top of page

© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

The Rock Outside My Door
Different Points Of View
By Carl Martin Johnson

There is a rock outside my door,
An ordinary stone,
A chunk of mineral, nothing more,
Resting silent and alone.

I’ve no idea how it came to me,
How far it had to travel.
I wonder if it kept company
With friendly bits of gravel.

Perhaps it fell from a passing star
That streaked across the sky,
From a galaxy so far
It can’t be seen by human eye.

Maybe it was in David’s sling
When he faced Goliath’s wrath.
Oh, the tales this rock could sing
From its home here on my path


By Carl Martin Johnson

Hold me very near.
Chase away the shadows.
Take away my fear.
Give my tired soul repose

Life is a heavy weight.
One you must help me bear.
I can accept my fate,
As long as you are there.

And I will be your knight,
Your faithful sword and lance,
Your champion in the fight,
Your partner in life’s dance.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Reflections of good times long past
Play vivid in my head.
I wonder if these bright scenes will last,
Or fade when I am dead.

They are life’s lovely aftertaste.
Their flavor once more sweet.
Will all these visions go to waste?
Is their value my conceit?

For now I’ll just enjoy them,
While new ones I create.
And, should my death destroy them,
I won’t bemoan their fate.


By Carl Martin Johnson

At least I will not hang.
The desert has no trees.
The rest of my old gang
Are back swingin’ in the breeze.

The moon lights up the night,
Helps my good mare find her way.
The hard land flat and bright.
The cool white rivals day.

Come dawn the pack will find me.
Their scent I almost smell.
I don’t dare look behind me.
I might see the hounds of Hell.

I hear the desert sounds,
Life’s music in my ears.
Best check my pistol’s rounds,
And try to hold my fears.

They won’t bring me in.
They’ll just hurt me bad.
Then they’ll kill me for my sin.
They’re not evil, just wolf mad.

Guess I should beg the Lord,
But beggin’ ain’t my style.
I’ve lived fast and hard.
Reckon’ I will burn a while.

So I’ll just look up at that sky,
Farewell that desert moon.
All men have to die.
And my end’s comin’ soon.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Some flowers in the desert bloom,
Though the land be hard and dry.
Some bright stars pierce through misty gloom
To light the dark night sky.

Some brave men will take back the fight
When armies flee in fear.
Some in the mob will do what’s right
To keep their honor clear.

Among the blind are those who see
Far better than the sighted.
Their pathway to eternity
Is a road well-lighted.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Whisper softly to me,
Kind spirits of the night.
Send your secrets through me
And into words I write.

I have no wisdom to impart,
No talent of my own.
Your murmurs to my empty heart,
The only worth my pen has known.

The lyrics you are singing
Pass my ears into my soul.
The beauty they are bringing
Will make my verses whole.

Use me as your tool,
A tool that’s very willing.
Without you I’m a fool,
My poetry unfulfilling.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I was an angel in my dream,
Had wings and I could fly,
Gliding on a stray moonbeam
Across a starry sky.

I rose up and kissed God’s face,
Causing a Divine smile.
He caught me in his warm embrace,
And kept me there a while.

Then the Father set me free
To see if I could grow,
What sort of creature I would be,
What my mind could know.

My golden wings withered and dropped,
But a wondrous change began.
Even though my flying stopped,
I soon became a Man.

Now I must evolve alone.
God’s work with me is done.
Change’s pathway I’ve been shown.
I must see the challenge won.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I left while you were sleeping.
I did not want to wake you.
There’s a promise I’ll be keeping,
But I will not forsake you.

I knew that you would cry,
And I could not bear the sight.
I’ve tried hard to tell you why
My honor makes me fight.

You’ll be sad, I know,
But you’d not love a coward.
You always knew when called I’d go,
Or our love would not have flowered.

Look for me in the dawn
When the fighting’s done.
I’ll return to carry on
The love that we’ve begun.


By Carl Martin Johnson

In the morning light a thought was born.
Needing a mind to grow it.
A brilliant brain it would adorn,
So that all Mankind could know it.

It was important to select with care,
Or the thought would go to waste.
It must find someone who would share,
So best not choose in haste.

At last the fine thought came to rest
In the starved brain of a poet.
Though his mind was not the best,
At least his verse would show it.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Close your eyes and think of Spring
When Winter skies are gray.
Soon you’ll hear your sad soul sing,
And night will turn to day.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I looked inside to find the spark
That lies buried deep within,
The light that lifts me from the dark
Where a poet’s thoughts begin.

It lay an ember, nearly ash.
I could barely see its glow.
A far cry from the brilliant flash
It had been not long ago.

Over the coal I breathed a prayer
Until a flame was blazing bright.
Now once more I can go there
To see with poet’s sight.


By Carl Martin Johnson

You are much more than you know.
Your greatness sleeps inside.
Wake and let it show.
Live your life with pride.


By Carl Martin Johnson

We may disagree, my friend,
Have different points of view.
Don’t let that our friendship end.
Both opinions may be true.

