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© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved


By Carl Martin Johnson

Some days memories find me,
The good ones and the bad,
All those times behind me,
All the life I’ve had.

A childhood hour I treasure.
Playing in the sun.
Grandma’s hug that gave me pleasure.
A girl whose heart I’d won.

A friend who was unkind.
The day my Grandma died.
Words of comfort I could not find.
The night my mother cried.

An album in my head
Of what has shaped my being.
A panoramic spread
Of my past that I am seeing.

More than a few bring pain.
Things I’ve done or were done to me.
Yet even those have brought some gain.
Made a newer, better me.

Also thoughts of wondrous times,
Of fine things felt and done.
My heart on these steps climbs.
Makes me think that I have won.

But the memories most endearing
Are from before my birth,
When my soul wandered unfearing,
And each instant had pure worth.


By Carl Martin Johnson

God gave me all I need
The day that I was born.
For naught else will I plead.
To beseech thus draws my scorn.

In His likeness He has made me.
I am grateful it be so.
Godly virtues, then, pervade me.
Nothing further does He owe.

I would insult Him, should I kneel,
To beg him as if weak.
The strength born with I can feel.
Only His friendship will I seek.

You will see me at His side.
Not prostrate at his feet.
I will be His source of pride.
We will together be complete.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I saw an angel walking away.
I don’t know where he was going.
But I called out for him to stay,
Sure he had things worth the knowing.

I hoped perhaps he’d share a few,
Just bits of angelic lore.
Some wondrous things I knew he knew,
Like “Who is God”, and maybe more.

He turned to me and smiled.
A glow shined from his face.
His eyes were bright but mild.
And, as expected, full of grace.

“You have questions for me, I see.”
He must have read my mind.
“I cannot solve the Mystery.
Your own answer you must find.”

“You are a poet, I believe.”
I nodded my admission.
“For the foolish rhymes that you conceive,
You will be asked to do contrition.”

I said I was a searcher for the Truth,
And words were my chosen tool.
“I’ve been searching since my youth.”
He said, “You are a fool.”

“In your words, you should take no pride.
You are a scribbler on God’s wall.
You must, wordless, look inside,
If you wish to know God at all.”

Now I look there every day.
As yet with no success.
Perhaps another angel will come my way.
And this one will my search bless.


By Carl Martin Johnson

From a land that was not real,
In dreamtime the woman came.
Her gossamer gown did not conceal.
A soft whisper was her name.

She lay in flowers at my feet.
Her bright eyes seeking mine.
Full lips parting moist to greet,
To tempt me with love’s wine.

I knelt down, transfixed, by her side.
She reached up to touch my face.
Her hand took hold of mine to guide
Over every lovely place.

Through her robe I felt her heat,
The passion of her throbbing heart.
Vibrant life in primal beat,
Warming well her every part.

Behind my neck her soft hand slid.
Pulled me in ‘til our mouths met.
Then the magic that she did
Led to passion I can’t forget.

It was over when I awoke.
I opened my eyes and she was gone.
It was enchantment, a sorcerer’s joke.
I was left alone to carry on.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Wake me in the morning,
If you decide to go.
I’d like to have some warning.
Though might be better not to know.

Been a long while since we’ve spoken.
Not really much to say.
Guess what we had is broken,
But I’d still like you to stay.

Remember when times were good?
I can, if I try.
I’d go back there if I could,
Before love began to die.

In a few years, we’ll forget.
Other loves will fill the void.
Scars will have healed, and yet,
A thing precious was destroyed.

Or, maybe, let me sleep.
A few more minutes before sorrow.
The pain will cut me deep.
It can wait until tomorrow.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Look up! See us coming!
See our flag that you so fear.
Hear our war song drumming.
You will die when we appear.

You threaten our great nation,
Our religion and way of life.
You are the enemy of civilization,
Spreading filth with a butcher’s knife.

We are charging forth to kill you.
You face a bloody end.
Let thoughts of agony fill you.
Only death will be your friend.

No God is on your side.
Do not look to Him for aid.
There is no place to hide.
This is the Final Crusade.


By Carl Martin Johnson

She still burned with love’s fever.
Inside she was on fire.
Their coupling did not relieve her,
Nor satisfy desire.

Hot trails ran along her thighs,
Where his fingers had been tracing.
She could not cool them with her sighs,
Nor stop her heart from racing.

Where her body had felt his kiss
Yearned for him to give more pleasure,
Craving a return to the bliss
Memory stored as loving treasure.

She hungered for his tongue,
Entangled wetly with her own,
While their mating song was sung,
A long ardent, amorous moan.

She smoldered in hidden places,
Where his passion before had found her.
She still needed his embraces,
Lusted for his arms around her.

Every spot where he had touched her
Awaited, throbbing, his return.
Her ardor for him clutched her
Her soul willing to burn.

Her body ached for him badly.
Every inch of tingling skin
Searching for his caress madly.
She must have him again.



By Carl Martin Johnson

The man beside me had a child.
The man beside me had a wife.
The bullet aimed at me went wild,
And took that soldier’s life.

I met him just this morning
When reinforcements came.
Too bad there’s no forewarning
When Fate blows out Life’s flame.

His blood runs down my face.
His head rests on my shoulder.
Why not me there in his place?
Why me the one getting older?

I sense his soul now fleeing
This field of pain and death.
Is it me that he is seeing
As he lets go his last breath?

We will meet before long, my brother.
Don’t resent my living on.
In this war or another,
My time will soon be gone.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Hope is a bird with golden wings.
She flies high in the sky.
Hearts are lifted when she sings.
Her songs drive us to try.

