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© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

I'm Ready

By Carl Martin Johnson


Every verse soaked in his blood.
Behind each word a tear.
That he be misunderstood
Is the poet’s greatest fear.


The word is the poet’s sword,
To fight the dragons he must slay,
The beasts who stand fierce guard
Where Truth and Beauty stay.


When he gains that castle tower
And gazes up into the night,
He may see the glory of the bright stars’ power,
Yet still not see their light..


So he turns inward his sharp blade
And opens up his heart.
For there is where Truth is made.
Where Beauty gets her start.




By Carl Martin Johnson


Are they my lips you feel excite you
When he puts his on your skin?
My tongue or his that invite you
To writhe in loving sin?


When his breath runs down your spine,
While you on your stomach lay,
Do you imagine it is mine?
Do your thoughts of me betray?


When his fingers your passions inflame,
Are you recalling my caress?
Do you want to call my name?
Your desire for me confess?


As your ardor is consummated
Is it my sweat that you taste?
Do you wish that you had waited?
Did you marry him in haste?


Every night, then, think of me,
When you lie naked with him in bed.
Think what your night would be
If it were me with you instead.




By Carl Martin Johnson


The Bridge stands here before me.
The bridge I have to cross
To find that which will restore me…
Let me recover from my loss.


Fear is the single unopened gate.
There are no guards to hinder.
If I have courage, I need not wait
To rebuild my soul in splendor.


This side of the bridge has seen me grow.
Now my growth is slowing.
I feel there is much more to know.
Over the bridge there lies the knowing.


It will take strong heart to cross the abyss.
I will risk a fatal fall.
But it may be my one chance at this.
Only the brave can have it all.




By Carl Martin Johnson


The Word is hiding from me.
I will find it, though, I swear,
Lest my verses overcome me…
Incomplete…beyond repair.


The Word cannot be spoken,
Cannot be whispered clear.
Yet without it all thoughts are broken.
Listen….you will not hear.


The Word cannot be told.
The Word cannot be sung.
Though its notes are molten gold
Where the corpse of Death is hung.


When I capture, I will share.
That is my mission on this Earth.
I will offer it as prayer
For Humanity’s rebirth.


The Word tolls for you and me,
But only angels hear it rung.
To the rest it is mystery,
Chant murmured in God’s tongue.




By Carl Martin Johnson

If evil men rule your nation,
Do not run, but stand.
Struggle for your salvation.
Cut off the despot’s hand.

Ask no one for pity.
Pity is not for men.
Being victim is not pretty.
Hold your head high again.

Honor must not be ceded.
Let none subjugate your soul.
Die, if dying needed,
To keep your honor whole.

Do not flee from danger.
Nor your children see you cower.
Make cowardice a stranger.
Seize the manly hour.

Your ancestors were brave.
Now be warriors, too.
Your people’s destiny you must save.
The fight belongs to you.


By Carl Martin Johnson

How dare you not be me?!
Are you not ashamed?!
Really, don’t you see
That it’s you who should be blamed?

My own personal view
Is what everyone should share.
Even stubborn folks like you
Must admit that’s only fair.

I find certain things amusing.
You should chuckle at them as well
If when to laugh is confusing,
Simply wait for me to tell.

There are those who irritate,
I will let you know just who,
As well as folks to celebrate,
I will point them out to you.

For the rest of you to be like me
Is my one and only request.
I’m certain you will all agree,
For the world’s sake, that is best.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Countless stars above my head.
I look up and see my home.
It is where my kind was bred
Before we were sent to roam.

We were planted on garden Earth
Long, long eons ago.
It saw our childhood, not our birth.
Now it’s time to grow.

Listen and feel it calling.
The Voice which gave us start.
Silent words from the heavens falling
Charging us to complete Life’s Art.

Let us escape this crowded world,
Leave behind hatred and war.
Into the universe be hurled,
Spreading Man Soul far.

Abandon evil men behind
Who make the world a zoo,
And embark on the trek to find
What in this Life is True.


By Carl Martin Johnson

No one can hear us now.
Softly then, dear, say it.
Let me hear you vow,
But more as if you pray it.

Tell me our torrid affair
Is worth the risk we’re taking,
That the loneliness we bear
Is worth the flame of our lovemaking.

Let me swear it to you now,
While our bodies touch in every part,
That I will stay with you somehow.
That you completely own my heart.

Your hot breath in my ear
Makes me tremble with desire,
Overcoming all my fear,
Fanning hot my fire.

So let us take the chance,
Risk it all for passion’s prize.
Wild and wanton let us dance
To the music of lovers’ sighs.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I found a graveyard in the wood.
It seemed a loving place.
From the hillock where I stood,
It looked a friendly face.

I felt a sense of community,
A clan of the departed.
A warm aura of unity,
Welcoming and good-hearted.

Through worn headstones I strolled,
Noting date of death and name.
Some were ancient, all were old.
No occupants of lasting fame.

I felt kind souls reaching out,
Touching my own to greet me.
I was left with little doubt,
They were truly glad to meet me.

Such pleasant company I found them
That I stopped under a shady tree,
Enjoying simply being around them,
These new friends I could not see.

The summer afternoon wore on,
And though the dead bid me stay,
I replied that I must be gone.
I’d return another day.

They swore they’d save a place for me,
A space cozy and deep.
But, I told them I had much to do, you see,
And miles to go before I sleep.

By Carl Martin Johnson

Take me when you’re ready, Lord.
I’ve been here quite a while.
This life’s gettin’ a little hard,
So I’d greet you with a smile.

