© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

 
 

THE HOUR  

By Carl Martin Johnson

He had less than an hour left.
His life on earth would end,
Taken in a sad kind of theft,
Like a lover stolen by a friend.

The grave was open and needed feeding,
Greedy for his lifeless meat.
Waiting, thirsty for his bleeding,
To make its ghoulish feast complete.

But first he had a word to find.
He had to fulfill his quest.
He knew it was somewhere in his mind,
Hunted forever without rest.

His poetry all these years
Had been search unrewarded.
He had shed blood and tears,
Yet all he found he had discarded.

Between battles he would scribble,
Praying the word would slip out..
Occasionally a hint would dribble
But it had largely been a drought.

Now, in this enemy cell,
The seconds ticking by,
Before he tasted Hell,
He would make a final try.

Death was an old friend.
No terrors did it hold.
He preferred this end
To the pain of growing old.

Yet, failure to reach his goal
Held his heart in icy fetters.
He knew he would lose his soul
Should he not find those letters.

As the last seconds came,
A thing happened, very odd.
He saw the word was a Name,
In the sacred tongue of God.

And the Name a great joy gave him,
Though by man it could not be uttered.
No longer could this life enslave him.
A New World had been unshuttered.

 

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THE PANTHER INSIDE YOU
By Carl Martin Johnson


A panther lurks inside you.
She lies asleep, do not wake her.
She is there to guide you,
But careful, lest you shake her.

I see her sometimes in your eyes
When you sense danger near.
Your beauty is a fine disguise,
Swift death under soft veneer.

You guard your cub and mate,
You do not let them stray.
There is no beast so great
Would dare take them away.

Your beauty, hot and sleek,
Darkly smoldering erotic fire,
Is that which all men seek.
No man could more desire.

I feel the night cat when we kiss,
Purring deep in expectation.
Pulsing danger I would not miss.
You are pure animal celebration.

 

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THE DREAM PLACE

By Carl Martin Johnson

I know there is a place somewhere,
A place where dreams are born,
Where hopes first breathe air,
And wishes wait for the morn.

I will watch them as they flower,
See each one burst into bloom,
Feel their spirit and power,
Inhale their angel-breath perfume.

And I will make one of my own,
Pray for it to come true,
Nurture it from the instant it’s sown,
Because it will be my dream of you.

 

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THE NIGHT MOVES IN ME

By Carl Martin Johnson

The night moves through my veins,
Feeding my imagination,
Revealing a world where darkness reigns
Over wondrous beings’ congregation.

She friends my timid heart,
Removes from me all fear.
Makes of me a part
Of her mystic, lightless sphere.

She hides me from the day.
I cannot use my eyes to see.
Shows me a better way
To find reality.

She enfolds me in her mystery.
Teaches me her murky part.
So I know the world’s full history.
Fill both halves of my heart.

She may be preparing me
For my embrace of death,
Tempting, even daring me
To take my last live breath.

But I will not go yet.
I will wait my turn.
I am in Night’s debt,
But I have more to learn.

 

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DECEPTION

By Carl Martin Johnson

She breathed in the comet’s tail
As it sparkled through the night.
Trying hard not to exhale
So she could keep her spirit bright.

He was late, but would come soon
To their new rendezvous
Under this sliver of new moon,
For an hour’s dream come true.

They had sacrificed their soul
On the altar of romance.
Now their only goal
Was eternal lovers’ dance.

For this love they cheat and lie.
They no longer had control.
To be apart would be to die,
Too unbearable a toll.

One day they would leave,
Though it rip lives apart.
Many held dear would grieve,
But one cannot deny one’s heart.

They would follow where love leads
Be it Heaven, Be it Hell.
They could not deny their needs
Though disaster they foretell.

A knowing voice inside
Tells them this is right,
Even as in shame they hide,
Under cover of the night.

 

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NIGHT WHISPERS

By Carl Martin Johnson

Whispers wake me in the night,
Brush past my cheek and eyes,
Land on my lips, but light
To still my startled cries.

