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© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

Cycle of life
Step lightly past my door
By Carl Martin Johnson

Soon Summer will be ending,
And Fall will paint the trees,
Leaves red and orange blending,
Until lost in Winter’s freeze.

Then Spring will bloom again.
The cycle will go on.
Life will never end.
Every night will spawn a dawn.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Do not make hate your friend.
It will destroy your soul.
It will lead you to an end
That you cannot control.

Hate makes a strong man weak,
Turns a good man bad.
Should vengeance be what you seek
It will only leave you sad.

Do not swallow your ill will.
Chew it up and spit it out.
Lest the taste drive you to kill,
And it can, there is no doubt.


By Carl Martin Johnson

They dragged him from the jail.
He was bloodied but defiant.
Their cruelty would fail
To make this man compliant.

His innocence did not matter.
The mob would satisfy their hate.
His tormentors’ mindless chatter
Made him certain of his fate.

He saw the hanging tree
With the noose there that would end him.
At least death would set him free.
Then eternity would friend him.

As he dangled from the rope,
He fixed on the single kindly face.
It was enough to give him hope
For his barbarous human race.


By Carl Martin Johnson

There are but few who lead,
Who brave the enemy fire.
With no regard to their own need,
They are the heroes that inspire.

It is they who give their blood.
It is they who give their lives.
They who dam the tyrant’s flood,
So our great land survives.

Salute them when they pass.
Without them we’d be lost.
They are our warrior class.
They bear the battle’s cost.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I saw a love I did not know.
She passed me on the street.
I really should have said hello.
I should have tried to meet.

I often held her in my arms
A few lifetimes ago.
She once blessed me with her charms.
At least my heart tells me so.

Then she had a different face.
Yet her blue eyes were the same.
I felt both our souls in warm embrace
Re-ignite my deep love’s flame.

But I let her walk on by,
Just as I’ve done before.
My faint heart still makes me cry.
Guess I’ll wait a lifetime more.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I watched her as she slept,
Bent down and breathed her breath,
Inhaled her secrets kept,
In that temporary death.

I would have joined her in her dreams,
If only she would have let me,
Tied her fast with soft moonbeams
So she could not forget me.

But I dared not wake her,
Tear her from her dream-blessed sleep.
Wherever the night might take her,
A lover’s watch I’d keep.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I saw hope fly by.
I reached out, but too late.
Yet I will never cry,
Or resign myself to fate.

Though life may not be fair,
Self-pity is for the weak.
I’ll not surrender to despair.
I will find the strength I seek.

Hope will come again.
It is blooming in my heart.
With courage, its strong twin,
I’ll give life another start.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Johnny-boy died well.
That’s what the letter said.
Still, in Heaven or in Hell,
My Johnny-boy was dead.

They said I should be proud.
Deep down I guess I was.
For now I’ll cry out loud,
Like every mother does.

Johnny-boy was my baby,
Too young to go to war.
I’ll stop hurting maybe,
But that day is very far.

What makes us humans fight?
Why must we always kill?
We know that it’s not right,
And yet we always will.

I have his medal on my wall.
That cannot replace him.
I must realize after all,
I will never again embrace him.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Treasure first love’s flame,
For one day it will die.
You will not know who to blame,
Nor the certain reason why.

First kisses taste most sweet.
First passion burns the strongest.
Of all loves you may greet,
Its memory will last longest.

And when age takes its toll,
First love still lights a smile.
Sweet recollections will console,
Burning warm again awhile.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Her tempest swirls around me,
Setting all my soul afire.
Passion’s burning storm has found me,
Roaring hot with my desire.

Love hunger rules my days.
Carnal fervor owns the night.
My body writhes ablaze
With lust I cannot fight.

I am captured in her spell.
Tied fast in bonds of pleasure.
She’s an angel straight from hell,
But a demon whom I treasure.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Somewhere in the night,
A sad soul cried in pain.
I could feel death’s looming bite,
And hear the life force drain.

It moaned a funeral dirge,
Begging surcease of sorrow.
Bereft of living’s urge
To see a new tomorrow.

Ears rang with the despair,
Sound of man by God deserted.
A desperate forlorn prayer
That anguish had perverted.

By dawn the wail had faded.
Thick silence flowed back in.
Life had been persuaded
To let eternity begin.


By Carl Martin Johnson

The river swirled and raged.
To swim it was to die.
Like watery demons full enraged,
It challenged me to try.

The far bank was obscured
By a dense fog near opaque.
Yet a dim glow behind it lured
Fools like me the risk to take.

What treasure was there hidden?
What adventure lay concealed?
What delights forbidden
To the brave would be revealed?

But I could not take the dare.
I found the risk too great.
I left the treasure there,
And bowed to a coward’s fate.

 By Carl Martin Johnson

Autumn sun soft glows,
Warms gently my deep dreams,
As if somehow it knows,
How sweet to me life seems.

By Carl Martin Johnson

Step lightly past my door.
Do not disturb my sleep.
I dream on Heaven’s shore
Of promises to keep.

