© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

 
 

BUTTERFLY

By Carl Martin Johnson

He fluttered in, bright vibrant hued,
Resting delicately on her arm,
As if in search of a lover long pursued,
Seeking by his beauty her to charm.

His comeliness did match her own.
Creating a magnificent pair.
Both had an inner light that shone.
Both were exceeding fair.

She took him on her finger,
Lifting slowly to her face.
She felt their gazes linger.
She felt their hearts embrace.

Was he in former life her lover?
Was that why she felt so near?
Her mind searched to discover
Why they held each other dear.

He rose on quivering wings,
Brushing briefly her full lips.
Tiny kisses, sweet love stings
From the silk of his wingtips.

He hovered for a beat,
Though he knew he could not stay.
What they’d had was love complete,
But it was from another day.

 

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P.O.W.
By Carl Martin Johnson

This cage will not hold me forever.
Someday I will break free.
Then that goddamned guard will rue the day
He used his boots on me.

I don’t know how long I’ve been here.
Maybe a year or two.
Sometimes I kind of forget things,
But I’ll never forget you.

I kissed you at my embarkation.
I thought I’d be gone a year.
Sure as hell never thought,
I’d end up in a place like here.

I was almost twenty when I left.
I sure hope you’re still waiting.
Guess I shouldn’t expect too much
We’d barely started dating.

I’ll get back home quick as I can.
Then I’ll take you dancing.
I know I’m not great though
At all that smooth romancing.

Damn! Here he comes
With a bowl of that rotten shit.
I’ll force it down so I don’t starve,
But I can’t look at it.

I used to think of home sometimes.
Now I really can’t remember.
Only swimming in summertime
And Christmas in December.

They laugh at me, these scrawny guards.
They think that I won’t make it.
Bet they will die before I do.
I’ll show them I can take it.

My leg is nearly healed.
Soon I’ll be able to run.
Then I will show these bastards
Just how a war is won.

I’ll come back and free my friends.
Kill all these bastards dead.
Meantime I’ll run off when I can,
If only in my head.

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THE FOOL
By Carl Martin Johnson

The Fool sits in the shade,
While I work in the sun.
I often want to trade.
Maybe he’s the lucky one.

But I see his eyes are dim.
No glow of life inside.
Must be hard to be like him,
Unless he’s just found a place to hide.

I’m in the tropic heat all day,
A machete in my hand.
Working hard for little pay.
It’s not the life I’d planned.

I watch the fool sit and doze,
Aguardiente in his hand.
I am better off I suppose.
Although my life is not really grand.

He just sits as people pass by,
Dropping coins into his cup.
Not a bad way to get by.
No need even to wake up.

I drop a coin for kindness’ sake
Into his battered tin.
He looks up, gives me a wink,
And tries to hide a grin.

Now in his eyes I see a gleam.
Sparkling happy as can be.
Maybe things aren’t as they seem.
Is he the fool….or me?

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SOMETHING IN THE AIR
By Carl Martin Johnson

I felt it on first opening my eyes.
In the air was something electric.
An ordinary day, but in disguise.
Something secret, something hectic.

Today I know will be that day
When my whole life will change.
It’s been mostly hard all this way.
Now life is going to rearrange.

No more sleeping in the gutter.
No more eating off the floor.
From now on it’s rolls with butter,
And “Yes, I will have some more.”

I’ve got an angel on my shoulder.
I’ve got Heaven on my side.
Every minute I’m getting bolder.
Here I come! Better open wide!

I don’t know what I’ll be winning.
But winning I will be.
If happiness is sinning,
I’m doomed for eternity.

If you want come on along.
Just don’t stand there in my way.
‘Cause, by God, I’m feeling strong.
There’s something in the air today!

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A PLEA TO PASSION
By Carl Martin Johnson

Passion you are golden.
That came as a surprise.
I thought you might be emerald green,
Like the color of my darling’s eyes.

This is not our first encounter.
I’ve nodded to you before.
But we’d scarcely made acquaintance
When you flew out the door.