They tell me sacred, secret things,
Carry gossip from the trees,
New tunes that the nightbird sings
Rumors carried on the breeze.

Their kiss soothes my hard day’s worries,
Wraps the world’s strong arms around me,
Calms my cold soul’s icy flurries,
Murmurs love sounds to surround me.

Then they lullaby me to sleep,
With my heart at peace once more,
Leaving promises they’ll keep
When opens the new day’s door.

 

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THE ABYSS

By Carl Martin Johnson

I chased the dragon to the cliff’s rim.
He flew off and left me standing
He spiraled down where light was dim,
But I saw him make his landing.

His fiery breath flamed orange bright,
Over green eyes’ emerald glow.
Beyond him gloom darker than night,
And he dropped into it slow.

Down and down, into the void.
Impossible to pursue.
My hopes of slaying him were destroyed.
The arduous hunt was through.

Then the dark became a living thing.
I could feel its empty soul.
Hear its death knell booming ring,
Maw wide to swallow whole.

I could feel the evil pull,
Ink-black Charybdis sucking down.
It took all my strength, quick and full,
To resist this Satan’s frown.

As I peered into the abyss,
I saw the Monster staring back,
Offering me Lucifer’s hot kiss,
Eternal Life in Black.

I rose fast with all my pride,
Flinging my sword into the pit.
Shouting: “It is only I who will decide
To which god I shall commit!”

            - - - -
“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche

 

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GLAD
By Carl Martin Johnson

Today I woke up feeling glad,
No special reason for it..
It will be the best day I’ve ever had.
In fact, I’ll just adore it.

I searched my mind for a cause,
Something hard to recall.
I could not think of what it was.
No motive for my joy at all.

I do not really care though,
Reason be or reason not.
I will let this feeling grow.
I like it quite a lot.
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STOPPING AT THE ENEMY’S GRAVE
By Carl Martin Johnson

I’ve ridden past these graves before.
This time I think I’ll visit.
They ain’t from the side that I fought for,
But that ain’t a sin, now is it?

Their crosses are a lot like ours.
Like ours, their rows are even.
Same colors, mostly, in the flowers.
Same prayers for them agrievin’.

I might’ve faced some o’ these boys,
On one or ‘nuther bloody field,
Cussin’ at each other over the noise,
Cause neither one o’ us would yield.

Both sides thought that they was right.
Hell, they always do.
But ain’t no politicians in the fight.
It’s folks like me an’ you.

Looks like most o’ y’all buried here
When you died was younger’n me.
Bet your mommas shed many a tear
Out o’ pride and misery.

You there, Pete, was just a boy
When a bullet brought you down.
Reckon you had no son to bring you joy
‘Fore they put you in the ground.

Could o’ been me who laid you low.
Anyways, a reb like me.
Guess I’ll never really know
‘Til we shake hands in eternity.

I’ll have my own son one day.
Too bad you’ll never meet.
But if you reckon it’s okay,
I’m goin’ to name him Pete.

I’ll raise him well, least that’s my plan.
And, one day when he’s good,
I’ll tell him he’s named for a Yankee man
Who did the best he could.

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HOW I SURVIVED THE WAR
By Carl Martin Johnson

He shot at me. I shot back.
He missed. I didn’t.

 

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THE HEARTBEAT
By Carl Martin Johnson

I just felt my heart beat.
I froze the instant in my mind.
Life flowing, red and sweet,
Through the vessels God designed.

There was life before that second,
And, after, life moved on.
But for me that point beckoned,
To be savored before it was gone.

I wrapped myself tight.
Forced my thoughts inside.
Focused on the moment’s light
Where eternity might hide.

The world outside was stopped,
Captured in mid-motion.
All prayers and curses dropped.
All silence, no commotion.

My first impulse I denied:
It was to search all around me.
Instead I looked inside
To find what did astound me.

There was a smile kept in reserve
For times when it was needed,
In case I ever lost my nerve,
It would come, and would be heeded.

