© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

 
 

THE LOVER WHO SAVED ME
By Carl Martin Johnson

You kissed my lips to wake me
I was shouting in my sleep
From the horror where dreams take me,
The place black memories keep.

I looked into your eyes,
The terror drained away.
I saw bright and sunny skies,
A fine beginning to the day.

You took me in to nurse,
To keep the demons at bay,
To keep my life from getting worse
Than you saw on that first day.

You became my ardent lover,
Though our years were far apart,
In spite of what you might discover
In a troubled young warrior’s heart.

Around your eyes are lines,
Etched from years of caring.
The beauty each defines
Is tribute to your sharing.

I would stay with you forever,
But you tell me I must go.
My love for you will die never.
It is deeper than you know.

You say I must move on,
That you are too old to be my wife.
I know you will soon be gone,
Leaving me to find my way in life.

These days that we have had,
I will grieve that they are done.
For what I’m losing I’ll be sad,
Grateful, though, for what I’ve won.

You taught me to be brave,
To face my devils alone.
All your lessons I will save.
It’s because of you I’ve grown.

I will open my eyes one morning
To find a cold bed at my side.
You will give me no more warning.
A part of me will have died.

But the memories you cannot take
Of a love as strong as this.
And each day I will awake
To the sweet dream of your kiss.

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INTERLUDE
By Carl Martin Johnson

I’ll close my eyes and stop,
Let Life go by without me,
Make my blood slow drop by drop,
Reduce the pace throughout me.

Halt all queries to my brain,
Give it a holiday from finding solution,
Ignore any trace of mental pain,
And all intellectual pollution.

Let Time’s passing breeze caress,
Soothe with airy fingers.
Carry away sharp-clawed distress,
Until only deep peace lingers.

Then my soul will listen in the still
To the sound of Life and Living,
Waiting for Being’s whisper until
It confesses what it has worth giving.

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ANGEL OF VENGEANCE
By Carl Martin Johnson

Look for me in the whirlwind.
Find me in the abyss.
Search for me in holocaust, my friend.
Wherever you find Evil’s kiss.

My sword is fiery and swift,
Forged to cleave demons asunder.
To transgressors I bring deadly gift,
Wrapped in lightning and thunder.

My anger is righteous and sweet.
God’s enemies all fear my wrath.
When I storm down Hade’s street,
Even Lucifer will clear my path.

I act as champion for my Father.
He is Love and Kindness and Light.
With Evil He need not bother.
His enemies are all mine to fight.

So tremble with fear, sinful men,
Those of you who love Satan’s ways.
I am the Angel of Vengeance, God’s friend,
And I will put bloody end to your days.

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WORDS
By Carl Martin Johnson

Words are ineffective tools.
Rarely do they make meaning clear
We poets are the worst of the fools.
We let words control us, I fear.

Emotions defy expression by letter,
No matter lovely words those letters spell.
Art, I feel, does so much better.
A picture has more power to tell.

Yet we writers continue to scribble,
Driven by ego to waste paper and ink,
On volumes of incomprehensible dribble,
Whether or not our verses might stink.

Occasionally a friendly Muse inspires us,
Lends us syllables hers, not our own.
Then we spit out a phrase that fires us,
Until at last a poem is grown.

You may ask why we carry on,
If our verbal palette is so weak.
Why do we bleed until life is gone,
What is the goal we seek.

For me, it is to find justification,
To give my miserable life some worth,
To discover some reason for my creation,
To compensate my mother for the pain of my birth.

Perhaps if I fill enough pages
With words, no matter how odd,
I will be remembered down through the ages
For finding the true Name of God.

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A WAR WITH TIME
By Carl Martin Johnson

I am trapped in the amber of Time,
Looking out through the resin’s fossil.
Though living is my only crime,
The penalty is colossal.

Now that moment has passed,
I am transferred to another cell
And when this gauntlet ends at last,
I will have spent my life in Hell.

I must break this torturous chain,
If I am to be a truly Free Man.
I must revolt against the dictator’s reign.
I vow to fight however I can.

Time holds my body only.
Eternity is the home of the soul.
I will cease being lonely,
If only I can take control.

I could go back and find her,
Rescue her before her life ended.
From her fate I would unbind her,
No matter which gods I offended.