I pray this time it’s different,
That you stay and keep me true.
This woman is the love I need.
It all depends on you.

I know that you might leave.
You are too wild to control.
If so I would forever grieve.
You would take with you my soul.

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MR BOSLEY’S TIME
By Carl Martin Johnson

Mr Bosley lived on my street,
Only two houses down.
From time to time we would meet,
And I never saw him frown.

His hair was white and spread very thin.
He walked with a cane, and slow
Mr Bosley looked like all old men
With no real place to go.

My mom said once he had a wife.
She died before I was born.
He lived alone most of his life,
But he was happy, I could have sworn.

When we’d pass, he’d ask the hour.
Most times I wouldn’t know.
So he pull his gold watch in pretend power,
Flip it open and read it slow.

It was a game we liked to play,
Even after I got a watch for my wrist,
No matter what the time of day.
I’d hide mine with my fist.

This past winter was cold and gray.
For months there was no sun.
Mr Bosley stayed in all day.
I missed him on my run.

At last I decided, on a whim,
To go up to his door.
I thought I’d just ask after him.
See if he needed things from the store.

I was shy, my knock was weak.
I jumped back in surprise,
When the door swung open with a creak,
And a sad scene met my eyes.

I knew before I touched his face
That Mr Bosley was not there.
His hair was combed, his tie in place
Pills on the table by his chair.

I stood quietly for just a minute.
With a sort of reverence, but no fear.
And I saw a note with his old watch in it.
I read it through a tear.

“I see the time has come for me
To join the ones I love.
Check the time often and I will be
Blessing you from above.”

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WARRIOR SEED

By Carl Martin Johnson

 

Before the battle, plant your seed.
The best are those who die in war,
Leaving weaker men to breed,
And us a lesser race by far.

 

Choose a woman who loves a dream,
Who is as strong as you.
Not the skim milk, but the cream,
Though such women may be few.

 

Then you will be prepared to die
So that those you leave might live.
And they will know, though they may cry,
That you gave all you had to give.

 

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COMING
By Carl Martin Johnson

I can feel war coming,
Like a huge electric storm.
I hear the thunder drumming,
Portending chaos and great harm.

The red-eyed dragon is starving.
He must have his feast.
Young bodies he’ll be carving.
The world must feed the beast.

His belly has been rumbling,
Sensing his banquet near.
The politicians’ fumbling
Was music to his ear.

The storm rolls on before him,
Clearing all who oppose his fiery breath,
Leaving only those who adore him,
Who will play his game of death.

Come, fellow warriors true.
Let us all arm for the fight.
It is men like me and you
Against the Armies of the Night.

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THE HILL
By Carl Martin Johnson

I see them crawling up this hill.
They know that I’m the last.
They’re closing slowly for the kill.
My heart is beating fast.

My brothers lie around me,
But we’ve downed more of them.
Damned shame they still surround me.
Odds of my living are pretty slim.

Maybe I won’t mind too much.
I’m torn up pretty bad.
There’s pain every place I touch.
It makes me goddamned mad.

That skinny one’s looking right at me.
He’s waiting for his shot.
I guess whatever comes will be.
He might get me, he might not.

If I had bullets, he’d be dead.
They don’t know, but soon they will.
Then I’ll “go to glory”, like the preacher said,
When they come charging up that hill.

See that big bird up there,
High up in the sky.
Wonder if I said a prayer,
He’d take me with him when I die.

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A HOLLYWOOD NIGHT
By Carl Martin Johnson

She’s been gone a good while now.
I hope she gets away.
I’ll be dead soon anyhow.
I don’t want her to have to pay.

Way up here in these Hollywood Hills,
Looking down on the bright LA lights.
I remember this town as nothing but thrills,
Till we crashed in the Hollywood night.

We both had good looks to spare.
That helped us get what we wanted.
Who we hurt we just didn’t care.
Tears of others left us undaunted.

I’m gazing out over the big sparkling city,
With my life bleeding into my hands.
This town she and I chewed up with no pity,
No mercy shown those blocking our plans.

