© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

 
 

THE PLACE WHERE GOD HIDES
By Carl Martin Johnson

There is a place where God hides
A place only angels know,
Where no one else abides,
Where Life begins its flow.

In this sanctum the Secret flowers,
Its perfume becoming stronger,
Evolving increasing powers,
Its outreach ever longer.

His Mind is the womb that breeds us.
His Breath creates our soul.
But God also needs us
To make His universe whole.

Close your eyes and BE.
Feel how we and God are one.
Now open them and see
Our growth has just begun.

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MY BIRTHDAY
By Carl Martin Johnson

Some events are momentous.
Some eclipse the sun.
Some great happenings content us.
But my birth was not one.

My very first act caused pain.
Though I was kind of cute,
I’ve heard my dear mother complain,
She wished I’d found another chute.

I was not a perfect child,
I am the first to confess.
Yet I was only slightly wild,
Did not intend to cause her stress.

For my youthful sins I’ll pay,
But I take it kind of hard,
When on my special day
You send Mom a sympathy card.

Anyway, I’m still here.
Another year has passed.
To my enemies: Have fear.
It will not be my last.

To all who call me friend,
I give a birthday smile.
May your lives never end,
And let me be with you awhile.

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MIDNIGHT EYES
By Carl Martin Johnson

Her midnight eyes seduced me.
Dark pools of liquid fire.
One look into them reduced me
To a slave of wild desire.

She found me in my sleepwalk,
Took my hand and drew me near,
Whispering to me in dreamtalk
That she held me oh so dear.

Through deepest shadows she led me
Into ivory moonlight.
In ceremony secret wed me,
And made our home the reign of night.

To the rhythm of witches’ chorus
We made love in the grass.
Sweet-voiced banshees wailing for us.
I hoped the hours would never pass.

But dawn forced night’s retreat
Back to the world of dreams,
Forcing my mind to meet
What is, and not what seems.

She dissolved slowly in my arms,
Her lilac fragrance fading.
I could not shelter her charms
From the day that was invading.

Her name I never heard,
Yet I felt we were united.
I did not need the word
To know I was invited.

With the sunrise she was gone,
Leaving eyes burning in my heart
When night comes again we’ll carry on
And this time never part.

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SURVIVOR
By Carl Martin Johnson

He lay there on the battlefield
Amongst the dead and dying.
Those whose souls were yet to yield
Were moaning low or crying.

All through the night he kept still.
Any movement was fraught with pain.
He could neither die nor kill,
Nor help, should any living remain.

By dawn there was no sound,
Save the whispers of the dead,
And the clumsy flapping ‘round
Of the vultures overhead.

He dragged himself upright,
Hurting, bloody and dazed.
He could see no one to fight
Through eyes near-blind and glazed.

He glimpsed his rifle in the mud,
But he left it where it lay.
He had seen too much blood.
He would kill no more that day.

As he limped across the dead,
He knew he would fight again.
Though when his blood was shed,
The war’s goal would be to win.

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THE REASON
By Carl Martin Johnson

I am alive for a reason.
Which is I know not what.
But there will come a season
For the answer I have sought.

What exactly will I do?
What action will I take?
It must happen before life’s through.
I am only here for its sake.

I can feel it coming.
The moment is very near.
I think I hear Fate’s drumming,
Calling me to appear.

Or do I have it wrong?
Does the reason have a twist?
Is my singing my soul’s song
The reason the world and I exist.

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APART
By Carl Martin Johnson

The poet is alone.
He accepts that as his lot.
It is the only life he’s known.
He’s tried to change, but he cannot.

He has lived inside since birth.
Among others, but not a player.
Unsure of his worth,
Underneath the surface layer.

What other humans feel,
Spurting forth in emotions’ flood,
To the poet is not real
Unless transcribed in his pen’s blood.

Isolated in his mind,
The written word his only friend.
He will forever be confined
To the poor scratchings of his pen.

