© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

 
 

ALEXANDER’S WOMAN
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

You, Great Alexander,
Conqueror of the whole world known,
Found your heart’s commander
In the royal house you’ve overthrown.

 

You lingered over her creamy breasts,
Your eyes devoured her graceful thighs.
Of all your glorious life’s conquests,
She was your greatest prize.

 

You were amazed at your deep feeling
When you lay with her at night,
Looking up at the sky’s starred ceiling,
Peaceful respite from the fight.

 

Alexander, did you wonder
Why you ever left her arms?
You loved the war drums’ thunder
Less than Roxanne’s whispered charms.

 

Were her warm silks and jeweled gilt
More pleasant to your touch
Than your battle sword’s cold hilt
That the warrior loves so much.

 

Liquid amber were her Persian eyes.
Melon red her luscious lips.
She would your strong body oft baptize
With the nectar that from them drips.

 

When you lay beside her,
Passion’s flames consumed you.
There was nothing you denied her
Until deadly fever doomed you.

 

Should now your fellow gods demand
Your fondest joy as man,
Will you say the world at your command,
Or the kiss of your Roxanne?

 

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WHAT HAPPENS TO OTHER LIVING THINGS
By Carl Martin Johnson

What happens to other living things,
Those without a human soul,
When Life’s final moment brings
The fate beyond control?

Did they ever have awareness
That their days would end?
Seems that Heaven, in all fairness,
Would some further life extend.

They bring joy into our lives
While we are here on earth.
Sad if nothing of them survives
In payment for their worth.

We will miss their love and beauty,
Be they wild or be they tame.
Caring for them is our duty.
Their abandonment would bring shame.

So, tonight send up a prayer
To the God of man and beast
That He judge these creatures fair
And grant Heaven to his least.

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RED HORSE RIDER
By Carl Martin Johnson

Beware the Rider of the Red Horse.
He behind the Second Seal.
Apocalyptic is his war force.
His sword Devastation’s steel.

Warn your sister and your brother.
He will bend you to his will.
Turn you one against the other.
Make you warlike, make you kill.

He will hide behind your pride.
His fine words will urge you on,
Until all mankind has died,
Until we all are gone.

His mount is covered in astral flame,
Yet the Rider does not burn.
The abyss from whence the Rider came
Will be Man’s funeral urn.

He will come with three others,
A cavalry of doom.
Sparks of life each one smothers,
‘Til this world is made a tomb.

The Red Horse I have ridden.
I see the others coming near.
To Death we all are bidden.
It does no good to fear.

The world will start again.,
But our final judgment is pending.
We must pay for what has been.
Must accept the Time of Ending.

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THE LITTLE KNIGHT
By Carl Martin Johnson

The little knight drew his sword,
Stepping forward, bold and brave,
To confront the dragon who had roared
In the depths of his dark cave.

He stretched up to switch the light
At the top of the basement stair.
He was not afraid to fight,
But the dark gave him a scare.

His mother was his queen.
From the evil beast he’d save her.
He was the best knight ever seen.
He was the guardian Heaven gave her.

When he got big and started school,
He’s still protect his Mom
Against all monsters, mean and cruel,
Wherever they came from.

The soldier woke to the sound of guns.
He was still his mother’s knight.
There were still monsters, different ones.
And he still had to fight.

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GHOST TOWN
By Carl Martin Johnson

These streets were once alive.
People talked and laughed and greeted.
Like a man, a town can thrive.
Like a man, it can be defeated.

Was its spirit drained
In some catastrophe horrific?
Or can its death be explained
By any one event specific?

There are spirits dwelling here,
Shadows of townsfolk’s ghosts.
Unseen, yet they feel near,
Watchful specters at their posts.

They whisper to me “Please stay.”
“We are lonely. Be our friend.”
But I had best be on my way
To meet my own life’s end.

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WARFIGHTERS
By Carl Martin Johnson

We will fight your wars.
We will die if death be needed.
Combat is in our stars.
The fate we’ve been given must be heeded.

The politicians send us here,
But they’re not why we fight.
We risk for those we hold dear,
And the soldier to our right.

