© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

 
 

IN HONOR OF OUR VETERANS
By Carl Martin Johnson

He answered duty’s call.
Put himself in grave harm’s way.
We didn’t see him fall,
Or the price he had to pay.

When they play our nation’s song.
When the flag flies overhead.
His love of country is so strong,
He is grateful that he bled.

Our sons and daughters fight our wars,
Or we would have no nation.
Inside and out they bring back scars
That we must soothe with celebration.

Extend the honor they deserve.
Thank them for their deeds.
They showed us their nerve,
Now let us attend their needs.

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A REASON FOR MY BIRTH
By Carl Martin Johnson

There is intent for each man’s birth,
A reason we are on this earth.
Each of us must prove our worth,
Or hide our face in shame.

Cowardice we must detest,
We must stand firm in every test
Tame dragons sent before we rest,
Or hold ourselves to blame.

So when we sleep deep in the ground,
Eternal peace at last we’ve found,
Our souls will be no longer bound,
And Death release us from Life’s claim.

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TIME’S FRENZIED DANCE

By Carl Martin Johnson

 

Time leads me on a frenzied dance,

Seduces me to follow,

To live my life in a hurried trance,

With all its meaning hollow.

 

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THIS MOMENT
By Carl Martin Johnson

I’ll hold this moment in my heart,
This small instant of my living.
It is a very special part
Of what this life is giving.

In this second I feel blessed.
Good fortune must have found me.
Hope rises in my chest.
Cheer is spreading all around me.

I know it will not last.
Life also will bring pain.
But I’ll pray it not leave fast,
For it may not come again.

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REFUGE IN MY DREAMS
By Carl Martin Johnson

I take refuge in my dreams,
Seek solace in illusions.
Though nothing’s as it seems,
I love my kind delusions.

Reality can be bleak,
Weighing hard upon my heart.
The comfort that I seek
My waking mind cannot impart.

But the real world I endure,
So, dear God, make me strong.
Because one thing is sure,
I’ll be in Your dream before long.

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LIFE MUSIC
By Carl Martin Johnson

I hear Life’s music playing.
It fills my heart with cheer.
The silent words are saying
All Creation holds me dear.

Like a mother’s lullaby,
The beauty does not cease.
With soft notes flowing by,
It gives my tired soul peace.

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CLEAR MIND
By Carl Martin Johnson

Sometimes I clear my mind
To let pure life flow in.
After that I find
Fresh thought can begin.

That’s when angels whisper to me,
Their sacred secrets share.
I know they may speak through me,
So I treat their words with care.

If I am very still,
I catch a glimpse of God.
That takes words beyond my skill,
For I am far too awed.

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ANGEL’S TOUCH
By Carl Martin Johnson

I felt an angel’s touch,
A caress deep in my soul,
Prying back grief’s icy clutch.
I was torn, it made me whole.

And I smelled sweet angel breath,
Spilling soft across my face,
Assuring me there is no death,
Only changing of life’s place.


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SEE WHAT’S TRUE
By Carl Martin Johnson

Let not sight obscure your vision.
It’s not your eyes that see what’s true.
Look inside for your decision.
There you’ll find what you should do.

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HOPLITE AT REST
By Carl Martin Johnson

Every time I breathe,
I give thanks that I’m alive.
My sword sleeps in its sheathe.
No more killing to survive.

My shield I use for shade,
No lance point to deflect.
My short dagger’s blade
Is rusting from neglect.

I watch my children play,
At night embrace my wife.
If the gods grant me my way,
This is how I’ll live my life.

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GREEN LEAVES TO GOLD
By Carl Martin Johnson

Green leaves turn to gold,
Then fall to earth as bright bedcovers,
The trees stand naked in the cold,
Like sad dejected lovers.

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I SEE BY STARLIGHT
By Carl Martin Johnson

I see best by starlight.
Life is lovely in its glow.
Deep into the far night
I see things I want to know.

They illuminate my soul,
Sparkling jewels gleaming,
Chasing shadows to make whole
What was hidden in my dreaming.

So I await the night
For my vision to grow clear.
Only then will mortal sight
Show what I hold dear.

 

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TAKE SHELTER IN THE NIGHT
By Carl Martin Johnson

Take shelter in the night.
Let its dark arms surround you.
It will hide you from the fight,
And the madness that’s around you.

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PERFECTION OF MAN
By Carl Martin Johnson

There was one Perfect Man.
The rest of us must try.
We must do the best we can,
Lest our young species die.

Pray it be our fate to grow,
Evolving birth to birth,
So one day we will know
Our purpose on this earth.

Of all things ended or alive,
Man is the chosen race.
We must more than just survive.
We must strive to touch God’s face.

 

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FLY HIGH!
By Carl Martin Johnson

Fly high!
Your soul has wings.
Beyond the sky
Your spirit sings.

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WHAT IS MY MOTHER NOW
By Carl Martin Johnson

What is my mother now?
How do I grasp her being?
I must envision her somehow,
But her new form has no seeing.

My mind cannot let go
Of her soft arms, kind and warm.
They’re no longer there, I know,
But a spirit lacks their charm.

I pray that she’ll forgive
If my memory keeps her whole.
For as long as I will live
I’ll feel her body and her soul.