I move ‘tween Life and Death.
I make my home in both,
Breathing Man and Angel breath
To guide me in my growth.

So leave me to my rest
That Life’s riddle I may solve,
And on this sacred quest,
May my soul evolve.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I was older when my mother died.
I was angry that she left.
All her other children cried.
I saw her death as theft.

She had no right to go away.
I needed her down here.
She should come back to stay.
Mother, can you hear!

Sometimes at night I hide my tears
And imagine her kind face.
Both man and boy she calmed my fears
With a mother’s warm embrace.


By Carl Martin Johnson

The world was an illusion.
She knew it was not real.
She ignored outside intrusion,
Trusting just what she could feel.

She was still a beauty in her mind.
People’s taunts were wrong.
The audience had always been so kind
At the encores of her song.

Soon she would return
To the joyful days of youth.
She had no concern.
In her soul she knew the truth.

She smiled and pushed her cart,
Ignoring the derision.
She knew deep in her heart
That hers was the true vision.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Reach inside for joy.
Do not fall defeated.
Despair will soon destroy
And leave your soul depleted.

You will find joy within.
It never fully leaves you.
Soul joy has always been
A cure when heartache grieves you.

Every dawn rejoice.
Let the sunglow fill you.
Make happiness your choice,
And being alive will thrill you.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Will you be here in the morning?
Will I turn and find you gone?
Will you leave me with no warning?
Will I be lonely in the dawn?

If so, I’ll not chase you,
But I will not forget
The joy it was to embrace you,
And thank God that once we met.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I hear words unspoken,
Burning deep into my mind.
Emotions they have woken
Are those I rarely find.

They call me to remember
My time of angel birth,
When my soul was just an ember,
Long before I came to earth.

One day I’ll return
To the place where I began.
Until then I will learn
What it is to be a man.


By Carl Martin Johnson

This day will be my friend.
I will treat it like a brother.
For on this day I might end.
There may not be another.

I will treat it with respect.
From the first rays of the sun,
No kindness I’ll neglect,
Nor good will to anyone.

And if I live ‘til night,
I will kneel and pray
That come the new dawn’s light
I’ll be blessed with another day.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Come and lift my heart.
Rescue me from sadness.
Hurry, do your part
To deliver me from madness.

You can lift this gloom,
Scatter clouds hiding the sun,
Make my soul’s flowers bloom,
Only you, my darling one.

I await your loving smile
To make my dark soul glow.
I will get through this trial
With your kind help, I know.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Stand fast against the wind.
Prove that you are stronger.
Though it seem to have no end,
Your will shall last far longer.


By Carl Martin Johnson

This world is an illusion.
What our eyes see is not real.
We are seduced by a delusion
Our mortal mind will not reveal.

We must reach into our soul.
Therein lies the key.
Hidden there the truth is whole.
What it means to be.

Some night in a dream
We may glimpse another realm.
Pure magic it will seem
And your soul overwhelm.


By Carl Martin Johnson

He rode slow in the desert sun,
Praying for the night.
He knew soon he would be done.
He had no more will to fight.

He’d lost his hat in the hard chase,
But he’d lost the posse, too.
The horse he rode had won the race,
But now he was near through.

The lawmen would not stop.
They’d rest then start again.
He was about to drop.
This game he would not win.

He saw a boulder up ahead,
At its side a slice of shade.
He had to cool or he’d be dead.
He was beginning fast to fade.

So he sat down in the dirt
And closed his weary eyes.
His whole body hurt.
This was an outlaw’s prize.

When he woke he saw bleached bones,
Part dressed in tattered clothes,
Buzzard-scattered among the stones,
Hat over skull in dead-man’s doze.

The outlaw only smiled.
He’d be like that soon enough.
When a cowboy turned out wild,
His life would turn out tough.

He took the hat from the skull,
Pulling slowly to his feet.
At least life hadn’t been dull,
No matter what end he’d meet.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I will walk beside you,
Protect you in the night.
If you stumble, I will guide you.
Your dragons I will fight.

With me you’ll have no fear.
I’ll help you to be brave.
You’ll always have me near,
From now until the grave.

Put your trust in me.
I will never fail you.
Nor will I ever flee
Though demons may assail you.

Now, friend, let’s begin.
We will make this world our own.
Every battle we will win,
And you’ll never be alone.


By Carl Martin Johnson

If you want me, I am near.
Close your eyes and feel me.
I will bring you cheer.
My love will reveal me.

And when you lie to sleep,
Know that I stand guard.
This promise I will keep:
All things evil will be barred.



Mother's death
The lynch mob
Beauty in her mind
Our warriors
A love I did not know
Will you be here in the morning
Silent words
My love sleeping
This day
I saw hope fly by
Lift my heart
Johnny-Boy died well
Stand against the wind
First love's flame
This illusion
My love's tempest
The hat
Sad soul crying
I will walk with you
The river's dare
I am near
Autumn sun
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