We got our share of fast wealth and fame,
Sex and love, though we spread that around.
Life was a happy, if shallow, game.
But what we searched for we never found.

White dust up our noses; champagne in our veins,
Day and night blending in hazy blush.
No true joy, but numb to all pains,
Swept along in a hedonist rush.

Can’t remember just why we fought.
Maybe women…maybe the boozing.
This ending, though, is the one that I bought.
It was paid for by a life of my choosing.

So this will be my last Hollywood Night,
Up high in my Hollywood Hills,
Now my dying will put things back right.
I will pay all my wasted life’s bills.

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NO PRISONERS
By Carl Martin Johnson

No prisoners would be taken.
No lives would we spare.
Human feelings must be forsaken.
No being swayed by a captive’s prayer.

I knew the reasons well.
It was necessary, I agreed.
We might be damned to Hell,
But the mission had the need.

Now this enemy is in my hands,
A captive, but unwanted.
If I obey my given commands,
It is my soul will be haunted.

Often war is cruel.
Often war is mean.
A horrible, gory duel,
Such as most have never seen.

But I have killed enough today.
I will let this man live.
I will send him unharmed on his way.
If I am wrong, God will forgive.

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HER EYES
By Carl Martin Johnson

Her eyes are passion kaleidoscopes.
They take on all true love’s hues.
In them I see all my hopes,
All I could not bear to lose.

There I glimpse a starburst bright
In the dark behind her lashes.
It lights up my lonely night
With her heart’s loving flashes.

I chase them deep into her mind,
Where I see beauty growing.
Among the loveliness I find
Her care for me full showing.

I would stay here if I could.
Her soul and mine in rapture.
Nothing could feel half so good
As the desire we two would capture.

I must leave, but will return
Every time I meet her gaze.
And I will see our love-lust burn
In all love’s perfect ways.

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THE SIGNATURE
By Carl Martin Johnson

If I sign this, it is treason.
If we lose, then I will die.
Shall I take honor’s path or reason?
Can I tell my children why?

My hand trembles as I hold this quill,
Wavering above the ink.
Am I a man? Have I the will?
It is better not to think.

There. I’ve signed. It’s done.
May God save us all.
This revolution has begun,
And here’s John Hancock’s scrawl.

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DANGEROUS
By Carl Martin Johnson

I didn’t know she was dangerous.
A woman like her a man can’t trust.

In the dawn she seems an angel…Look at the sweetness in her face.
She won’t bare her fangs ‘til you’re held fast in her embrace.

When her arms first went ‘round me,
I soared high in the rapture.
I let her luscious charms confound me.
She wanted not to hold, but to capture.

The woman is a predator…has a steel trap for a heart.
She’ll bait you with her beauty.. then tear you all apart.

She’ll suck a man’s love dry and leave him in despair.
If she ever had a soul, it is no longer there.

I best run while I can,
Before she leaves me just a shell.
I wish I’d seen when this began,
Her kind of angel’s born in Hell.

The woman is a carnivore.
I’m leaving. I can take no more.

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SECRET WORLD
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

Sometimes when I am down
I close my eyes and float away.
In a while I lose my frown
And visions brighten up my day.

 

Because I keep a world inside.
I built it as a child.
I go there to rest and hide
When the real world gets too wild.

 

All the creatures there are kind.
No one hurts and no one cries.
Make a mistake? They don’t mind.
Of course no one ever dies.

 

I float above the land,
Gliding slow in gentle breeze.
Worry and care are banned.
My mind is set at ease.

 

But I cannot stay for long.
In the real world I am needed.
I am a man and must be strong.
All my troubles can be defeated.

 

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NIGHT SOUNDS

By Carl Martin Johnson

Have you heard the sound of starlight
Tinkling across the land?
On any such bizarre night
It is the cosmos’ celestial band.

The clouds sing silver songlines
In harmony with the tune
The comets chime soft light shines
Against the cello of the moon.

Until the sun’s first hinted glow
Walks deep bass across the rim,
And you see the crescendo grow
Before dying to a morning hymn.

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