We’ll both lose if we fight.
We should keep an open mind.
Together learn what’s right.
No need to be unkind.

Let us search as one,
United in our quest.
When our hunt is done,
We’ll know which answer’s best.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I came upon a child of God.
I looked him in the eye.
He said he thought me very odd,
But wouldn’t tell my why.

Perhaps it was the path I chose
That made me seem so strange.
I could have turned back, I suppose,
But I did not want to change.

To myself I must be true,
Though I be held in scorn.
I’ll pay what is by honor due,
And bear what must be borne.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Celebrate this breath with me,
For you are breathing, too.
If it’s the last before eternity,
We will have had our due.

For now rejoice to be alive,
And eat life bite by bite.
Let’s do more than just survive
Until our souls take flight.

The same world and time we share
While we both are living.
Allies in each other’s care,
Partners in life’s giving.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I feel life surging through me,
Like starlight in my veins.
Energy to renew me,
Set me free from mortal chains.

Of the Whole I am a part.
Together we are one.
We beat with a single heart.
Alone we are undone.

I am fused with the Great Soul,
Bonded fast yet free.
My own will I control,
But without Him I can’t be.


By Carl Martin Johnson

There is grandeur in the storm,
Wonder in its lightning.
Its breath wreaks untold harm,
But I do not find it frightening.

Its war cry is deep thunder,
Warning mankind of its wrath.
Beware those who lie under
The tempest’s roaring path.

Yet to brave men who will face it,
It bestows its mighty power.
So I stand here and embrace it.
I am not one to cower.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Ask not to tame my soul.
Only wild does it have worth.
I alone retain control
From the moment of my birth.

Like wildfire raging free,
I will burn life ‘til it ends.
The wildness that’s in me
My humanity transcends.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I breathe the morning air.
Bathe in the dawn’s fresh light.
I devour the new day’s fare,
Made rested by the night.

I am grateful to be living,
For the marvels that I see,
For all that life is giving.
I am thankful to be me.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Is it wind flowing through the trees,
Or homeless spirits passing by,
Streaming in a ghostly breeze
Of souls unprepared to die?

Do they seek a place to rest
In the cold eternal night
To hide their sins confessed
And shade them from the Light?

Do you hear them moan,
Bleak music of despair?
Captives in perdition’s zone,
Too late for redeeming prayer.


By Carl Martin Johnson

The light flashed in the moonless sky,
Like a star but twice as bright.
Very pleasing to the eye,
A jewel in the night.

In metered rhyme the blue blaze beat.
A poem to my vision.
It seemed to me a wondrous feat;
It was done with such precision.

Was it a message for mankind ,
A seminal sort of sign,
A key sent down to help us find
The cosmos’ true design?

Perhaps it was an angel’s prayer,
Singing blessings from above,
Praising the being that we share,
And offering an angel’s love.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Sing softly in my ear
Songs of love and glory.
Fill my heart with cheer
With the best of mankind’s story.

Let the words uplift me.
Raise me to a higher plane.
The verses that you gift me,
Will stay forever in my brain.

And I will sing your praise,
Give thanks for every word.
Applause for every phrase
Of beauty that I’ve heard.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I get drunk on starlight.
It inebriates my soul.
Pouring from the good night.
Drowning self-control.

My inhibitions fade.
I whirl beneath the sky.
Face demons unafraid.
Dance as ghosts pass by.

I leap into the firmament
To kiss my Maker’s face.
No worry where my spirit’s sent
In starlight’s wild embrace.


By Carl Martin Johnson

The last time I saw Sophie
She was wandering in the rain,
Her smile worn like a trophy,
Hiding all her pain.

Her face was smeared with dirt,
Her hair in disarray.
Her eyes betrayed the hurt
That would never go away.

She mumbled as she walked
To ghosts only she knew.
Day and night they stalked.
To Sophie they were true.

All she owned was in her cart,
Ragged treasures she had found.
Her world was one apart,
But to Sophie not unsound.

Sometimes the light broke through,
And she saw what she had been.
That world Sophie knew
She would never have again.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Those of us who live,
And all who’ve lived before
Take what life has to give,
And pay the death that life asks for.

Each life leaves a trace,
A mark for good or ill.
Nothing can that life replace,
Once born, nothing can kill.

Mind the steps you take.
You are more than you may seem.
Every action that you make
Creates ripples in the stream.


Hold Me
My Odd Path
Celebrate This Breath
Surging Life
Flowers In The Desert
Reflections Of Times Past
The Posse
Grandeur in the Storm
Ask Not To Tame My Soul
A Thought Was Born
Breathe The Morning Air
Whisper Softly
Homless Spirits Passing By
I Was An Angel
The Signal
Sing Softly
I Did Not Want To Wake You
Think Of Spring
Drunk On Starlight
The Last Time I Saw Sophie
Ripples In The Stream
Poet's Spark
You Are More
bottom of page