I’ve farmed this claysoil rocky dirt
Seems like since I first drew breath.
Plowed ‘til I couldn’t stand the hurt.
And worked good mules to death.

Winters here slice right through you.
Summers, they are worse.
Still, the crops are enough to do you.
Land’s more a blessing than a curse.

Emma was a real fine wife.
Stood beside me all those years.
We had a pretty happy life.
Lots of laughing, not many tears.

‘Course, now she’s lyin’ in the ground.
The kids are off and grown.
Except for my old boney hound,
I’m mostly just alone.

So, if You’ve got an angel to spare,
Don’t feel the need to wait.
You know I’m not much good at prayer,
But, it’s a trip I’d appreciate.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I think of things I left behind,
Especially of you.
Love like we had is hard to find.
Too late I found that true.

The need was strong to wander.
My youth was rushing by.
Time was too dear to squander
Only days…and then I’d die.

The trail I took was long,
With many a twist and turning.
But I was young and strong,
And my soul was fairly burning.

I saw things of wonder,
Lived through disease and wars,
Faced storms with crashing thunder,
Lay cold under desert stars.

It was how I chose to live.
Very little I regret.
I bought what Life could give,
Honor clean and free of debt.

Yet, at times, in twilight’s lull,
I look back with yearning,
Wondering if my life would be more full,
Had I taken a different turning.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I am a sad reflection.
I wish that I were not.
I think I’d change direction
If you’d consider all you’ve got.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I am of they who ride the storm
‘Tween Man and Angel flying,
Of substance neither cold nor warm.
Born and yet undying.

It is we who, vigil keeping,
Protect the creatures who guard men
When these angels themselves are sleeping
So that both rise well again.

Spawned of lightning and God’s love
To protect those who guard mankind .
We are seldom spoken of
Almost never brought to mind.

Yet, should evil break the angels’ shield,
We are there to fill the breach.
We never flee, nor do we yield.
Our grasp exceeds our reach.

In the world of Heavenly being,
We roam unheralded and unsung.
We carry on with no one seeing
Until the world’s death knell is rung.

Now you know who we are.
Your allies in the fight.
We are never very far.
We are with you in the night.


By Carl Martin Johnson

She gave me a look as I passed by,
Cast briefly over her shoulder,
From the corner of her eye,
An invitation to be much bolder.

There was a lifetime in that glance,
A life we might have shared.
She could have been my great romance,
The one who truly cared.

But I was shy and let her go,
Great coward that I be.
Now, it seems, I’ll never know
What she could have meant to me.

Our love may have been one of fame…
Romeo and Juliet…
It was I let die the flame…
So we are lovers who never met.

On days like this I’ll see that look,
What her eyes said to me.
How my heart trembled and shook
At what can no longer be.


By Carl Martin Johnson

My mouth alone will touch you
It alone will graze your skin.
Only my mouth will clutch you,
And create pleasure in our sin.

My tongue, moist with your sweet dew,
Will trail softly down your spine.
Hills and valleys will delight anew.
All of you is mine.

My teeth will nibble at delicate places,
Releasing your body’s trapped sensations,
Leaving glowing erotic traces,
And bursts of sensual celebrations.

Your throat will be a highway for my lips,
Climbing up to mount your own,
Before moving down where honey drips,
Bringing passion before unknown.

All of your love I’ll taste.
You will be my willing feast.
Not a morsel will I waste,
As we feed love’s rabid beast.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Sun asked for my help today.
He wanted my opinion.
He’d let the clouds get in the way,
Spreading shadow over his dominion.

Moon had just chastised him
For failing in his duty.
Her tirade had surprised him,
In questioning his beauty.

Moon warned his light was bleary,
No longer clear and bright
How could Earth below be cheery,
Without Sun’s best light?

Sun searched the cosmos through,
With no respite from his sadness.
Was there nothing he could do?
Would he dim down into madness?

As a last resort he turned to me.
I have always been his friend.
“I could use your help, you see.
I am truly at wits end.”

To restore the brilliance of friend Sun,
I pondered a long while.
Then I found the solution, the only one:
“Borrow the light of a human smile.”


By Carl Martin Johnson

Red Horseman he comes riding,
Bringing with him war and death.
It is futile to be hiding.
He can smell your fearful breath.

I taste him on my tongue,
His flavor bloody pain.
He seduced me when I was young.
I am a part of his domain.

I feel battle’s hot wind blowing,
Drying tears on mothers’ faces.
Grief and sorrow we’ll be knowing,
And the loss of human graces.

Red Horseman gallops into Life
To embrace me once again.
Sharp swords edged with chaos and strife,
Blood brothers in our sin.

Hard Conquest rides before him,
Famine and Death mounted behind.
Good men all deplore him,
But I am Red Horseman’s kind.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Tonight Roxanne will dress in red
To advertize her trade.
Her body live, but soul half dead,
In her nightly love charade.

She’ll patrol the boulevard,
Eyes out for men of means.
Wondering how life grew so hard,
Filled with cheap B-movie scenes.

Years ago there was a boy.
She can’t recall his face.
Back then she could still know joy.
It was another time and place..

The only love now she can feel
Is shot into her veins.
Even that can never heal
Her self-inflicted pains.

But her prince comes in her dream.
He will carry her off one night.
In his arms , on a silver beam
Of the morning star’s pure light.



Him Or Me?
Things I Left Behind
The Sad Reflection
They Who Ride The Storm
Her Look
Why Are You Not Me?
My Mouth Will Serve And Praise You
My Advice To The Sun
No One Can Hear Us
The Red Horseman
The Graveyard
The Red Dress
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