But Hope has a powerful rival,
The vampire of Despair.
She sucks out the will for survival,
‘Til the soul is withered beyond repair.

Trials are sent to test us.
To make us prove our worth.
We cannot let them best us.
Lest we dishonor human birth.

When the darkness falls with strife,
It is then Despair’s fangs bite.
And she will draw out all our life
If we do not have the will to fight.

Hope will aid us when we need her.
She will come to make us strong.
But with our courage we must feed her.
Then she will sing for us her song.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I looked up to the sky,
The sun warm on my face.
Glad to let the world roll by.
Content with my place.

The sunshine made me glow.
Filled me with its cheer.
I drifted along with Nature’s flow
In a world that held me dear.

I stood there without moving,
Washed in golden rays.
Every moment life improving.
It was the best of days.

All at once, the gold light grayed.
The warmth about me cooled.
A darkness overlaid,
Dulling what had been bejeweled.

I gave in to despair.
Hung my head and cried.
Life was so unfair.
Better to have died.

Then I cursed myself in shame.
Was I a man or not?
Did a flicker of Life’s flame,
Make me tremble at my lot?

I’ll hold on ‘til light’s returned.
A man is nothing if not proud.
Head up and unconcerned.
It is only a passing cloud.


By Carl Martin Johnson

It was only the hand that I could see.
The rest of him was covered.
He was laid out next to me,
Where a young field nurse still hovered.

I was foggy from the pain
And the morphine she’d injected.
Weird thoughts slid ‘round my brain.

Over the knuckles ran a scar,
Angry-red, deep, and wide.
From this or some other war.
On our, or the enemy’s, side.

Had he thrown it up to shield
When the bayonet slashed down?
Was he a man who would not yield?
The kind who held his ground?

The fourth finger wore a ring,
A band of simple gold.
A woman’s heart would grievous sting
When news of his death was told.

Maybe this hand reached to the sky
When a child, seeking a star.
Then the light was way too high.
Now perhaps it’s not so far.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Cherish things that matter.
Hold them closely to your heart.
Embrace them lest they scatter,
And you see them all depart.

Whisper them a gentle word.
Speak in a soothing tone.
Let love in your voice be heard.
Sincere affection shown.

They will return your care.
Spread their warmth around you.
The cherishing is a prayer
Of gratitude that they found you.

Those things we cherish define us.
Tell the world who we are.
Ordinary desires only confine us.
Better to cherish a brilliant star.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Your lips are succulent berries
That I take between my teeth,
Tasting what your love carries
To my mouth and all beneath.

I raise my fingers to your kiss.
Your mouth’s flesh is so exciting.
I groan aloud in abandoned bliss
From the pleasure you’re inviting.

Then moist lips trace up my spine,
Sending shivers down my back.
Feeling the flow of lovers’ wine
Fueling rapture’s s hard attack.

They slide across my chest.
And speak to all of me,
Giving such arousal I protest.
I cannot bear the ecstasy.

To my mouth then they return,
Dripping love’s sweet dew .
I am branded with the feverish burn
Of these magic parts of you.


By Carl Martin Johnson

The day the circus came to town,
I was a boy of seven.
At last I’d see a real live clown.
To me, a slice of heaven.

I could hardly sleep the night before.
I was up before the sun,
Imagining all the treats in store.
It would be so much fun.

But my mom came to me sad.
She said: “I’m sorry, honey.
This month’s bills have been so bad,
We just don’t have the money.”

I hugged her hard, ‘cause I was brave,
And loved my mom a lot.
Next year I would work and save.
I wouldn’t put her on the spot.

I ran down to the circus grounds.
I could look in from outside,
And listen to the circus sounds.
Maybe find a place to hide.

I found a hole and slipped inside,
Scared, but excited, too.
My boy’s eyes were open wide.
I didn’t know what to do.

Then a big shadow came up from the rear.
I froze…I couldn’t run.
A deep voice bellowed loud and clear:
“What are you doing, son?”

I trembled some with fear.
My face a worried frown.
Because holding onto my ear,
Was a very scary clown.

“You’re too young for jail, “ he said.
“You want to see the show?”
I could only nod my head.
He laughed and let me go.

“Then you’ll have to work a bit.
Help me in my act.
I could use a kid in my skit.
You’d be perfect. That’s a fact.”

He painted my face white.
Drew a big red smile.
Got my eyes just right.
Stood back and looked a while.

“You remind me of myself, young man,
When I was just a lad.
Now I recall how it began,
It makes me very glad.”

I did my best to help that clown.
And he soon became my friend.
Every year when the circus came to town,
I would work with him again.

The time went by very fast.
One year the circus came without him.
I found out that the clown had passed,
When I asked his friends about him.

So, I signed on to take his place.
I couldn’t let him down.
Now I wear his painted face.
Now I am the clown.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I know I’m living bold.
And I will pay the price.
I never will grow old.
Too often it is I roll the dice.

Shall I be a cautious man instead,
Enjoying life in moderation?
I’ll be moderate when I’m dead.
Living is for celebration.

I could nibble at my days,
Rather than take huge bites.
But I want my life to be ablaze,
Not flickering with candlelights.

Let my voice be a roar.
A timid whimper will not do me.
There is a lion at my core.
The only way of living to me.

And when I die I will explode.
A magnificent bright starburst.
I will leave no experience owed,
Because I will eat Life first.


Cloud Shadows
All I Need
An Angel Walking
The Hand
Your Lips
Wake Me In The Morning
The Clown
To The Islamic State "Caliphate"
The Man Beside Me
Living Bold
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