
But I would bet even money
God told him he would be a hero
And not to worry about the fine print,
Just sign on the dotted line.

I don’t think 30 pieces of silver in Caesar’s
Was life-changing money
So nothing else makes sense.

Men speak his name in rage in the pulpits of
the world,
Their fists shaking with warnings and anger,
All these centuries later,
As if Jesus was the Pastor’s best friend
And he died last week
At the hands of this murderous Judas Iscariot
Who had his rabbi sent to death for some
pocket money
Even though Jesus was a good man
Who did charity work
And watched his neighbors’ houses while
they were away.

Judas could not bear to have sent his friend
and rabbi to death
So he committed suicide.
I think that speaks of his capacity for love
And feeling guilt is just so Judeo-Christian.
I believe he was a nice Jewish boy tricked into
giving up his good name for an infamy
He neither wanted or understood.

Are you a Christian?
Do you believe Jesus bought your forgiveness
While Judas merely bought the Field of Blood?
Then thank Judas
Because he supposedly helped put Jesus on
that cross
Along with the Sanhedrin, Pontius Pilate and
the rabble
Who wanted Barabbas to live instead of Christ
For some unknown reason.
Maybe God had them all do it
But they have remained anonymous
Like rabble usually do.

If I was Judas, knowing what I know,
I don’t think I could have gone through with it
And forever had my name pushed into the mud,
Tarred and feathered, ridden out on a rail
Even though it would be such a thrill to know
That one day
Hank Williams would write a song
And the subject would be me.


Today’s LittleNip:

I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.

—Joan Miro


—Medusa, welcoming John Tustin back to the Kitchen, with thanks for today’s poetry, including some Lenten cogitations. John first visited the Kitchen on 8/21/22, and more of his poetry can be seen at
 John Tustin

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