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© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

Only love endures
By Carl Martin Johnson
We must love each other.
Life’s too short to hate.
Be my sister or my brother.
We all share a mortal’s fate.
Should anger scar our heart,
Let us hold it in,
Lest words drive friends apart,
Then neither of us win.
When we breathe our last,
Only love endures.
That which we’ve amassed
The pain of dying cures.
And on the far side of the veil,
The Greatest Love will greet us.
That love will never fail.
That love will complete us.
By Carl Martin Johnson

The wind blows up a symphony
As it whirls ‘round through the trees,
Nature’s concert just for me,
To put my mind at ease.

Angels write the notes that play.
The composition stirs my soul.
The breezes that the treetops sway,
My heavy heart console.

I let the music lift me high.
It is God’s song, after all.
My spirit floats up to the sky,
And never will it fall.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Sarah’s smile lights up the night,
And adds joy to the day.
It makes all that’s wrong turn right,
And paints rainbow over gray.

When life is cold, her kind smile warms,
Chases dark clouds from the sun,
Shelters me from thunderstorms,
Gets all my battles won.

The sight of Sarah’s happy face
Gives strength for any trial.
I hold the world in fond embrace
When I see Sarah smile.
By Carl Martin Johnson
I will keep my honor whole.
That I will never lose.
Between my honor and my soul.
My honor I will choose.
By Carl Martin Johnson

I have no wisdom to impart,
No brilliant thoughts to share.
Yet my poems come from the heart.
They are my way of prayer.

My lines are sound and fury,
Most of little worth.
Time will be the jury
On the value of their birth.

The words I seek are hidden.
I hunt them with my pen.
Or they may come unbidden.
Then the magic will begin.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I’ve lost things along the way,
Things I wish I’d kept.
I knew not all that’s loved would stay,
Though when they left I wept.

I would reclaim them if I could.
They mean much to me.
But my regretting does no good.
They are gone for eternity.

There are old loves left behind,
Places I’ve deserted.
Truths I took no time to find.
Promises diverted.

Yet I have kept my honor whole.
That I will never lose.
Between my honor and my soul.
My honor I will choose.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I flew off on angel’s wings,
High up to the sky,
So I could see the earthly things
As viewed from an angel’s eye.

I found my problems very small,
Compared to all my kind,
Hardly worth a thought at all,
Very hard to find.

I saw the beauty of the earth,
Where I’d been blessed to live.
I gave thanks for my place of birth,
And what it had to give.

Then the angel set me free
To fly down on my own.
The angel wanted me to see
I always could have flown.


By Carl Martin Johnson

A soft soul passed me in the night,
Bathing me in its gleam.
I felt comfort in the light,
But thought it was a dream.

Yet I found myself awake.
The fleeting soul was real.
I reached out for curiosity’s sake
To find how it would feel.

It turned and looked into my eyes,
Sharing its spark divine.
And I saw to my surprise
The passing soul was mine.


By Carl Martin Johnson
Send me to damnation,
Murder all my kin.
To destroy my reputation
Is far the greater sin.

By Carl Martin Johnson

The wind stole the flower from my hand
And swirled it to the sky.
I could not gift it as I’d planned,
So I bid it fond goodbye.

My current love may leave me.
Hearts are sometimes broken.
My darling may deceive me.
Harsh words may be spoken.

So I pray it lands on a lovely palm
That may one day touch my cheek,
While we are sharing heartache’s balm
As new love we both seek.


By Carl Martin Johnson

This rain is a soft rain,
Falling gentle on the earth,
Washing away my heart’s pain,
Giving Spring flowers birth.

Growing new love from a dead one,
Fertilized by lonely days,
As if my old love bred one
From a soul-kissed seed that stays.

I will watch it flower
While the soft rain drops,
And cherish every hour
Until the soft rain stops.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Sing to me a melody
Of cloudless sunny skies,
Where opens the gate to eternity,
And no one ever dies.

Dry these sad tears from my face.
Give me cause to smile.
Let me once more joy embrace.
I am weary of life’s trial.

Sing, dear angels, sing to me.
Lift me with your voices.
Heaven’s ecstasy bring to me,
So that my soul rejoices.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Wake me if I sleep,
Lest I miss the nightime’s glory.
Daylight watch I keep,
But that’s only half life’s story.

Only when the sun has hidden
Do we see the bright stars burn.
Only then are moonbeams bidden,
Risen from night’s burial urn.

Sweet sounds whose source I cannot see
Fall smooth upon my heart.
I hear night spirits call to me,
Entrancing with their art.

And when dawn warns with orange glow
To raise me from the trance,
It is reluctant I will go
In leave of gentle night’s dance.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I feel a spark inside me,
A thing much more than Man,
A light to warn and guide me
As I traverse life’s Great Plan.

I look to the star-filled sky,
And drink the light they share.
So my spark’s flame will grow high
In universal prayer.

It must be a planted seed
Placed in my soul at birth,
So with growth I would take heed
That my home is not the earth.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Sunshine drive my cares away.
I need your warming light.
Come from behind the clouds and stay.
Bring day into my night.

Bathe me in your golden beams.
Wash away my sorrow.
Turn my worries into dreams
With hope for a bright tomorrow.

