top of page

© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

The Dragon

By Carl Martin Johnson


Take care! The dragon is lurking.
He seeks to draw us near.
His evil magic is working
To snare us with our fear.


He has envy in his eyes.
Lust for the brave man’s soul.
In the dark the monster lies,
Waiting to control.


While he stalks we feed him,
With our self-regard and dread.
He makes us think we need him,
Though we should ward him off instead.


He bids us run from danger,
Avoid our duty to defend,
To boldness be a stranger,
Make cowardice a friend.


But real men need not yield.
In our hearts are weapons stored.
Honor is our shield.
Valor is our sword.




By Carl Martin Johnson


I was hitching rides to Wichita,
Sitting, beat, beside the road.
Hardest land I ever saw,
Must’ve been the Devil’s zip code.


I was coming up from Mexico.
Sold my truck there to make bail.
The going had been hot and slow,
But better than a border town jail.


I’d soon catch another ride.
Someone would go past.
If by then I hadn’t died.
If I could only last.


Down the lonesome highway,
A plume of dust appeared.
A big bike, fast and my way,
The rider slowing as he neared.


I blinked my eyes against the sun.
For an instant things went black.
I don’t know what had been done,
But I came to on my back.


I looked up to the thin blue sky,
Seemed I could see for miles.
Saw vultures waiting for me to die
With hungry buzzard smiles.


The bike rider pulled up at my feet,
Face hidden by dark visor.
He motioned me to the rear seat.
I should have been much wiser.


He set the bike’s wheels spinning.
I held fast, as I was bidden.
I could feel the rider grinning,
Even though his face was hidden.


He carried me past a graveyard.
Stopped before a grave.
I knew I’d played my last card.
I had no soul to save.


I saw my name carved deep
In the stone above the ground.
Yet there I would not sleep,
Nor would my bones be found.


Now Wichita must wait
Until I’ve thrown this demon biker.
But it may be far too late
For this thoroughly damned hitchhiker.




By Carl Martin Johnson

The hawk circled, hunting, overhead,
Eyes sharp as blades of steel.
What he sought would soon be dead.
The hunter would have his meal.

He was content to be alone,
Sailing smoothly through the sky.
To him his purpose was unknown.
Perhaps he was God’s eye.




By Carl Martin Johnson

Sometimes I stop and only live,
No thinking, only feeling.
Take what the cosmos has to give,
And that which requires stealing.

My face lit brightly by the sun,
Sweet Spring air in my nose.
If Life’s a contest, then I have won.
Its highs outweigh its lows.

The sights that flow into my eyes
Make calm and glad my heart.
Birds with tuneful morning cries
Herald the new day’s start.

If I stand here long enough,
The day fades into night,
With the moon and all starstuff
To fill me with delight.

But when I open my mind’s door,
And thoughts come rushing in.,
Then I am at peace no more,
Amid the chaos and the din.

So, I’ll stand here for a while,
Give my mind a holiday,
Enjoying the warmth of Pure Life’s smile,
While my worries drift away.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Your breath’s gentle scent
Whispers soft across my face.
It came quickly, and quickly went
At a tantalizing pace.

Your lips hover above my skin,
Not touching, yet exciting.
A hint of coming sin
With the passion you’re inviting.

Like a dragonfly skimming light
Over the surface of a lake,
Your fingers swift in flight,
Sending every sense awake.

You slide your body over mine,
In electric feather’s touch.
A sensation near divine.
I long for you so much.

Our love will be complete,
Before flesh can consummate it.
Our souls will perform the feat,
While our bodies yet await it.


By Carl Martin Johnson

A lovely woman died today.
I saw it on the news.
Greatest actress of all, they say,
But for long now a recluse.

I kissed her once when just a youth,
Hardly more than a child.
I fell in love, but she, in truth,
Thought I was far too wild.

Her beauty took her very far,
Her talent to the top.
Yet Hollywood life was constant war.
The fast ride had to stop.

I once wrote her a letter,
In an alcohol-fueled funk.
I should really have known better,
But I was very drunk.

I received a quick reply.
It opened with “Dear Fan”.
Almost made me cry.
I didn’t; I’m a man.

I still watched her on the screen,
Every movie that she made,
Every frame in every scene,
Every new part that she played.

She had been my love for years,
Kept secret deep inside.
I held hope despite my tears.
Now all gone since she has died.

Or was I in love with an illusion.
That would be a truth far worse.
Then I must admit the sad conclusion,
I cannot love, only rehearse.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Hey! I saw a sin flit by,
One I’d really like to do.
Though I would not even try,
Unless it's done with you.

We would so enjoy commission,
I know we’d do it again,
Gladly performing acts of contrition
For such a delightful sin.

Of course, we may risk damnation,
But I don’t think God will mind.
This sin’s more of a celebration,
Among people of our kind.

Come on then, let’s do it!
We have tomorrow for regret.
We’ll help each other through it.
It’ll be our best sin yet.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Look deep into your heart.
See what is living there.
You will find a thing apart.
Gaze upon it if you dare.

Its pure brightness will blind you,
But only for a while.
Then a soft warmth will find you
With love that makes you smile.

Your soul’s eyes will be needed.
They alone have power to see.
And what is seen should be well heeded,
For it bodes eternity.

Call blessed, that tiny star.
It is part of your Creator,
As well as who you are,
And who you will be later.

It rests there so you know
That you will never be alone.
When you see this soul-bit glow,
It is the face of God you’re shown.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I know I can never keep you,
Only briefly share your bed.
In love’s nectar I will steep you
Preserving my memory instead.