Time, you are only illusion,
One from which I’ll awake.
I will fight for my exclusion.
I care not what rules I break.

Life should not be measured,
It is not a thing to be rationed.
It’s a gift that must be treasured,
Since from Divine Soul it is fashioned.

Hear me, Time! I stand and defy you!
I will not come when you beckon.
Tap my shoulder, I will deny you.
With God alone will I reckon.

I will defeat you in the end,
On behalf of all Mankind.
We human creatures will transcend.
Man is greater than Time, you will find.

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THE HOMECOMING
By Carl Martin Johnson

They were waiting at the gate,
Excitement on their faces.
His flight had landed late.
Impatience would strengthen the embraces.

He held a moment outside the glass,
Trying to understand his fear,
Willing the anxiety to pass.
These were people he held dear.

It was only a year since he had left,
But a year filled with extremes.
His innocence gone, victim of theft.
Demons controlled his dreams.

Things he’d seen and heard and felt
Had cut his soul, but the scars healed strong.
Beside many dying friends he’d knelt,
And heard them breathe Death’s song.

He learned the pain of taking life,
The screams of men in battle,
Mortal combat with rifle and knife.
Men torn, butchered like cattle.

For all that time his companions were those
Whose experience was like his own.
But these loved ones here to greet, he knows.
Will not see how he’s grown.

He will not try to explain.
They would not understand.
He will just enjoy being home again,
Standing on familiar land.

Yet he would now be a man apart,
A man different from most others.
And the only ones who could know his heart
Would be his warrior brothers.

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BATHING NAKED IN THE SUNSHINE OF LIFE

By Carl Martin Johnson

Let’s bathe naked in Life’s sunshine,
Only souls, no bodies mortal.
Make a new world, a love shrine.
And enter Heaven through its portal.

Let us bask in starlight gleaming,
Soak up its silver grace,
Play in the world of dreaming,
Find comets we can chase.

Come with me to this world.
Let us make a new beginning.
Let Man’s banner be unfurled
In this fine universe we are beginning.

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MOMENTS
By Carl Martin Johnson

No moment can be replaced,
But they can be seeds well-planted,
Like hard situations faced,
A friend’s tear not taken for granted.

Sitting with your lover,
Watching the sun’s final red minute,
Seeing stars grow bright above her,
Telling the Night you’re glad you’re in it.

Fertilize these moments and they bloom,
Growing into Life’s sweet garden,
Misting the soul with spiced perfume,
Never letting your heart harden.

Treat each moment like a jewel,
Some diamond, some simply stone,
But all pregnant with renewal,
And each one a life alone.

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RESURRECTION OF THE WARRIOR
By Carl Martin Johnson

Enough Dr Jekyll for a while.
Time for Mr Hyde.
Need more rock ‘n roll in my style
To resurrect my warrior pride.

I will find a cause that needs me,
One that is worth my dying,
So if the enemy bleeds me,
You will not see me crying.

I’ve been too long in hiding
Behind my poet’s pen.
My time I have been biding.
Time to join the battle again.

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I AM THE PALADIN
By Carl Martin Johnson

Fear me if I come for you,
If my sharp sword I unsheath.
Ask any enemy I ever knew
Whom I trampled underneath.

If you see my deadly lance
Hurtling toward your throat,
Know that you will learn Death’s dance,
Nor god nor man will your fate outvote.

I hold Apocalypse in my left hand,
God’s own Wrath in my right.
If a tyrant is with whom you stand,
You and I are going to fight.

Satan flees in terror at my coming.
He panics at my name.
When my war song is drumming,
Demons scatter in coward’s shame.

I am the Paladin.
Archangels fight at my side.
Against Evil I will win.
In righteous battle I take pride.

Ignore me at your peril.
You have been warned now, evil men.
If you find my words are sterile,
Then let the war begin.

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SLEEPWALK
By Carl Martin Johnson

Each night I sleepwalk into dreams.
Dreams are where we meet.
In a land lit cool by soft moonbeams,
Our passion the only heat.

Among diamond stars we dance.
The constellations play our song,
Angels sing the chorus to our romance,
They are our audience all night long.

