"cobalt blue," "small gift, early autumn" and "through rain, through walls of poisoned sunlight"

cobalt blue

or maybe christ
dying for all the junkies of
the world was the setup, or maybe
it was the punchline?
maybe just ask the girl in the
crucifixion pose on the
bathroom floor why
her boyfriend won’t stop



small gift, early autumn

says i’ll make this easy
says one plus one but insists the
answer be spelled out in blood
dead children on the front lawn
we drove for three hours only to
find the building burned to the
ground when we got there
do you see the punchline?
says she doesn’t believe in
god in priests who
refuse to crawl on broken glass
spreads her wings but
never quite takes flight
never quite touches the sun but she
dares you to stand in the space between
hope and desire with only your
faith and a lover who refuses
to speak your name
asks you to give up poetry and
write only prayers
to write them only on the filthy
walls of abandoned churches
says nothing from nothing is both the
past and the future but
she doesn’t speak of the present
she doesn’t mention any names
without anywhere to go we
can never be lost



through rain, through walls of poisoned sunlight

beneath skies as soft
                        as dust,
you and I without shadows in
a place where everything
                           is shadow
the village in ruins but i
can’t remember or i
was never told
a simple war
i think
on the other side of the world
man who owns the country
killing those with nothing
because he can
any number of gods growing
fat on the bloated corpses
of women, of children, and they
are crows and they are jackals
just like all holy entities
talons and beaks to
tear at the heart, and the
priests who laugh at the
idea of salvation
who barricade the refugees in
churches then bulldoze them to
the ground but
you an i in this other place and
not quite winter and
not quite spring
a fragile truce against
the blurred horizon
a wounded animal at
the forest’s edge
can’t save everyone from a
lifetime of pain or maybe it’s
just easier to say this than to try
maybe the enemy has been
hiding in plain sight
all along



John Sweet

John Sweet sends greetings from the rural wastelands of upstate New York. He is a firm believer in writing as catharsis, and in poetry as a reason for getting up in the morning.  He has been publishing in the small press for 30 years.  His most recent collection is There's Only One Way This Is Going to End (Cyberwit, 2023).


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Thursday, August 19, 2021 - 22:09