When night returns, as I know night must,
I will not despair.
In your return my heart will trust.
I know you’ll soon be there.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Life, give me your power.
Let me feel it surging.
My cowardice devour,
All my weakness purging.

I will brave you as a man,
The wind full on my face.
I will join the Warrior clan,
Giving no cause for disgrace.

Each day I will grow stronger
In my body and my soul,
Fearing Life no longer,
To conquer Death my goal.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I celebrate my birth,
Though its value is unknown.
I’m not certain of my worth.
I feel it’s not yet shown.

I can’t live just for me.
I must serve a cause that’s greater.
I must find what that may be,
Or to my kind be a traitor.

My soul will have no rest
Before my work is done.
I will endure the quest
Until the goal is won.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I knew things when I was young
That left me as I grew.
Many songs that I had sung,
My heart no longer knew.

Magic lived within me then,
Before I became wise,
Before I found original sin
Was just a blindfold for my eyes.

I saw beauty all around
Until my soul turned jaded.
Then I lost what I had found.
Life’s bright colors faded.

But now, as I grow old,
I see things in the dawn.
Miracles untold
I thought forever gone.


By Carl Martin Johnson

There’s a memory growing in my mind,
Of a place and time long past,
A small event I’d left behind,
One that slipped away too fast.

I see a face with clear blue eyes,
Lips parting in a smile,
A gentle kiss that, to my surprise,
Made me fall in love awhile.

Just now the picture faded.
It may never come again.
I wonder what I traded
For what I had back then.


By Carl Martin Johnson

There is a place behind a star,
Where I go in my dreams.
It really isn’t very far.
I ride there on moonbeams.

I found it when a small boy,
Stumbled on it by lucky chance.
It was a place where I found joy,
Where my lonely soul could dance.

When dragon’s breath was in the air,
And I needed then to hide.
I closed my eyes and I was there,
For my place was just inside.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I found an old key on my walk,
Covered in age-old rust.
It seemed to me to want to talk,
And I was the man to trust.

I held it gently to my ear
To better hear its story.
In my mind the words rang clear
Of a tale of love and glory.

I laughed at my imagination.
I am a silly fool.
But a poet’s inspiration
Makes use of any tool.

Then I blessed the key
For unlocking my dull mind,
And put it back beneath the tree
For another poet to find.


By Carl Martin Johnson

She moved softly in the mist,
Gossamer white robe flowing.
Did she in truth exist?
I followed for the knowing.

Body shining in mist-dimmed moonlight,
Face and figure fair.
As I moved toward her in the night,
She gave no notice I was there.

I wondered was I dreaming.
Was she wraith or real?
So perfect she was seeming,
Deep love I began to feel.

Then she turned to face me,
And I looked into her eyes.
She came slowly to embrace me
Whispering sad and eerie sighs.

She pressed a locket to my hand,
And dissolved into the mist.
Nothing I could do but stand
Staring at the picture in my fist.

Every night now I return,
Hoping she’ll appear.
For her ghostly kiss I yearn.
Love overcomes my fear.


By Carl Martin Johnson

A raindrop kissed me on the lip,
And woke me from my sleep.
Others followed, but that first drip
Is the memory I’ll keep.

I think it was an angel’s tear,
Sent to me with love,
To let me know I was held dear
By someone up above.

I licked the drop and tasted.
It was nectar angel-sweet,
A divine kiss not wasted
From an angel I’ll soon meet.


By Carl Martin Johnson

The rose stood defiant at the gate
In the charred adobe brick.
He saw the bones and knew their fate.
The vision made him sick.

The Comanche left no one alive.
Their blood thirst made them cruel.
It was hard for settlers to survive
Where the savage rule.

A family once lived in this place,
From the skeletons scattered ‘round.
The cowboy wiped tears from his face.
It was a sight better not found.

He got down and began to dig.
They’d been people lying there.
The grave would have to be damned big.
And he’d try to say a prayer.

When the cowboy got the burying done,
The red rose caught his eye.
Seemed it was the only one
In this place that didn’t die.

So he dug it up with its live roots
And planted it on the grave,
Tamping the soil down with his boots.
This flower at least he’d save.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I hear voices in the quiet,
But not with human ears.
I try, yet can’t deny it,
Nor overcome my fears.

They sing silent in the twilight,
Fleeing just before the dawn.
Spirits that deny light.
At sunrise they are gone.

They tell me secret things,
Rumors of beyond,
What the next life brings,
How the two worlds bond.

They are those dead before me
Asking why do I remain.
“Come with us,” they implore me.
“Come where there’s no pain.”

No - In this life I’ll stay,
And honor them by living,
Keeping the warrior’s way
In hope of their forgiving.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I am a Being made of Thunder,
Of Lightning and the Wind.
See me, world, and wonder.
I’ve no beginning and no end.


Life Power
My Birth
Sarah's Smile
Magic Things I Knew
I will keep my honor whole
Hunting the words
The memory
Things I Lost Along The Way
Behind a star
Angel's wings
The found key
Passing souls
Woman in the mist
My reputation
Wind flower
My raindrop
Soft rain
A rose on the high plain
Sing to me
Wake me if I sleep
Voces in the quiet
The spark inside
A being of thunder
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