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THE BALLOON
By Carl Martin Johnson

Floating gently toward the sun,
Cotton ball in an azure sky.
Upward journey just begun,
With the weight of an angel’s sigh.

It was held by a slender thread.
That it was loosed was no surprise.
Those who stood ‘round the small bed
Let out only muffled cries.

The tiny hand that had gripped it
Was pale and very still.
It had grown tired and slowly slipped it,
Small warm fist becoming chill.

The balloon rises to the light,
High beyond the sky above.
Heaven awaiting with delight
Its dear cargo of pure love.

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PASSION OF LOVERS’ SOULS
By Carl Martin Johnson


Your soul made love with mine last night.
When it came I was sleeping.
It kissed me long and held me tight
In the place where dreams are keeping.

It’s beauty took my breath.
It was you, but even more.
Above this life, but beyond death.
You must have come through Heaven’s Door.

Tell me how you found me.
Did your soul fly from your dream?
What gave you power to thus woo me?
Did you ride a stray moonbeam?

Where are we when our two ghosts meet?
Is it this world, or one our own?
A garden our love makes complete?
Where pleasure’s fruit is all that’s grown?

Our love bridges time and distance,
The attraction is so strong.
Apart we have no existence,
Only united can we sing Life’s song.

Though our two bodies, yours and mine,
Be parted by land or sea,
Our souls in passion will intertwine
In rapture for eternity.

 

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WHEN WE MET

By Carl Martin Johnson

 

The sun was bright when first we met.
No dark clouds in the sky.
I know I would be with you yet,
Had I not the ill luck to die.

 

But I can recall, in this far place,
The joy you gave my heart.
Yours was lovelier than any angel’s face.
Your body a work of art.

 

They say dead men forget such things.
I have not, it seems.
I think of you and my soul sings.
Even in Heaven, a man has dreams.

 

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STAR BOUND
By Carl Martin Johnson

Man was conceived on Earth.
We were weaned here and have grown.
She has nestled us since birth.
The only home we’ve known.

We cling to her fertile land,
Farm her vast deep seas.
She does all she can
To mother us and please.

But she has many children now,
Many mouths to feed.
We must find a way somehow
To help her with this need.

Let us not hide huddled here,
Afraid to search for more.
Let us cast off our fear,
And lose site of the shore.

The best must venture forth
From this soft cradle of ours.
The meek may inherit the Earth,
But to the bold belong the stars.

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GENTLE WIND
By Carl Martin Johnson

Flow over me, you gentle wind.
Soothe away my care and worry.
Stay awhile and be my friend.
Don’t be in a hurry.

Bring me scents from magic places.
I will close my eyes and sleep.
I will conjure up beloved faces,
And the best memories I keep.

You were sired by a thunderstorm.
Your mother was a violent gale.
But you have not yet grown to harm.
You spit nor lightning nor hail.

A hurricane you may come to be,
Blowing where you please.
But today you are here to comfort me.
You are only a gentle breeze.

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SUNBEAM RIDER
By Carl Martin Johnson

Today I’ll catch a sunbeam.
I’ll ride it across the sky.
We’ll chase down a daydream,
And make it our ally.

We’ll bounce off a morning lake
Onto a pretty girl’s smile
That snaps a young man’s heart awake.
And watch their love awhile.

Then daydream will transform us.
Swallow us and make us more,
Digest and reform us
To fit through Heaven’s door.

So now I’ll start my quest.
I see the sun’s rays peeking.
I’ll grab the spark that’s best
And aim for the joy I’m seeking.

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WOUNDED
By Carl Martin Johnson

Oh God! Let me bear this pain.
Do not let me cry.
Though it near drive me insane,
Let me be a man while I die.

The bullets slapped me back.
There was no pain at first.
I fought through the attack,
Until the mortar burst.

I could lie here in this dirt.
Waiting for my life to end.
Every second filled with hurt.
Death would be a friend.

