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© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

I Am My Past
Softly Sing Your Song

By Carl Martin Johnson

My past is still a part of me.
It never goes away.
All the things I used to be,
I am yet today.

The future may well see me grow,
Or become a lesser man.
Only the present can I know
And be the best I can.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I cry out in the night
From the pain that tears my soul.
My wounds borne from the fight
Can never be made whole.

I hear screams and cries.
I see pain-contorted faces.
For every man who dies,
I pray God to change places.

When the sun sets and I sleep,
I kill and kill again.
And in my dreams I weep.
It’s a battle I can’t win.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Spring sunshine flows down golden,
Bathing dead earth with its glow.
Leaving all mankind beholden
For flowers soon to grow.

It warms my wintered heart,
Drives off the blizzard’s cold.
Life has a renewed start
With Spring sunshine’s precious gold.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I feel the new day call to me,
Shouting it has joy to share.
The beauty offered is all free.
The price only a prayer.

Birds sing me a serenade.
Their music fills my heart.
All sad thoughts must be delayed
With this day’s happy start.

I’ll be thankful for this day
Until it greets the night.
And when the stars come out to play,
That, too, will be all right.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I see Cloud Rider flying,
Hurling lightning in the sky.
I hear his warsong crying,
Warning demons they will die.

Herds of red-eyed devils fleeing,
Stampeding before Cloud Rider’s spears.
Cloud Rider is the being
Born of every demon’s fears.

Hear the thunder crack
As each monster screams and dies.
But the swarm dare not look back.
Cloud Rider rules the skies.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Find someone to hold you,
To give you comfort in the night,
Whose love you feel enfold you
When the world fills you with fright.

Treat that love with care.
They are human just like you.
Then both of you can share
The good and bad life puts you through.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Dreams show many truths to me.
I find secrets there.
Things that awake I cannot see,
In sleep I’m made aware.

I arise with what I’ve learned,
That each night dreams reveal.
I take the knowledge, though unearned,
From the dream world to the real.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I’ll never find that time again.
It’s dissolved into the past.
I can’t return to what has been.
It’s only dreams that last.

But the memories still warm me,
When life’s harsh winds blow cold.
The youthful visions sent to charm me,
Never will grow old.


By Carl Martin Johnson

In the light ‘tween night and day,
Freed spirits roam the earth.
They dance, cavort and play,
And give strange creatures birth.

They circle ‘round and call my name,
But I’m held back by my fear.
One day I’ll join their game.
For now I’ll not go near.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I clasped him close and warm,
Like a lover in the night.
But I sought to do him harm,
To be victor in the fight.

I pressed my lips against his cheek,
As my fighting knife found his heart.
His death I did not seek,
But this war I did not start.

His breath whispered past my ear
Like a lover’s dying vow.
Once a mother held him dear.
Cold death held him now.

His eyes rolled and grew dim.
I cried at what I’d done.
Though it had been me or him,
I knew I had not won.


By Carl Martin Johnson

How will I share my verses,
When at last I sleep,
The blessings and the curses
That in my grave I keep?

Perhaps I’ll haunt a friendly mind
And write my words as his own.
But a poetic soul may be hard to find
Who will take my verse on loan.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Flee swiftly from the memory.
Flee swiftly to tomorrow.
Forget heartache and tragedy.
Escape the cruel sorrow.

Leave sadness in the past.
Do not look back in woe.
Tearful visions will not last.
So let all wrong guilt go.

A fresh new day awaits.
Let it fill your heart.
We all can change our fates.
Each day is a new start.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I am tired and soon must sleep.
I cannot carry on.
There is an appointment I must keep
The other side of dawn.

Under copper sky I will lay me down
To watch my day recede,
While I dress my soul in the earth’s Spring gown,
And see my spirit freed.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Sparkling winedrops drown me.
Bring my sad heart forgetting.
The sorrow that weighs down me
I spend my days regretting.

Love lost is gone forever
With no hope to regain.
Our souls will rejoin never.
I must learn to bear the pain.

The wine will bring me dreams,
Soothing opiate to my heart,
Making life bearable, or so it seems
‘Til love finds a new start.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Hold me close, sweet night.
Guard me from the day.
I want no bright sunlight
To guide my enemy’s way.

Spread wide now your soft dark
To comfort and to cover.
Until the new day’s spark,
You, night, will be my lover.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Visions echo in my memory
Of paths I did not take,
Of lives lost for eternity
From dreams that did not wake.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Today I breathed life deep.
I filled my lungs with living
To rouse my soul from sleep
And take what life is giving.

From now I will be bold,
Treat being as my friend,
Throw off all self-doubt’s hold,
And eat life until my end.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Softly sing your song.
Tell the world your truth.
Life will not last long.
Even shorter is your youth.

As you age, you must grow wise,
Lest your final days be wasted.
A good man shares before he dies
The best of life he’s tasted.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Make this life your friend.
Take all that it will give.
Soon your life will end,
‘Til then make sure you live.



