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© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

The Carousel
Lips Of Fire

By Carl Martin Johnson

Paint your lips with fire.
Rouge your cheeks with passion.
Let your designer be desire,
Eros your chosen fashion.

Tempt me cruelly with your soft skin.
Reveal it slowly and in stages.
If this be wrong it is angels’ sin
Unchanged throughout the ages.

Let me breathe hot along your throat,
Until you stir with thoughts of pleasure,
While my mind sets sail on Venus’ boat,
Exploring the wild seas of your treasure.

I will feast upon your woman’s scent,
Taste your body’s perfumed heat.
I will gorge myself until I am content
On the sweet toes of your feet.

Then brand me with your lips aflame
Till we explode in fiery lust.
Throw off the inhibiting chains of shame,
To become the animals we must.

When the sun breaks into dawn,
When our love has left us spent,
Our souls themselves will carry on.
Our hearts will not relent.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Roxanne, she’s God’s gift to man.
You never seen such a beauty.
She spreads love wherever she can.
Giving pleasure is her duty.

Sweet Roxanne don’t discriminate.
She loves all men the same.
Black or white, ain’t got no hate.
Hot lovin’ is her game.

When Roxanne walks,
The men just stare.
Ain’t a nobody talks
While Roxanne is there.

She got fire in them black eyes,
Firm flesh in all the right places.
Roxanne hypnotize with her thighs.
Just look at all the men’s faces.

Roxanne charge money,
‘Cause she got to survive.
But she got better honey
Than any other woman alive.

Roxanne, she got a heart o’ gold.
If you broke she don’t turn you away.
She won’t leave you out in the cold.
She’ll give credit ‘til you get your pay.

I first met Roxanne when I was young.
She was workin’ the corner of my street.
It was fine Roxanne got my bell first rung.
Never since found a woman could compete.

I asked Roxanne to be my wife.
She said, “I’m sorry, Pappy.”
“But I got a callin’ in this life,
An’ that’s to make ALL men happy.”

So I have to share my darlin’ Roxanne,
I know the girl got to roam.
I may not be her only man,
But I’m the one waitin’ here at home..



By Carl Martin Johnson

Don’t look down or you will fall.
Keep your eyes locked on the sky.
That’s where the answers are, after all,
And you will find them if you try.

Keep climbing high; your soul will grow,
Someday it will sprout wings and fly
To the Truth all men hunger to know,
Then you can live before you die.

Beneath is what you left behind:
Ignorance, Cruelty and Sin.
If you fall back you will find
You must start the climb again

So make sure your eyes are raised,
Lest you lose your balance and drop.
One day you will be amazed
At what awaits you at the top.


By Carl Martin Johnson

The red line ran long and ragged
From his eye down to his lip,
Like a map, albeit jagged,
Of the old man’s lifetime trip.

He sat at a nearby table.
I tried hard not to stare.
But my curiosity would not disable.
I could only try not to make him aware.

I wondered how he had earned
The award decorating his face.
What great lesson had been learned?
What great honor? Or, perhaps, disgrace?

Staring out at the cloud-darkened street,
He hardly lifted his drink.
Who was he here to meet?
Or was he here only to drink?

His gaze was steady and long.
He was looking far into the past.
His aged face grew gradually strong,
As if he were seeing truly at last.

At that moment, the hanging storm crashed
With a great bolt of lightning and thunder.
I was hypnotized briefly by the flash,
Frozen still in shock, awe and wonder.

When I turned back the old man was gone.
Now I will never know his true story.
So I’ll make it up on my own,
And fill it with joy, hope and glory.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I’ve seen phantasms gliding past
My pireaux late at night.
Causing my heart to freeze fast
At the cursed, unholy sight.

I’ve heard sounds as I ran my fish line
That were neither animal nor man.
Eerie, haunting spirit whine
Like ice through my veins ran.

Now the moon melts through the moss
Hung like dead hair from the cypress trees.
I say an Ave, reaching for my lost cross.
I feel demons in the breeze.

