© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

 
 

HIS MOTHER’S SON
By Carl Martin Johnson

She still sees a laughing child,
Though her son is a full man.
She loves him with a love beguiled,
As only a mother can.

She has worked hard to raise him.
It was not easy on her own,
To discipline and praise him,
To make right behavior known.

The day has come to send him on
To slay dragons and evil knights.
Her time to keep him safe is gone.
Now he must fight his fights.

The mother will hide well her fear.
His leaving hurts, but she is brave.
If from her eyes there falls a tear,
It will be one she’s tried hard to save.

So she beams with loving pride
At the son her work has formed,
And from the glow that spreads inside,
Her mother’s heart is warmed.

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HOW COULD YOU KNOW?
By Carl Martin Johnson

I stand in the shadows, waiting.
Hiding in the dark.
Planning, contemplating
How to make your passion spark.

How could you know my pain,
How my heart can scarcely beat,
How I grow daily more insane,
My loins aflame with lustful heat?

I watch you from life’s edges,
In the dimness, thirsty for light,
Seeing your lovers’ pledges,
As they court you in the night.

I hold back tears as they stroke you,
While they ignite your woman’s fire.
And, though the moonless black may cloak you,
I hear you succumbing to desire.

How could you know that I am dying,
Of all happiness bereft?
Your wantonness sets me crying,
But I will take whatever’s left.

Only look in my direction.
Show sympathy in your gaze.
Give me a shred of your affection,
And I will set us both ablaze.

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LAST LOOK
By Carl Martin Johnson

It was home in long past days.
When he had children and a wife.
Then a parting of the ways.
That was another life.

He stood in summer rain,
Watching the lights go on,
Trying not to cry out in pain
At what he’d had that now was gone

Strangers lived there now.
People he’d never met.
Yet he was home somehow,
The home he’d not forget.

He had slept in many places
Under God’s great starry dome.
Woke up with many faces,
But this house was always home.

He’d left it all and wandered,
Chasing adventure, seeking treasure.
The important things he’d squandered
For quick excitement, fleeting pleasure.

Now he’d fight in one last battle.
He would go to one last fight.
Hear a last time man’s death rattle.
Try to make one last wrong right.

Memories flowed through his mind,
All the good times, all the bad.
If he searched his heart he’d find
This was the only home he’d had.

When he felt the bullet sting,
When he felt the bayonet bite,
These were the thoughts he’d bring,
And it would be all right.

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SUN KISS
By Carl Martin Johnson

The Sun kissed me this morning.
She warmed me from dreams.
Brought me joy without warning.
Happiness with her beams.

 

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GOLD DUST WOMAN
By Carl Martin Johnson

There you are, my gold dust girl,
Powder glittering across your skin.
Nuggets spread wherever you whirl,
Treasured trophies of our sin.

For riches are you embraced,
Not for love or lust.
Men have often been disgraced
Betraying all to lick your dust.

You rule the realm of vice,
Luring weak and strong to Hell.
Your glittering talc the last tasted spice.
Of many damned before they fell.

Yet, when we die you leave.
You refuse to follow us beyond.
For no dead man do you grieve.
Nor to his haunting do you respond.

Avarice is your mother.
Your father’s name is Greed.
You make us want you above all other,
But you are truly not what we need.

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DARING LIFE
By Carl Martin Johnson

I dare Life to beat me.
I don’t think he can.
He cannot defeat me.
I am too much Man.

He has often tried to test me,
Throwing hazards in my way.
But he has yet to best me,
Though attacking every day.

I act weak at times to tease him,
After all, he is my friend.
Yet I only go so far to please him.
I always bounce back in the end.

He has sought to make me fear.
I brush fear aside.
It’s a weakness I don’t near,
A horse that I don’t ride.

Life knows I won’t break.
I control the reins.
The earth for me will quake.
On me Life has no chains.

Each day we go to war.
Every day I win.
Though I bear many a scar,
Where Life’s sword has been.

So, come, dear Life, and kiss me.
Warm me with your breath.
One day soon you’ll miss me,
Then my fight will be with Death.

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HUNGER
By Carl Martin Johnson

Rip the shirt from off my chest.
Sink your teeth in deep.
We have no time to rest.
This bed is not for sleep.

I will take you like a beast.
You will scream, but not with pain.
We will dine a lover’s feast.
Let our carnal desires reign.

Writhe with me in heat,
Our animal passions slake,
‘Til our mating is complete,
Our bodies full awake.

Rake your nails until I bleed.
Make me move and make me bite,
I will satisfy your need.
We will lose our souls tonight.


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EMPIRE OF LOST SOULS
By Carl Martin Johnson

The kingdom I rule has no mercy, no love.
It knows not joy, only sorrow.
It was granted this way when I was cast from above,
And will remain so every tomorrow.
My legions lie prostrate in fear,
The souls they guard moan in pain.
There is no forgiveness nor love here.
What there was will never be again.

Should you enter my city,
Neither salute me nor bow,
Nor beg me have any pity.
I’ve long forgotten how.

The stench of lost souls
Permeates sulfurous air.
They will never grow whole,
In spite of your prayer.

I reign silent in thought,
Unloved and alone.
My arrogance has bought
Hell for my home.

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THE THOUGHT  
By Carl Martin Johnson

A thought just burst inside me,
Like a comet striking Earth.
I could find no way to hide me
From the new idea’s birth.

It came a fragrant vision.
No words at all were needed.
Though I feared a dire collision,
My worries went unheeded.

Its beauty swirled around me,
Enslaving my poor soul.
As if God’s own hand had found me,
And held me in control.