We who do war are few.
We are proud to serve the rest.
We do not do that which we do
For cheers or medals on our chest.

Love is why a warrior fights,
Not for hatred of his foe.
Rather to guard your sacred rights,
And ensure your children in tranquility grow.

If we find we have been bled
On a politician’s whim,
He’d best be filled with dread.
For we’ll know the enemy as him.

When we are sent to distant lands,
We will go and not complain.
We will obey all just commands,
Requiring no one to explain.

But if the souls of those who fell
Are abandoned in retreat,
We’ll cast our leaders into hell.
A warrior does not accept defeat.

So, remember, you leaders elected,
We are not toys for you to use.
If we see our honor neglected,
You will have lit a dangerous fuse.

Yet we remain our country’s shield.
There is no cause for alarm.
We will die before we yield,
And let our nation come to harm.

Compatriots, we do your will.
For love of you we fight and die.
Do not lightly make us kill.
Make sure you know the reason why.

Now, fellow citizens, gently sleep.
We stand ready to give warning.
It is a diligent watch we keep,
That you wake safely in the morning.

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THE HOWLING
By Carl Martin Johnson

The haunting, mournful tune
Flowed chillingly through the night.
Cold light poured from the moon,
Coating the landscape snowy white.

The sound bypassed my ears.
I heard it with my soul.
I overcame my fears,
And let it take control.

The wolf rose up in silhouette,
Even darker than the nighttime sky,
Yet I perceived him as no threat,
Rather, in a strange way, my ally.

I sent my spirit to unite,
And found he was my brother.
Our father roamed the desert night,
The moon our beloved mother.

Man and beast, we became one,
Chasing demons to devour.
We are invincible when we run.
On earth no greater power.


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THE FLAME
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

It flickers, orange red.
Yellow smoking at the top.
With our energy it’s fed,
So it’s dancing will not stop.

 

The flame gives heat and light
That we may be warmed and see.
It brings day into night.
It brings you to me.

 

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WHEN
By Carl Martin Johnson

We loved each other long ago,
Briefly, but full well.
How did our romance lose its glow?
What could our hearts’ fire quell?

The sun rose for us only.
It set so we could sleep.
We knew we would never be lonely,
Our love was so strong and deep.

Then over us swept a cold wind.
Its frigid source unclear.
That which we thought could not end
Was if it had never been here.

Some nights now I think of you,
When I lie sleepless in my bed.
I wonder if you do that, too,
And if your tears were ever shed.

I have felt love’s embers smolder,
Though they never grow to flame.
They dim and again grow colder.
What a pity! What a shame!

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EATING THE WORLD
By Carl Martin Johnson

I will eat the world today.
I am ravenous for its fare.
I will devour whatever comes my way.
I will leave its cupboard bare.

For breakfast I will have the dawn.
I need its energy to fight.
I’ll sip the sky to carry on.
Slake my thirst until the night.

I will gulp down all the sound,
Bird songs and lion’s roar,
Thunder cracking all around,
Waves crashing onto shore.

I will chew that into a symphony.
Music for my meal.
It will be a bridge ‘tween God and me
So He knows how I feel.

A tornado I’ll use to pick my teeth,
When the main course is done.
Then I’ll reach out from here beneath,
And for dessert I’ll pluck the sun.

I may stop then and digest.
Assimilate all I’ve eaten.
Send the foods to where they work best,
To make sure I can’t be beaten.

Every day I’ll do it again,
Grow stronger, more complete.
Making sure my kind will win.
We were not made for defeat.

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LIFE DROPS
By Carl Martin Johnson

Life drips quickly from my allotted cup.
I must guide it to my soul’s garden,
Lest the world’s wasteland dry it up,
And leave fertile soil to harden.

I feel its passage, drop by drop,
Vital, rich, and nourishing.
Seeking to grow an abundant crop,
And see the garden flourishing.

When its moisture I let evaporate,
My life bears withered fruit
And watering rivers dehydrate
Rather than nurture wisdom’s root.