A moonshadow slaps my face
From a winged thing in the air.
Some evil creature without grace,
Brought forth from Satan’s lair.

Behind me a panther screams,
If a panther the beast be.
I am praying la lune’s beams
Do not give a glimpse of me.

Across the bayou she emerges,
As she always does this hour.
I cannot flee, despite my urges.
I watch Lucifer’s magnolia flower.

Her alabaster gown flows luminous around her.
Her lovely face bloodless and pale.
Swarms of red-eyed dragonflies surround her,
As the world begins to wail.

Her ice eyes bore into me.
They set my soul aflame.
I know the pain is due to me
For my great sin and shame.

God! Deliver me from this bayou!
Here agony and horror thrive.
Here I killed the only love I knew,
When I was still alive.


By Carl Martin Johnson

The ceiling was a movie screen,
Where his mind’s film was showing.
He was the star of every scene,
But the reviews would not be glowing.

He smiled at the childhood flashback,
Laughed at his misspent youth,
Waxed nostalgic at the soundtrack,
And wondered how close the script to truth.

He shed a fond tear at the wedding day,
At the birth of every child,
And when they grew and moved away,
All the golden shots compiled.

Other scenes, they came and went.
It was a good film, all in all.
His life had not been badly spent,
From what he could recall.

He paused the tape, focusing his inner eye
On those who had gone before,
Whom fate had before him called to die,
To pass through Mortality’s door.

There were many ways for a man to end.
He had seen plenty, but not all.
If he could do this part again,
He would choose a more glorious fall.

He cursed this way of dying,
Life dribbling down his chin,
Family gathered near and crying,
Driving him crazy with the din.

Far better if he fell
Charging into enemy fire.
Defying the minions of Hell,
That’s the death he would desire.

But that death had been denied.
No memories of glory for his kin.
They would have taken pride,
If that was what had been.

But the movie was HIS story.
He directed what was seen and said.
If the script needed more glory,
He would rewrite it in his head.


By Carl Martin Johnson
You may bind me fast,
But you cannot tie my soul.
Human prisons may last,
But my heart I control.

With the eagle I fly.
Soaring over the earth.
Sharing his defiant cry
From the day of my birth.

Your cages will fail
Should you imprison me there.
For me there is no jail.
So leave me free, or Beware!


By Carl Martin Johnson

He’d had a happy youth,
One he remembered well.
And he had learned Life’s greatest truth
On a carnival carousel.

It came to town each fall
Just after the harvest was in.
How vividly he could recall
Waiting for the setup to begin!

The tents of yellow and blue,
The booths along the midway,
The ferris wheel was grand, it’s true,
But it was the carousel made his day.

The white stallion was his mount.
He would wait ‘til it was free.
How many rides, he couldn’t count,
Had set his imagination free?

Many outlaws he rode down,
Many dragons felt his lance.
He had never worn a frown
While in the carousel trance.

One day as he was dying
To ride his alabaster steed,
He saw a small child crying,
Looking hurt and in real need.

He asked the old woman at his side
What was wrong with the little boy.
She said he could not ride
And had so looked forward to the joy.

The woman was old and bent.
She could not hold him on a horse.
She asked if he’d consent
To take her grandson ‘round the course.

He agreed, but with some doubt.
The child’s small eyes were dull,
As if inside some light was out,
His intelligence not full.

The child drooled a happy grin,
When our boy lifted him in place,
As they waited for the music to begin
Pure joy was on the dim child’s face.

Round and round they rode,
Into other worlds and out.
More and more their faces glowed.
At last they began to shout.

When it stopped the boys had seen
Places most people never knew.
They would dream of where they’d been
Long after the ride was through.

The boy lifted the child from the horse,
And the little one hugged his waist.
Turning to go, the boy felt remorse
That he was leaving in such haste.

He turned back, holding out his hand,
Taking the small child by surprise.
Yet, he seemed to understand,
And there was no dullness in his eyes.