But I am a soldier still.
I won’t give up the fight.
My spirit they can’t kill.
I’ll stand and do what’s right.

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SWEET SILENCE
By Carl Martin Johnson

I crawl into the silence
To let it comfort me,
Hide me from the violence
That I hear but cannot see.

Silence, dark and cool,
Stills my soul and slows my heart.
Deep within the cold black jewel
Where dreams and wishes start.

I can feel the universe breathe,
Touch its overwhelming mind.
Sense Life’s cauldron seethe
With untold others of my kind.

Then the silence wraps around
To comfort and caress.
Like a lover I have found,
She relieves all my distress.

I know I cannot stay.
There are things that I must hear.
But I have washed my cares away
With the silence I hold dear.

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THE HERO
By Carl Martin Johnson

The medal gleamed so proudly,
Centered high on his left breast.
Fellow soldiers “hooah”-ed loudly.
The hero’s ego was caressed.

His sweetheart and mom kissed him
He glowed in their admiration.
Those who had once dismissed him,
Now joined in adulation.

Then the memory raised its head.
It bled his smile away.
Gave him visions of the dead
Who had fought with him that day.

He saw the blood and heard the screams.
He felt terror, not this glory.
Saw the killing that owned his dreams.
But he would tell no one that story.

He knew it is not for those that fight
That they give the decoration,
Rather for those who cheer despite
Sacrificing their children for the nation.

A tear escaped his eye
For all his fallen brothers.
Bad they had to die.
Sad for fathers and mothers.

To their memory and for their sake,
He would act proud of what he’d done.
Though inside his heart would ache.
He’d learned no war is ever won.

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GUNFIGHTER
By Carl Martin Johnson


He rode weary in the saddle.
His head low from the heat and age.
He could hear his old bones rattle,
As he passed tiredly through the sage.

A red sun was burning low.
He would stop and make camp soon.
These days he took things slow.
He’d been on his horse since noon.

He’d lost the hunters, so he had no hurry,
No place he had to be.
There was no one waiting who would worry.
No one he had to see.

The rest of his kind were long gone,
Dead or disappeared.
And he had to keep moving on,
As those who hunted him neared.

He would fight if they caught him,
Though he wouldn’t mind much if they won.
There were many men who sought him.
Odds were soon he would be done.

His gun had cut down many men
On both sides of the law.
He was a good bit younger then,
And quicker on the draw.

Soon he would have to pay the price
To those who chased him, and the Devil.
He was the one who rolled the dice.
Now the stakes must be made level.

He would have no one to dig his grave
Out here on this windy plain.
Vultures and coyotes would not spare
A single bone of his remains.

He squinted against the sun behind.
They were there who brought his death.
He’d been easier than he’d hoped to find,
He knew he was close to his last breath.

If done again, would he live the same?
He had regrets, as a dying man does.
Then he smiled and thought of his brief fame,
And laughed at who he was.

He turned his mount to face the pack,
Pulled his gun and fired a shot.
He knew there was no looking back.
He’d lived, now he’d die. Why not!?

 

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SOMETHING WITH ME
By Carl Martin Johnson

I caught a thing in motion
From the corner of my eye.
Just the hint of a commotion,
Like a fairy passing by.

I have a feeling it is not from here,
But from a world parallel
That perhaps had come too near
While under a witching spell.

I sense the presence, unseen but close,
Watching me in alarm.
Not knowing what it should suppose,
Wondering will I do it harm.

Truth be told, I feel the same.
My thoughts somehow deranged.
From wherever that wispy being came,
It has my own world changed.

It may never ever leave me,
Trapped in the fringe between two realms.
If I seek help, who would believe me?
Even me, it overwhelms.

If it stays, I will try to friend it.
Attempt to learn its plan.
Or I may just have to end it.
Should it be an enemy to Man.

But if I find it is a demon sent
To speed my course to Hellish flame
I will fight its foul intent,
And cast it back from whence it came.
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