At times I’ve let it drain away
Eschewing living for lazy dream.
If that leak I do not stay,
The lost trickle will become a stream.

My cup will never be refilled.
When it’s empty, life is done.
All the drops that I have spilled
Are turned to vapor, every one.

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BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE
By Carl Martin Johnson

Before it’s too late, slay the dragon.
Save the damsel who screams in distress.
Catch a shooting star and hitch your wagon.
Ride it hard to happiness.

The planet keeps on spinning.
Turn back it never will.
If you wish to taste of Life’s winning,
Do not let your spirit stay still.

If a kiss is offered, take it.
Let no smile go unreturned.
If you have a thirst, then slake it.
These things the wise have learned.

The sun will soon be setting.
There may not be a dawn.
This may be the last day you’re getting.
Tomorrow could see you gone.

Before you give up your chance,
Grab this life by the throat.
The band is playing the last dance.
Don’t wait for Life’s final note.

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NATALIA PUSHKINA
(Pushkin’s Wife)

By Carl Martin Johnson

Beauty so irresistible and rare
Even the Czar was made your fool.
You drove many men to despair.
Your husband to fatal duel.

Though all Moscow lay prostrate at your feet,
Your eyes of fire hid a heart of ice.
Sweet smiles masked your black deceit.
A man’s soul was your kiss’ price.

When the Poet lay hard dying,
Did you feel no guilt or shame?
You had caused it by your lying.
You had sullied a great name.

Your flame was bright, but briefly burned.
His star will glow for ages.
Your charms were given, never earned.
You live only in his pages.

Pity beauty did not infect your soul,
For the soul is where you live.
But there was only a dark hole,
With nothing real to give.

All fine lines of form and face
Have left and turned to dust.
Now there remains not a single trace
Of what once drew men’s lust.

For the Poet’s sake we wish you well,
As Death’s dark sea you ride.
But if you drown in the depths of Hell,
May it be in tears your lovers cried.

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ALAMO
By Carl Martin Johnson

If every man must die,
Then let us die like men.
History will hold us high.
Defeat with honor is held a win.

Santa Anna is at the gate,
Hordes of lancers at his command.
Challenging Texans to armed debate
Will be harder than he’s planned.

The stars we see above us
Will light our martyrs’ way.
For the pride of those who love us,
We will not our land betray.

Let us breathe this cool night’s air.
It will be the last we taste.
Our fight will be our prayer.
Our blood not shed in waste.

A valiant death will soon embrace us.
Our memories will live on.
With hero’s laurels men will grace us
Long after we are gone.

One cannot kill the brave.
Courage is immortal.
Our names God will engrave
Above Heaven’s Warriors’ portal.

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THE SOLDIER’S GRANDMOTHER
By Carl Martin Johnson

He smiled, recalling her soft face,
Laugh lines around blue eyes,
Her simple movements, full of grace,
As she calmed his childish cries.

A warmth about his grandmother
Made the world all good.
She made him feel like no other
Person ever could.

She smelled of lavender and baking,
Her breath like minted tea.
It sent his young heart aching
For those times that used to be.

She was gone, but now she’d hold him
As he lay dying on the field.
He knew, as she had told him,
His soul would soon be healed.

He felt her arms around him,
And he looked up to the sky.
He thanked God that she had found him.
Now he was not afraid to die.

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AM
By Carl Martin Johnson

I am gazing at my mind.
No mirror in that can guide me.
I must accept all that I find.
From myself I cannot hide me.

Could it be the whole world’s there?
That I am the total of what exists?
Only my thoughts, being aware,
The stuff of which reality consists?

Is the universe my own design?
Am I thinking Life into being?
If I am God, am I benign?
Do I create by simply seeing?

And if I know, will it disappear?
Will I be alone again?
All the things I hold so dear,
As if they’d never even been.

I must stop this strange reflection.
Its pursuit will bring no good.
What I am is not my election.
Life is better felt than understood.

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STAY
By Carl Martin Johnson

If one day I pass your way,
And you ask me to stop and stay,
I will never run away,
But hold you to my heart.

 

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