 

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THE LIGHT INSIDE YOU
By Carl Martin Johnson

I see the light inside you.
You are much more than you know.
Here now let me guide you
While we watch your bright flame grow.

You can reach the highest star,
Swallow its bright light.
Then, wonder that you are,
Illuminate the night.

I will be your paladin,
Proclaim your wonder to mankind.
There is not now, nor ever been,
Such marvel from God’s mind.

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WALK BOLDLY INTO THE SUN
By Carl Martin Johnson

Walk boldly into the morning sun.
Greet him like a brother.
Fight until Life’s battle’s done.
You will get no other.

You only die one death.
It is no cause for sorrow.
Should today see your last breath,
Your soul is free tomorrow.

Think only now of living.
Drink sweet daylight while you can.
Take all that God is giving.
Be proud you are a man.

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LAUGH WITH ME
By Carl Martin Johnson

Laugh with me, my friend.
Laugh away our sorrow.
Our world will not end,
At least until tomorrow.

We have troubles; we have fears,
But good humor can erase them.
Grinning broadly through our tears,
Will surely help us face them.

Let us bring to mind
All the happy times we knew.
Then I think we’ll find
God laughing with us too.

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A SHADOW WALKING
By Carl Martin Johnson

I saw a shadow walking.
He was keeping pace with me.
It appeared that he was stalking,
As far as I could see.

I watched him for a while.
He matched my every move.
Perhaps it was his style.
That’s something I can’t prove.

Then he slowly faded,
As clouds obscured the sun.
I think the shadow traded
My body for a better one.

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FEAR MOVES ON
By Carl Martin Johnson

Dwell not upon your fears.
Soon they will move on.
Before you cry your tears,
You will see that they are gone.

Against the dragons hold your ground.
Show them your inner strength.
If there is no weakness found,
You will keep them at arm’s length.

Be not distressed about life’s danger.
Time for that when the dragon flares.
Let anxiety be a stranger.
Concern yourself with better cares.

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THE GREAT FIRE OF OUR BEING
By Carl Martin Johnson

This life is but a spark
In the great fire of our Being,
A brief light in the dark
To illuminate our seeing.

Look back from where we came,
And forward where we’re going.
In eternity’s raging flame,
We blaze on until the Knowing.

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NOT MAGIC
By Carl Martin Johnson

It’s not magic moves the stars around,
Or sends the autumn leaves flying,
Or makes the winter storm wind sound
Like folks were out there dying.

But it’s magic sparks my dear love’s eyes,
And sings her sighs soft sweet,
Filling my heart with bright surprise
Whenever our lips meet.

Her perfumed breath enchants me,
Sets aflame my passion’s fire.
Caresses that she grants me,
Fuel white-hot my desire.

Magic is in my darling’s kiss.
Bewitching her embrace.
Pure enchantment is my bliss
When I gaze into my love’s face.

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ARM YOURSELF, GOOD MAN
By Carl Martin Johnson

Evil men must be fought,
Not cowered from in fright.
Safety must be bought
By good men who will fight.

No good hiding our eyes,
Or running to seek haven.
He who flees is he who dies
At the cruel hands of the craven.

So arm yourself, good man.
Let evildoers run in fear.
Stop them any way you can
To protect those you hold dear.

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I WANT TO BE A SHOOTING STAR
By Carl Martin Johnson

I’m watching for a shooting star.
If I’m patient I will see one.
I’m not sure exactly what they are,
But I really want to be one.

Their life is short but bright,
Spreading beauty ‘cross the sky,
Streaming white fire in the night.
What a brilliant way to die.

If I wait here long enough,
God may grant my prayer,
I hope He thinks I’m the right stuff
To join the comets way up there.

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SILVER MOON
By Carl Martin Johnson

Shine brightly, silver Moon.
Light the dark night with your smile.
We’ll both be sleeping soon,
But I’ll stay with you a while.

Bless me, my old friend.
Bathe my soul in your warm glow.
Send me dreams that never end.
Make me smile before we go.

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WALK WITH ME
By Carl Martin Johnson

Walk with me a way.
Let me hear your story.
It’s true what people say:
Each life has its glory.

I want to understand
What makes your dear heart glow.
Have the years gone as you’ve planned.
I’d really like to know.

We can compare our dreams
To see how they’re the same:
Our fantasies and schemes,
What gives us pride and shame.

As we walk and share our trust,
I pray you’ll be my friend.
For, as every journey must,
This one too will end.

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HOW A SOLDIER DIES
By Carl Martin Johnson

I woke to dawn this morning,
Streaking crimson across the sky.
I should have recognized the warning:
This was the day I’d die.

Many brothers had gone ahead.
There were few of us remaining.
We were wounded who were not dead.
No air support in the monsoon raining.

There dangled a shredded sleeve
Where my left arm used to be.
Foolish, though, to grieve,
So close to eternity.

Our medic got me high
So I could stand the pain.
I swore to fight, or try.
Looks like I swore in vain.

Then I saw them coming.
They’d fixed their bayonets.
My heart was wildly drumming.
But too late for regrets.

Now I’m staring at that dawn
With no life behind my eyes.
My soul is moving on.
This is how a soldier dies.

 
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I WRITE TO TOUCH YOUR HEART
By Carl Martin Johnson

I write to touch your heart.
My words are not for me.
My verses are not art,
Simply whirlpools on Life’s sea.
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