An ounce of love was locked away,
Should hatred overwhelm.
I’m sure it will be freed one day
When anger takes my helm.

Down in a recess hidden
Was a song my soul would sing.
When death came at last, unbidden.
To its tune I would take wing.

With that I let my heart resume,
Grateful for the gifts I’d found.
Good things I now know within me bloom,
And my heart, like garlands, crown.


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MY ANGEL LOVER
By Carl Martin Johnson


How does a miracle like ours come true?
How could life be so fine?
Who thought that I could be with you?
That I could make you mine?

At first you were just a glow
On the edges of my vision.
That’s what you still would be, I know,
But for your hard decision.

You showed to me your comely face,
Illumined by soft light within.
Surrounded by an air of grace
That whispered where you’d been.

I always knew that you were there.
You gave comfort when I had pain.
When I felt others were unfair
I knew your friendship would remain.

Then I slowly came to love you,
To look for you each day.
I was always thinking of you,
Praying you would come to stay.

You were an angel, beyond reach.
Still, I would try to know you.
I could learn, if you would teach.
Oh, how I longed to show you.

One night I sensed your touch.
Angel lips were brushing mine.
Pleasure, never dreamed of such,
As when I felt our souls intertwine.

We shared thoughts without speaking,
So close that we were one.
Found the joy all the world was seeking.
This was new love we’d begun.

But, though our spirits were united,
We needed something more.
Or our love would be unrequited.
It was not one we were created for.

Since I could not be like you,
You asked to be like me.
I think all Heaven knew
You and I were meant to be.

Your immortality was traded
For a short life at my side.
Now your angel’s glow has faded,
Yet your beauty is still inside.

Your body is as splendid as your soul.
Erotic prayer is our lovemaking.
Together we are a grander being whole,
And a new species we are making.

We have sparked a child, soon born,
Breath of Angel, Blood of Man.
He will be between our two worlds torn,
Or perhaps a bridging span.

So, my own angel, hold me.
We are part of God’s great plan
Let your spirit wings enfold me,
We are the dawn of a New Man.

 

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THE EYE

By Carl Martin Johnson

The Eye watched me drawing near.
Studied me and did not blink.
I looked away to hide my fear.
Sure it could read what I think.

The closer that I came,
Seemed brighter the iris glowed.
Like a demonic golden flame,
Evil happenings forebode.

I lowered my own eyes to the dirt,
Lest it see inside me.
I knew this Eye could hurt,
Yet there was no way to hide me.

An upward glance told me
The Eye’s gaze held hard and steady.
That alone could not hold me.
I would act when I was ready.

I was determined to be free,
Judged only by fellow souls.
But while the Eye could see,
It is the power that controls.

I was within reach,
My dagger in my hand.
I would not beseech.
I would take a manly stand.

I drew back to lunge,
Tear out its power of sight.
As my blade made its first plunge,
I felt something was not right.

No blood poured from the hole I made,
Nor did the eyelids move in pain.
I was very much afraid,
So I struck and struck again.

When the Eye still gave no reply,
I fell down in tears.
In terror of this dead, blind eye,
I had wasted my life’s years.

 

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WHERE DEMONS HIDE

By Carl Martin Johnson

They move swiftly but leave a trail
Of sweet sulfur scent behind.
I try to catch them, but so far I fail.
They fear me, so are hard to find.

Their features are a mystery.
I’ve had glimpses but no more.
But according to their history,
They are covered in bloody gore.

They are deadly to my kind,
Bring us heartache, make us sin.
I will kill all I find.
And soon in earnest I’ll begin.

God put them here to test me.
If I defeat them I advance.
I cannot let them best me.
I will not waste this chance.

I am Champion of Man.
I fight on behalf of all.
I must have the victory I plan,
Or mankind itself will fall.

But, if these demons all I slay,
We will succeed as one.
It will be New Mankind’s day.
Our souls’ freedom will be won.

 

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