Driving down the poison highway
Through the nightmares of my youth:
Saccharine poetry, suicidal thoughts;
Disastrous experiments with vermouth.
Sterilizing self-inflicted wounds
With tequila, scotch and beer.
Bathed in sticky sweat,
Self-loathing, and fear.
Decades down a dusty highway
Through the terrors of middle-age:
Thinning hair; graying beard
Covering the still smoldering rage.
Calming the demons of the mind
With a single chilled glass of mead,
Wounds healed; scars run deep,
And occasionally still bleed.
Seeking release from suffering
In Athens; under an old fig tree.
A chance to finally flourish,
Living life in true equanimity.
John W. Leys is a 44 year old disabled US Army veteran, husband and father. He’s been making up stories (and sometimes writing them down) for as long as he can remember and has been writing poetry since he was 14 years old. His favorite poets include Lord Byron, Ted Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, Catullus and Bob Dylan. In his spare time he enjoys fishing, reading philosophy, and playing his ukulele.