By Carl Martin Johnson

All life stories end.
Leaves turn gold and fall.
Farewelling a dear friend
Is the hardest time of all.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Wildflowers whisper their perfume
Over the meadow’s sweet Spring grass,
Chasing the last of Winter’s gloom
So fresh new thoughts can pass.

I spread myself upon the ground
Where the earth’s heartbeat I feel.
Then at last I know I’ve found
The soul of life that’s real.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Our days on earth are numbered.
They should not go to waste.
Lest life pass us while we slumbered.
Enjoy it fully but not in haste.

Savor every minute.
Not one will return.
Taste each day and all that’s in it.
You will grow from what you learn.

When your sun is setting,
You’ll be ready for the night,
Without your soul regretting
Taking too small a bite.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I’ve left much of me behind,
Whole pieces of my soul.
What I’ve lost I cannot find.
Will I never more be whole?

But my life is not yet through.
I can heal me if I try.
Grow back as good as new.
There’s time before I die.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I’ll be leavin’ by the back road
When dawn spits out first light.
I’ll carry just a pack load.
I aim to travel light.

I’ve stayed here for too long.
There’s a heart now I’ll be breaking.
I sang a sweet love song,
But its promise I’m forsaking.

A man like me don’t keep.
We’re always movin’ on.
I’ll be there when you sleep.
When you wake you’ll find me gone.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Walk with me awhile.
Share my hopes and dreams.
Grace me with your smile,
More enchanting than moonbeams.

You fill my heart with cheer,
Give me strength to face the day,
Make me feel that God is near.
So please don’t go away.

We will rest when you are tired,
Your head upon my chest.
I’ll write poems you’ve inspired,
And we’ll know that we are blessed.


By Carl Martin Johnson

This tree I planted as a boy.
Now it towers high.
It will bring many people joy
For long after I die.

Beneath its boughs I came to pray
When life had worn me down.
I always seemed to find the way
Gazing up at its leafy crown.

Its birdsong choir uplifted me,
Carrying me to Heaven’s gates,
Letting me glimpse eternity,
Showing what joy awaits.

And now my sun is setting,
I’ve come here once again,
For I am not forgetting
What a friend this tree has been.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Rise up! Rise up singing!
Freedom is on its way.
The hope that we are bringing
Is in our land to stay!


By Carl Martin Johnson

Sleepers will awake.
They will find the truth.
Right pathways they will take
Before mankind spends its youth.

Then all men will find
The reason we are here.
And why only with our mind
Is life’s vision clear.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Each dawn he strolled with his guitar,
That had not a single string.
People came from near and far
To hear the deaf boy sing.

His fingers strummed the instrument,
Though it made not a sound.
Yet somehow great good cheer was sent
To the audience all around.

One day the boy was blessed
By a saint who happened past.
He crossed the deaf child’s breast,
And the boy was cured at last.

Then he gave his guitar strings.
He played them well and loud.
He sang of many things.
And at first drew quite a crowd.

But his audience grew thin,
Nothing like it was before.
The magic that had been
Was in his songs no more.

Soon the boy stopped playing.
His music gave no joy.
Every morning found him praying
To be again the town’s deaf boy.

One day the boy was gone.
No more music in the town.
Only silence in the dawn.
No magic was around.

When the saint one day returned.
His happy miracle now made him sad.
It was the saint who learned
That to fix things can be bad.


By Carl Martin Johnson

He sat his pony in the dawn.
He’d not see many more.
The trail was ending he was on.
He could feel time’s closing door.

Life he chewed and swallowed.
He spat nothing out.
But the hard path he had followed,
He rode without a doubt.

This hunt would be his last one.
It was time for him to rest.
He no longer was a fast gun,
Despite the tin star on his chest.

He turned to look behind him.
His posse was far back.
Well, they’d just have to find him.
He couldn’t lose the outlaws’ track.

Then the first shot found him.
He jumped down and drew his gun.
There were bandits all around him.
But the old cowboy would not run.


By Carl Martin Johnson

These autumn leaves I’ll give to you.
Their beauty strikes my heart.
The colors are both deep and true.
Masterpiece of God’s art.

Soon they will fall and leave trees bare,
Nature’s wonder lost in sleep.
But spring’s new buds are waiting there,
Life’s promises to keep.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Put your ear down to the earth.
Hear its anguished breaths
As it constantly gives birth
To make up for its deaths.

The earth is a live being,
With a body and a soul.
But Man is overseeing.
It needs us to make it whole.

I Cry Out In The Night
Friend Life
Spring Sunshine
New Day's Call
Numbered Days
Cloud Rider
Lost Pieces Of My Soul
Back Road Man
Find Someone
Walk With Me Awhile
Days Long Gone
Farwell To A Tree
In The Soft Light
Close Quarters Kill
Rise Up
Sleepers Awake
Poems From My Grave
The Deaf Boy's Music
Flee From The Memory
The Other Side Of Dawn
The Old Cowboy
Sparkling Winedrops
Hold Me Close, Sweet Night
Autumn Bouquet
Echos Of Visions
Earth Alive
Breathe Life
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