Together they had been
In the dreamworld of the heart.
Though they would never meet again,
They would really never part.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Now I hear the world’s fine song,
Its wondrous chorus in my soul.
Now the night is never long.
Now my world is whole.

You do not yet know I love you,
Although you may have guessed.
There’s none I hold above you.
I can’t believe I am so blessed.

My eyes may have betrayed me
When I looked into you own.
Fully enchanted they portrayed me
By the light with which they shone.

The spark of love has flamed.
I cannot hide the fire.
And I would not be shamed
Should the world see my desire.

Never in my life before
Has such love aroused my lust.
This time my feeling is much more.
I can feel my heart combust.

This love is my beginning.
With you I can breach any wall.
There is no question of not winning.
Together you and I will conquer all.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Between the worlds a shadow lies.
Some souls pass through, some stay,
Cringing unseen by Heaven’s eyes.
Others have simply lost their way.

It is a wilderness of specters,
Hiding from future and past.
These Beings are Life defectors
Fleeing fate that has been cast.

They wander without direction,
Unable to decide.
Not knowing what correction
They will meet on the Other Side.

Now I am with them, another wraith,
Worried and uncertain,
Praying I will have the faith
To go beyond the curtain.

Is this my purgatory?
Why can I not be brave?
I must submit my soul to inventory,
Or forever remain Fear’s slave.

I must be brave once more.
While alive I never ran
I must march boldly through that Door,
Remembering I was once a Man.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I will chase you over the thunderhead,
Dodge the storm’s sharp lightning.
There is no obstacle I will not shred.
My ardor will be frightening.

The desert will not hinder.
Its hellish heat will not thwart.
I will die before surrender
In my quest to win your heart.

I am wild with love’s temptation.
Your scent intoxicates.
I will not limit my hunt’s duration,
Save the world incinerates.

I will stalk until I find you.
There is nowhere you can hide.
You must leave your family behind you.
I need you at my side.

My love fragrance fills the air.
Lift up your face and smell.
To me you are most fair.
See love’s story my eyes tell.

When the moon bleeds white through forest trees,
I will take you by the nape,
And sing love’s song into the breeze.
You will not desire escape.

All night my tribe will celebrate,
Elated that I brought you back.
For my breeding mate will rule our fate:
“The pack is the wolf; the wolf is the pack.”


By Carl Martin Johnson

This Earth is not where we belong.
It is our incubator,
Where we grow wise and strong,
So we might find our true home later.

This planet is our garden.
Its purpose is to feed us,
And we must act as its warden,
Whenever it may need us.

But do not grow too fond
Of this lovely bit of stone.
Soon we will break the bond.
We are tenants, we do not own.

We are becoming more.
Bit by bit we are maturing.
Something greater lies in store.
A being more enduring.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Same soldier, different war,
Although the dead are just as dead,
All the killing we abhor,
Ground just as soaked from those who bled.

Same soldier, different face,
Millions of them, with recycled souls,
Brought back from a special place,
Called forth from dead veterans’ rolls.

Same soldier, different scar,
New weapons to tear him apart,
He returns to bear a war,
Because only warriors have the heart.

Same soldiers, different survivors,
Loved ones of those who died,
Following the black hearses’ drivers,
Crying softly at graveside.

Same soldier, wars never-ending,
Forever he fights and dies,
Warrior soul created for defending,
His prayers are battle cries.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Our house is falling down.
It’s structure becoming rotten.
We were strong when we fought the Crown,
But First Values have been forgotten.

Our windows should be clear
That we may see the light inside.
But they are covered in dark smear.
What is there to hide?

Our yard’s fence has a wide gate,
Yet our garden must have protection.
Our fruit is harmed by hate.
Our gardener needs correction.

The cornerstone is stable,
But the house needs restoration.
Every builder who is able
Must wield a hammer for our nation.



The Beginning
Don't Look Down
The Scarred Man
Wild Love
Bayou Night
Our Home
Old Man Dying
Same Soldier
This House Is Falling Down
The Spirit Is Free
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