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Between Sleep And Waking

© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

By Carl Martin Johnson

In the moment ‘tween sleep and waking,
There’s a strange world that I see,
With a path I will be taking
When I slip into eternity.

I’ll go down that road one dawn,
When my life’s bill comes due.
Then this world will be gone,
And the strange world will be true.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Walk boldly through this life.
It will be over quick.
Then all the joy and strife
Will seem a conjurer’s trick.

It is only preparation
For a better life in store.
Just an initiation
To what is real and nothing more.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I feel love flowing down on me,
Sweet sunshine from the sky.
The warm glow of eternity
Telling me I will not die.

I am filled with human grace,
A part of the Great Soul.
I can almost see God’s face.
Soon I will be whole.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I think I hear God’s laughter,
Though some may say it’s thunder,
Booming down from the Great Hereafter.
Does He laugh at us, I wonder.

All our foolish schemes
Must surely make him smile.
But He lets us have our dreams.
We’ll be with Him in a while.



By Carl Martin Johnson

See how this tree with leafy arms
Reaches up toward the sky,
Offering the shelter of its charms
To creatures flying by.

And here beneath its cooling shade,
I contemplate the wonder
That among the greatest things God has made
Is this tree that I lie under.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Come with me and dream.
Leave behind your sadness.
We’ll search for Heaven’s gleam,
Though some will call it madness.

Our reality will be magic.
Each day will find us blessed.
To refuse me would be tragic,
It will be our lovers’ quest.




By Carl Martin Johnson

I will sleep now and chance waking.

Perhaps I’ll stay within my dream.

It’s a chance that I am taking,

But this life is just daydream.


By Carl Martin Johnson

The evening clouds were smeared with red
Like bandage on a warrior dying.
And like the day he’d soon be dead.
No use at all in crying.

He wished that he could see the dawn,
Fresh with songbirds singing.
He knew all hope of that was gone.
No use at all in clinging.

He always knew this time would come.
He’d wondered how he’d face it.
At least he would not beg, like some.
Neither would he embrace it.

It was true that every mortal dies.
And his tired soul needed sleep.
So he’d take a breath and close his eyes.
He had destiny to keep.



(Elegy to the American Civil War)
By Carl Martin Johnson

The dark red wine of war
Soaks deep the thirsty earth
From wounds that men’s souls scar
While giving hatred birth.

From the ground thorned roses bloom,
Nourished by the warrior blood
Over land become a tomb
Where once a nation stood.

And in the dark of night
When the war gods’ lust is sated,
The dead who bore the fight
Pray it not be celebrated.

But their blood has been bled,
And men are what they are.
Only the dead, as Plato said,
Have seen the end of war.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Hope blossoms in the human heart.
Its fragrance fills the soul.
It flowers as God’s work of art
To make our being whole.

Its buds spring from a divine seed
Planted at our birth,
Nurtured by grace to fill our need
To make our lives have worth.

But, abandoned to despair,
The petals wilt and die.
So husband it with love and prayer
To reap when fear is nigh.



By Carl Martin Johnson

The rain falls gently on my face,
Like tears from angels’ eyes.
And all the scars of love erase,
Replaced with a smile’s disguise.

Now none can see my pain,
Though the fire roars deep inside.
I pray love will glow again
Before the flame has died.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Life is coursing through me,
Glowing with its might,
Bringing Day’s light to me,
Driving out the Night.

I feel the Divine Breath
Kindling the eternal in my soul,
Protecting me from Death,
Uniting me with the Whole.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Man reaches upward for a star,
Where we were given birth.
Pure starstuff is what we are,
Just resting here on earth.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Keep knocking at the door.
It will open wide one day.
Then what you’re hoping for
Will at last be on the way.

Keep your face into the wind.
Never let yourself be moved.
Be steadfast to the end.
Fate loves those with ambition proved.



By Carl Martin Johnson

What am I in this life?
Is there purpose to my being?
Why bear the pain and strife,
If no value I am seeing?

Am I important to my kind?
Am I of any worth?
Meaning I pray I’ll find
For my time here on this earth.



By Carl Martin Johnson

We pray for one more minute
At the moment of our death,
To find life’s goal and win it.
Just one more precious breath.

So we must rule each day.
Take firm charge of our fate,
Knowing not what comes our way
Until the instant is too late.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Men died in the water.
Men died on the sand.
In the face of horrid slaughter,
They obeyed honor’s command.

It is only with such men
That we have kept our nation.
Then and time again,
They deserve our celebration.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Hold me Life, befriend me.
Bless me with your embrace.
Swear Death will not end me,
Only change my living’s place.



By Carl Martin Johnson

This day is my last it seems,
But it’s the best by far.
I see clearly my best dreams,
In spite of this damn war.

It must be the smell of death,
The aroma of the end.
It’s knowing how fragile is each breath,
That makes life such a friend.

So, be there left no more days,
This final one I’ll treasure,
And before the next life’s doorways,
I’ll live this last with pleasure.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Laughter is a thin disguise
When your heart is broken.
The truth is still there in your eyes.
No words need be spoken.

