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© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

Old Man's Eyes
The Crossing
By Carl Martin Johnson

I looked into the old man’s eyes
And saw a lifetime there.
Pain and joy had made him wise,
His every breath a prayer.

He was smiling in unfocused gaze
At sights beyond this earth,
Mystic wonders that amaze,
Giving Man’s existence worth.

I dropped a few coins in his bowl,
And his ancient eyes spoke to me.
The old man’s vision was through his soul.
He was blind but he could see.


By Carl Martin Johnson

A stranger smiled at me today,
A man I did not know.
He just continued on his way,
But it made my sad heart glow.

I wondered why he was so kind,
Why he’d shared his joy with me,
What happy thoughts were in his mind,
That his joyful face set free.

What a better place the world would be,
If once every little while,
Like the stranger gave to me,
All mankind shared a smile.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Dawn wind blow your joy to me.
Refresh me for the day.
Scatter the night’s misery.
Chase sadness away.

Bring scents of morning flowers.
Let me breathe their soft perfume,
And use your soothing powers
To wash me free of gloom.

Kiss the sun awake.
Only then is your work done.
Another fine daybreak.
Another day begun.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Walk softly past my window.
Don’t wake me from my sleep.
Dreams are the only life I know.
In their kind arms I keep.

Waking would bring sadness,
Harsh memories to my heart,
That thrust me toward madness,
And tear my soul apart.

So leave me to my sleeping.
Only then do I find peace.
In slumber my life’s keeping
Only there does my pain cease.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Don’t let your dreams burn out,
Like fireflies in the mist,
Extinguished by self-doubt,
Unable to exist.

Let hope fuel the dwindling flame,
Fan it bright inside your heart.
All your young ideas reclaim.
Don’t let them fall apart.

For your dreaming is your soul.
It’s your dreams that give you worth.
Without your dreams you are not whole.
They are the reasons for your birth.


By Carl Martin Johnson

We are a tear from Heaven’s eye.
Only here when angels cry.


By Carl Martin Johnson

A happy memory saved me,
Kept me from black despair,
From the gloom that had enslaved me
Deep within depression’s lair.

It took only a thought
To brighten up my day.
The happiness it brought
Chased my tears away.

Now I save all joyful scenes
To recall when I am down.
They are unfailing means
Of smiling past a frown.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Let me dream of magic things,
Of colors pure and bright,
Of the golden harp that sings,
Bringing music to the night.

Fill my sleep with happiness.
Leave no room for sorrow.
May kind angels stoop to bless,
And guide me to tomorrow.

When in the new dawn’s glow I rise,
Revived by sleep’s embrace,
I pray all day I’ll visualize
My sweet dreaming place.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Between pages of the book
Hid petals firmly pressed,
And a faded photo someone took,
For a memory she blessed.

She’d forgotten the boy’s name.
He’d left town years ago.
But she’d loved him just the same,
As far as young loves go.

There was sparkle in her eyes,
Eyes that had grown dim.
Now old age was her disguise.
She supposed the same of him.

Memory gave life to the flower.
In her heart love bloomed again.
But she could not bring back the hour
Of splendor that had been.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I am part of all Mankind,
And all are part of me,
Born of the Great Mind,
To share eternity.

If I do another man ill,
The wound is mine in part.
It is my own soul that I kill,
A dagger to my heart.

But when I embrace a friend,
Or help him to his feet,
I feel my torn heart mend,
My soul become complete.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Trees whip wildly in the wind,
Heralding great storm.
Vast destruction they portend,
Warning the world of coming harm.

Leaves sent whirling through the air,
Like huge green flakes of snow,
Scattered without care
On the trembling ground below.


By Carl Martin Johnson

What a treasure is a friend,
Someone to share your joy,
Whose affection will not end,
Whose love time can’t destroy.

When life is hard to bear,
And the world has let you down,
A true friend will be there
To make a smile from your sad frown.

Treat your friend in kind,
Lest you lose him on the way.
A friend is hard to find,
But if you’re loyal he will stay.

By Carl Martin Johnson

And now the circle closes.
I am back where I began.
The music life composes
Has played long as it can.

I will soon enjoy rebirth
To the Mind from whence I came,
Returned with greater worth
Earned playing living’s game.

When my next life I dream,
It will be with soul evolved,
More tuned to the Great Scheme,
Closer to the Riddle solved.

By Carl Martin Johnson

Slip past me, angel breath.
Let me smell your sweet perfume.
Your aroma takes me far past death.
Eternity is my tomb.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Turn your sad face to the sun.
Feel its warmth and cheer.
Your race is not yet run.
Many hearts still hold you dear.

Hold on until tomorrow.
It will be a brighter day.
You will forget your sorrow.
I will chase your tears away.


By Carl Martin Johnson

There is a place ‘tween life and death
Where tired souls stop to rest.
There it breathes one last mortal breath,
And prepares for the final quest.

From this point there is no return.
The mortal coil is gone.
There will be a new life to learn
Beyond the eternal dawn.