You lie here beside me.
We have loved and now are spent.
I wish to God that I could hide me,
And escape my guilt’s torment.

Your face is calm in sleep.
A lone tear glistens from your eye,
For promises made we cannot keep
No matter how we try.

From battle he returns tomorrow,
The man to whom you belong.
I love him, too – that is my sorrow.
Dear God, help me to be strong!

Side by side with him I stood,
My fellow warrior, your good man.
With the honor all men should,
There we fought while others ran.

I saved his life, as he did mine.
For a wound I came back first,
Finding I needed more than wine
To quench my gashed body’s thirst.

Now with my comrade’s bride I lie.
The attraction far too great.
Cursing fate I did not die,
Regarding my own black soul with hate.

It was love that made me weak.
Not hers, but mine the blame.
Oblivion is what I will seek
To erase my traitor’s shame.


By Carl Martin Johnson

The night hangs diamonds on a moonless night,
Glowing white against the black.
They are living things, glowing bright,
Sentinels of Paradise’ celestial track.

My soul reaches out into the beyond
To touch God’s Holy Face.
To see, perhaps, if He’ll respond,
Folding me into His embrace.

Give me silver angel wings.
Let me ride the comet’s highway.
Let me see what Heaven brings.
See if I can enter my way.

I look up and feel the pull
Of the Great Soul that spawned my own.
It tells me It will fill me full
Of all things ever known.

I cry out, I am ascending,
Drawn upward to Life’s Spark.
Beyond beginning or the ending,
On the other side of night’s dark.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I go in and out of dreams,
Lines between are getting blurry.
What is real? What only seems?
Does it matter? Should I worry?

In the morning am I waking?
Or have I gone to sleep?
One for the other state mistaking,
Where do I sow? Where do I reap?

My soul keeps crisscrossing,
Bouncing back and forth in the divide.
In the penumbra, I am tossing,
Seeking where reality might hide.

I think I will build my own place,
Choosing the best from each illusion.
I will make it just my own space,
And free from all delusion.


By Carl Martin Johnson

They were simply two lost strangers
Seeking shelter from the rain.
They ignored the risk and dangers
For brief relief from this life’s pain.

No one else was in the park
When they stumbled upon the shed.
She nearly fled, fearing the dark,
But something held her there instead.

Both were soaked clear through.
Her blouse pasted to braless breasts.
He was transfixed by the view.
She made no protests.

He raised a tentative hand
To touch her firming charms.
It was an encounter so unplanned,
Yet she took him in her arms.

He began to speak.
She put a finger to his lips.
She reached up to kiss his cheek,
Grinding into him with her hips.

Clothes strewn over the floor.
No concern for who might see them.
They made love like never before.
From inhibition lust did free them.

They lay close when they were spent,
Gazing into each other’s eyes,
Inhaling their bodies’ scent,
Hearing echoes of their passion cries.

Silently they stood.
Dressing slowly, without speaking.
What they’d had was good.
They’d found what they were seeking.

They would not meet again.
They smiled and walked away.
This was their private sin.
This was their private day.


By Carl Martin Johnson

To a distant God I call.
Have you left me here alone?
Shall I reach out when I fall?
Will the Way be shown?

Am I crying to an empty universe?
Existence with no soul?
Am I stranded by some heartless curse?
If so, to what goal?

Inside I have a vacant space.
Something was there and now is gone.
Disappeared without a trace.
Birthed me, then moved on.

I am lost now and forsaken,
Wandering without purpose toward death.
All meaning has been taken,
All living useless breath.

An echo, nothing more,
Answers to my pleading.
Beyond, eternity’s roar
Mocks the love I’m needing.

If you have died, I will recreate you.
Inside me is your seed.
I am angry, but do not hate you.
A God is what I need.


By Carl Martin Johnson

His yellow hair flowed in the wind
Like a war flag of his own.
He knew his life was soon to end,
That his days on earth had flown.

Lakota braves were closing in,
Faces scarred with murderous screaming.
He saw his days that might have been
Would be lost in death’s dark dreaming.

Amid the moans of butchered dying,
His thoughts turned to his wife.
He pictured her distraught and crying.
They were each other’s life.

He was wounded, and quite badly,
With arrows and with lead.
He realized, though not too sadly,
That in moments he’d be dead.

But he would have the fame he sought.
The world would know his story.
All would know how well he fought.
He would have his glory.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Starlight in my dreaming
Reveals beauty unseen waking.
Blue-white liquid streaming
Washes clear what God is making.

Souls lay open to my sight,
So I can see what guides them.
With the magic of stars’ light,
I can look past all that hides them.

There are angels in clouds above.
By starlight I can see them.
I can even glimpse their love,
And what it’s like to be them.

I can watch my lover’s heart,
Every pure and lovely beat,
To give my rising a joyful start,
And make my day complete.




By Carl Martin Johnson

We hold no man foe,
Until he gives us cause.
Then our fury he will know.
We will strike him without pause.

I am one who draws the sword.
I will not sheathe it ‘til war is won.
I will charge the enemy horde.
Forward is the only way my kind run.

I take my father’s place,
As he took his before me.
My duty I embrace.
My honor does implore me.

My country is filled with men like me.
For generations we have fought.
We will fight until we have victory,
If a fight is what is sought.

Enemies, I warn!
Attack us and you die!
To fighting we are born.
God and America our battle cry!



Going To Wichita
A Walk In The Moonless Night
In And Out Of Dreams
The Hawk
A Private Sin
Just Living
Soft Loving
A distant God
A Lovely Woman Died
Starlight Dreaming
Sinning Fun With You
What Is Waiting In Your Heart
bottom of page