Unless Things Change

by Tod Perry
Cudjoe Key

Unless things change at the tap
This one looks like my last poem.
Closing time is coming soon,
and I am stuck deep down a hole
in a shallow pond of drowning fish.

So long ago I learned that beauty
is truth, and truth beauty,
but from this end of the bar
the stools are looking last call empty
with beauty no longer sitting near.

My drink‚Äôs gone sour. It’s pants on fire,
the orange liar, who turns me into Cicero
no more the mild mannered poet,
I fiddle words, a loud mouth Nero
howling madly over flaming truth.

What force could stir me into action?
Dead babies? They wash ashore ignored
where truth was born in Greece, that passed
the orphaned gift onto a world of evil,
ancient mother of things sane and civil.

By closing time the joke’s on me.
My truthy ardor is always dandy,
so close to beauty it seems to be,
warm light to show how others care
with kindness more than sugar candy.

I simply have no more ideas,
no quick solutions , no explanations.
The glass looks empty, no more poems.
To change the liar change the beer.
Top it up love, with time so it foams.

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