But one day soon you’ll find
Happiness has come again.
Cruel fate has become kind.
Your heart will tell you when.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Life whispers secrets through the trees
To those who stop to hear.
From angels riding on the breeze
Into the soul’s own ear.

And softly as the spirits sing
Through the branches in the wind,
Hear the words the voices bring
Of life that has no end.



By Carl Martin Johnson

This moment in the world
Will never come again.
This reality unfurled
Is forever past when it has been.

I would hold it if I could.
Then never would come death,
Nor living just as good,
Only one eternal breath.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Hot desert wind sliced across his face,
But he could not stop for shade.
He was trapped by fate’s embrace,
By the choices he had made.

He saw the posse closing in.
It wouldn’t be long now.
His life was one short act of sin,
And this would be his final bow.

He’d miss cool breezes in his hair.
The raindrops on his eyes,
A woman he had loved somewhere,
The sunset as it dies.

He flinched as the first bullet hit.
The second knocked him down.
He stood and smiled but would not quit.
He’d die without a frown.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Seems Time has passed us by.
We woke to find Life gone.
Does no good to cry.
Just smile and carry on.

And with the few days that remain,
Strive to give them worth.
That it not be in vain
We were once here on this earth.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Brief shadows slid across the moon,
Shades of those who’d gone before.
The enemy’d be returning soon,
Then he would be one more.

He looked up to his brothers,
Flitting soft across the sky.
Before long he’d join the others.
He was the last to die.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Let your soul’s flowers bloom.
Add color to the world.
Let them brighten up the gloom,
Their beauty full unfurled.

Your smile will light their way,
And burn away all sorrow.
What is not good today
Will surely be tomorrow.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I walked into the quiet
To hear the voices there,
To find truth and apply it,
To make myself aware.

There angels’ wisdom found me,
Whispered secrets in my ear.
Their soft souls settled ‘round me,
But I knew I need not fear.

Then the silence broke,
And tossed me back to waking.
I had peeked beneath the cloak
Of life’s true undertaking.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Autumn wind blows through the trees,
Soft music for mankind
Breathed by angels, meant to please,
Comforting my worried mind.


By Carl Martin Johnson

The path was hidden in the wood.
I discovered it by chance.
It was hard to see from where I stood,
If I’d not caught a lucky glance.

I stepped into the brush
To get a better view,
Though I was in a rush.
I’d something else to do.

It had a well-worn starting place,
But I could not see its end,
Since step by step it left a thinner trace,
Until it disappeared beyond a bend.

I followed the path up to the winding,
Cautiously, through no real need.
I was unsure what I’d be finding,
So I reduced my speed.

Was it worry I’d be late
For the appointment I had made
That made me hesitate?
Perhaps I was just afraid.

The next day I returned
To see what I had missed.
My curiosity burned.
I could not resist.

Yet though I searched all day,
I could not find the place.
I was certain of the way.
Still, I could not find a trace.

Where the trail had led
I now would never know.
My fear I should have shed,
But I was too weak and slow.



By Carl Martin Johnson

The angel woke from a holy dream,
Dissatisfied with his lot.
Quite unhappy it would seem.
Just why he had forgot.

His kind of creature should have no fear,
For only God could kill him.
Most days he awoke with cheer,
And Divine Grace would fill him.

But, as of late, he’d become bored,
Restless in his station.
Truth was, he felt ignored,
Though top of God’s creation.

This day he would make a change.
He would undertake a coup.
The social structure he’d rearrange.
He’d be king when he was through.

He would take the Father’s throne.
That would secure his fame.
Then Paradise would be his own,
And Lucifer would be his name.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I kissed a cloud as it passed by,
Reaching upward with my mind,
Floating swiftly to the sky,
Leaving earthly cares behind.

With cool softness it caressed me,
Soothing away my fears,
Calming all that distressed me,
Exchanging raindrops for my tears.


By Carl Martin Johnson

This life is a wondrous dream.
We must not take it for granted.
Things may not be what they seem,
Yet each day dawns enchanted.

Make the dream your own.
Hold it close and cherish.
Before the bird has flown.
Before your chances perish.



By Carl Martin Johnson 

Wrap yourself in life.
She is the only faithful lover.
Take her as your wife,
And her wonders you’ll discover.


A Soldier's Last Day
Initiation To Reality
Disguised Heart
Love Flowing Down
Life Whispers
God's Laughter
This Moment In The World
The Wonder Of This Tree
Hot Desert Wind
Come And Dream
Chance Waking
Passed By Time
Red Clouds At Dying
Ghost Moon
Soul Flowers
Red Wine Of War
In The Quiet
Hope Blossoms
The Disappearing Path
Angel Tears
Life Courses Through Me
The Angel Waking
Do I Have Purpose
Cloud Kiss
One More Minute
A Wondrous Dream
Omaha Beach
Wrap Yourself In Life
Hold Me Life
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