Now it is my master.
It holds me in loving chains
It binds me ever faster
No struggle now remains.

It tells me I have power
To benefit my kind.
If I cultivate the flower
That it has planted in my mind.

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A WARRIOR’S BOAST  
By Carl Martin Johnson

Did I send sufficient warning
In the fighting that I’ve done
That none escape my harming
If friends of the Evil One?

In their dreams do I strike fear?
Do they tremble when they wake?
Do they cringe when I draw near,
At the lives that I will take?

When suns set in the west,
Do they crowd the meeting places
Drinking hard to put to rest
The terror that scars their faces?

Then, made brave with gold mescal,
Do they conjure schemes to kill me?
Knowing, in spite of their cabal,
It will only serve to thrill me?

Do they recall all those who died
On hearing my battle roar?
For I have angels on my side,
And ancient gods of war.

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TRANSMIGRATION OF A SOUL
By Carl Martin Johnson
 
He looked down on the field
Where his life had just ended.
It was too late to yield.
He could not now be mended.

And he saw, rent and torn,
The man he’d once been.
The man who’d been born
Full of virtue..and sin.

It was not the first time
He’d died in this manner,
Cut down in his prime,
Under some warlord’s banner.

He felt no pain now,
No regret and no sorrow,
He knew not how,
But he would live again tomorrow.

So, the blood and the smoke
That he saw down below,
And the lances that broke
Would let the dead go.

While he rose to the sky,
While his memory wakened,
He saw himself die
In each life he had taken.

All the life-lessons mixed.
He learned and grew stronger.
With his focus so fixed,
Would his next life be longer?

But Death is only a door
To be opened and grow.
To be human once more
With still more to know.

‘Til the man becomes whole
Life’s stair ascended,
And the evolution of his soul
With God’s grace has ended.

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SWEET LUST
By Carl Martin Johnson
 
Sweet lust oozes o’er me
Luscious syrup of desire.
Come, lick my loins free,
Kindle love’s fire.

Take my hands in yours,
Guide them over each mound.
Our disease has no cures,
Save what our bodies have found.

Let our mouths taste the flavor
Of the passions we make.
Each nectar drop savor,
As our rapture we take.

Come, hurry, my obsession,
Let our lovemaking begin.
Here in Eros’ possession,
No pleasure is sin.

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REVOLUTION
By Carl Martin Johnson
 
The Revolution stalks in the dark,
Waiting for her name to be called.
She circles her prey like a shark
Longing to leave tyranny mauled.

Her cat’s eyes glow a deep scarlet
With the blood she sees must be shed.
Panting hard, like Vengeance’s own harlot,
Hot with foretaste of the dead.

The tyrants who today feel immortal,
Trampling our people into the dust
Are nearing Eternity’s portal.
Where God will decide what is just.

The Revolution melds one Soul from legions,
And we await our call in the night
Summoned from all oppressed regions,
We are ready! Now we will fight!

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OFF SWITCH
By Carl Martin Johnson

If I turned off my mind,
Stopped all thought in my head,
Would God go blind?
Would the world be dead?


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STRANGERS
By Carl Martin Johnson
 
We passed on the street
And both risked a smile.
Was it for a time so sweet,
Though gone a long while?

I saw a spark in your eye
That bespoke recognition,
You slowed, but walked by
Still intent on your mission.

In how many lives past,
In what exotic lands,
Were the dice of Fate cast
Binding us with Time’s strands.

Was my sword at your throat?
Was your dagger at mine?
Did Death cast the vote
On whose widow would pine?

Or, were we lovers, perhaps,
Seeking joy as we embraced.
Until one faithless lapse
Bitter sorrow love replaced?

Did you hold me, just born,
When I cried my first wail?
And raise me to the morn,
Begging God I prevail?

It must have been true,
Many times it may be
I know it was you…
You know it was me.

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THE RED SUN
By Carl Martin Johnson
 
Below the horizon he lay waiting.
The red sun of dawn,
Silent, anticipating
The cover of night to be gone.

His kingdom is the day.
He rules heat and light.
He would show us the way
We had lost in the night.

But the price would be high:.
Burned skin and thirst.
Some of us would die.
Our brave horses first.

I watch those who followed me
By the sun’s first glowing coal
In this land that has swallowed me,
That would this day eat me whole.

Because today it will be done.
There will be no quarter given
By the hard red sun
Or the enemy we have driven.

My spear is held high
So those behind me will see.
We will not easily die,
Not men such as we.

From the earth the sun grows,
Red as wolf pack’s fresh kill,
And I see that he knows
Things that I never will.

He looks down on my life
With neither good will nor ill,
Caring not for my strife,
If I die or I kill.

I could cry out to his fire.
He would not hear my plea.
He has no needs or desire,
No love felt for me.

It will mean nothing, my death.
It will not slow his rise.
His hot fiery breath
Will still light up the skies.

Yet it is I who live longer.
Part of a great holy plan.
I may not now seem stronger,
But I am, I am Man.


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LOVE WALKS AWAY
By Carl Martin Johnson

She took one final look
As he walked slowly away.
The final page in love’s book.
She would not beg him to stay.

She lowered her eyes.
The fault was her own.
Hers were the lies
That at last were made known.

She had thought her love strong,
A thing precious and fine.
But she was not faithful long,
Lured by dance and red wine.

He had not been her first.
He would not be her last.
Still, her heart burst,
She saw her life fading fast.

Maybe, she thought, I can’t truly care.
I will always be lonely.
And no matter how often I dare,
My heart can beat for me only.

Still, she would try again.
Next time she’d be true.
Next time she would win….
….Not really, she knew.

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