They look back once to say goodbye,
Though none alive can hear.
Those they love will have to die
To once more be near.

When at last the time has come
To pass through eternity’s door,
The soul will see what it’s become
And regret death no more.


By Carl Martin Johnson

The moments of life are fleeting,
Flakes of snow that quickly melt,
Passing by without repeating,
Leaving memories barely felt.

Look for what’s behind it,
The reason for your being.
Try and you will find it.
Then embrace what you are seeing.


By Carl Martin Johnson

From the instant when we die,
We are unchained from time’s dimension.
This thought, though we try,
Is beyond our comprehension.

That moment, defying measure,
May be eternity,
But such awareness would be treasure
Only the soul can see.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Slip past me, silent ghost.
I have no wish to greet you.
I will not be your host,
Nor take the time to meet you.

Only mortals do I fear,
Not some foolish specter.
I give you warning to stay clear.
I’ve an angel as protector.

In me you strike no terror.
As a phantom you fall short.
You’ve chosen me in error.
Now this haunting please abort.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Morning brings the whippoorwill
To rouse me from my bed.
I listen to his joy until
I can face the day ahead.

All day the bird’s sweet song endures.
Its beauty soothes my mind.
My fears the soft sung music cures,
Lets me leave my doubts behind.

At night once more before I sleep,
I recall the bird’s sweet song.
And for comfort in my dreams I keep
The melody all night long.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I walked this path some years ago,
When I was so much younger.
Since that time I’ve come to know
What best feeds my soul’s hunger.

Now I see with older eyes,
More able to find truth.
More traveled, yet not truly wise,
More aware than in my youth.

I find great beauty in these trees,
And the pale blue sky above them.
Sounds of songbirds sent to please,
And my human heart to love them.

But the finest things I cannot see,
Though I know that they are there.
Forged by the Hand that created me,
And made my life a prayer.


By Carl Martin Johnson

He’d not been very long dead
When I came upon the fight.
The enemy had fled.
I heard them running in the night.

I knew him from before,
Though I’d never heard his name.
Now he lay in bloody gore,
Victim of war’s horrid game.

I stopped to give him aid,
But he was beyond pain
From the curse mankind had made
When Abel fell to Cain.

I envied him his peace.
He was done with war.
For him killing would cease,
No more wounds would scar.

He had met the beast.
He had passed the trial.
In my mind at least,
I saw that dead man smile.


By Carl Martin Johnson

If you and I had not been born,
Would the world have empty spaces?
Would mankind our absence mourn,
Or simply fill our places?


By Carl Martin Johnson

I feel you, God, within.
You make my life a prayer.
All I’ll be and all I’ve been
Is because you’re dwelling there.


By Carl Martin Johnson

We howled wildly as we fought,
Like wounded wolves at bay.
We’d win or die where we were caught.
We could not get away.

Our barrels glowed bright hot.
Blood flew from combat knives.
There was no time for thought.
Instinct ruled our lives.

When night fell as brief shield,
Each man kept fear alone.
Silence swept the field,
Save for the wounded’s moan.

But in the dark they’d come again.
Though tired, we dared not sleep.
To live we had to win,
And we had promises to keep.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Moonlight, soothe my soul.
Bathe me in your glow.
Wash me and console
When worldly worries grow.

Your creamy warmth I’ll swallow
To cleanse my heart of sorrow,
Filling where it is hollow
With bright thoughts of tomorrow.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I knelt beside him while he died.
I couldn’t let him die alone.
A lesser man would have surely cried.
He sat still without a moan.

He stared at things I could not see,
Far past the jungle’s sky,
Coming to set his tired soul free,
To help a brave man die.

He knew his wound was mortal.
He knew he had not long.
He was near to Heaven’s portal.
This was the last day of his song.

He turned to me and smiled.
Now he would let go.
His warrior soul was reconciled.
Soon the Truth he’d know.



By Carl Martin Johnson


I began inside your womb.

There I grew my soul.

That is where I felt life bloom,

Where the parts of me came whole.


You gave me loving care,

A mother’s glowing pride.

When needed you were there.

That did not stop when you died.

I feel you in the night,

Just before I go to sleep.

Then I know I’ll be all right.

A mother’s promises you’ll keep.



By Carl Martin Johnson

The mystic gazes into the night,
Seeing things of beauty there,
Things meant only for his sight,
Things he cannot share.

Forever he will watch alone,
Save for others of his kind.
Held prisoner by what he’s been shown.
Trapped by Eternal Mind.


Fleeting Life
The Shared Smile
New Wind At Dawn
We Are A Tear From Heaven's Eye
Eternal Instant
The Failed Haunting
Walk Softly Past My Window
Save Your Dreams
The Path Better Seen
I Am Part Of All
A Saving Memory
Dead Man's Smile
Dream Magic
The Dried Flower
If You And I Had Not Been Born
Like Wounded Wolves At Bay
The Circle Closes
Storm Coming
Soothing Moonlight
The Treasure That Is A Friend
Waiting At The Gate
The Mystic
Angel's Breath
Face The Sun
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