We kiss goodbye when first light breaks,
Parting until I sleep once more.
I long for you while the world awakes
Knowing night will love restore.

I forget if you were ever real,
If the sun shone on your face,
Or were you a fantasy I was forced to steal,
To create a lover with your grace.

One night I will lay me down to sleep,
A sleep from which I’ll never wake.
Then you will have my soul to keep,
And our own world we’ll make.

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WHO WILL TAKE MY MEMORIES
By Carl Martin Johnson

Who will take my memories,
Now that I’m to die?
What will become of my life’s histories,
The world seen through my eye?

Of violet skies at morning,
Golden embers at day’s end,
Storms exploding without warning,
Gentle blessings from a friend.

The adrenalin rush of combat,
When a bullet snaps too near.
The unique warrior emotion that
Is bred of aggressiveness and fear.

Of words that I have read,
And were planted in my heart,
Which flowered in my head,
Growing into thoughts I could impart.

Of a young girl’s kiss by the river,
Of my grandmother baking bread,
Of a love note I was too shy to deliver,
Of my mother tucking me into bed.

Of dreams achieved, and lost,
Of watching a new Spring greening,
Of nights when I turned and tossed,
Pondering Life’s meaning.

Will they all evaporate
The instant I am gone?
Will none outlived my fate?
Will they vanish in the dawn?

Perhaps I have to take them,
Since without them I’m not whole.
After all, I was the one to make them.
They are components of my soul.

If they are not for sharing,
If they are mine alone,
I will keep them in my caring,
For they are the Life that I have known.

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THE WOUNDED ANGEL
By Carl Martin Johnson

An angel fell through my roof today.
He had been wounded in a fight.
I told him he was welcome to stay
Until he healed enough for flight.

He assured me it would not be long.
His injury was not too serious.
Angels, he said, were very strong.
He was just somewhat delirious.

He said a demon was coming behind him,
The one who had inflicted his wound.
It would go hard if that imp were to find him,
And he displayed the wing that had been pruned.

He fell to the floor in a sudden swoon
Just as I heard evil shrieks from the sky.
He said the demon would be there soon,
And in the angel’s weakened state he would die.

Handing me his weapon, he implored,
I must fight for us both in his stead.
I took his gilt-handled sword.
“Use it well,” he advised, “or we’re dead.”

“I will stay,” I said, “and do my best.
I will risk my life here, too.
But, if I win, if I pass this test,
There is something I want from you.”

He nodded weakly and agreed.
“What I want,” I said, “may seem odd.
My soul I’ll risk, my blood I’ll bleed,
If you will show me the Face of God.”

The demon swooped down in evil dance,
His stench worse than his scowl.
While he sought to hold me in fiendish trance,
I struck swiftly to disembowel.

I retched against the horrid fumes
While the evil one turned to ash,
Its wretched soul snaked up in plumes,
Ending in a nauseous flash.

The angel struggled to his feet.
He graced me with a bow.
He pulled ‘round his wing and stroked it neat,
He said, “I must go now.”

Victorious, I returned his blade
And reminded him there and then
Of the promise he had solemnly made
On condition that I win.

In silence he looked at me.
I felt his eyes embrace.
He took a mirror from my vanity,
And held it to my face.

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THE SENTINEL
By Carl Martin Johnson

Outlined crisp against the sunset,
The sentinel stood his post.
Sharp eyes searching for a threat,
A tall, unmoving ghost.

He holds close his flint-tipped spear.
Clenches buffalo robe against the cold.
In the camp below all he holds dear
Lies in the valley’s fold.

The enemy comes in the night,
Burning, killing, raping.
His tribe had learned to fight,
Because there was no escaping.

This night there would be a moon.
The raiders would be prowling.
They might be coming soon.
Were those wolves in the distance howling?

He raised his nose to sniff for scent,
But the wind blew clear and clean.
Still, he would not become content.
They could come unsmelled, unseen.

As dark fell he spied a light.
One only keen eyes could see.
Just as quick it passed from sight
Like a flame that had jumped free.

He felt his lean muscles tense
Yet he held back the alarm.
His mind alerted every sense.
Out there rode those who’d harm.

He would hold and watch for now.
Might be another camp their prey.
But he knew there would be blood somehow
Before this night turned to day.

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