© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

THE WHISTLER

By Carl Martin Johnson

Some say he dropped from the Celestial Choir.
He stole their tunes, at least.
He whistled ice; he whistled fire.
He could whistle up a feast.

The people stopped when he passed by,
Man, woman, girl, and boy.
If some could be seen to cry.
Their tears were those of joy.

The parade of dogs that trailed him
Kept him warm when nights grew cold.
Wherever dawn would find him,
His whistled stories would be told.

Great tales he would reveal,
Though no word was spoken.
In his warblings one could feel
Mankind’s soul unbroken.

Then one morn the quiet fell.
No joyous notes came from him.
As all men, he heard death’s knell.
Mortality had overcome him.

All were distraught to lose such treasure,
Musical whispers blown to please.
Until at his grave they heard with pleasure,
His tunes flowing through the trees.

 

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WALK WITH ME NOW

By Carl Martin Johnson

Walk with me now.
Let me show you how
We take our sweet world back.

With the sword, not the plow,
Our enemy I will smite, I vow.
My lion will devour the manged wolf’s pack.

Walk on with me to the ring.
You don’t have to bleed.
I will show what I can bring
To fight evil when we need.

I need to move.
I need to fight.
I need to prove
That good is right.

Walk on with me across the grave.
I will teach you to be brave.
To fight like a man.

You’ll have the glory that you crave
By tearing through these beasts that rave.
I will show you that you can.

I was born with no fear.
Now for me the way seems clear.
I need to move.
I need to fight.
I need to do the thing that’s right.

I’ve wasted time; I’ve wasted breath.
I’m ready to spit in the Face of Death.

Come with me now.

 

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SHADOW RIDERS

By Carl Martin Johnson

The riders come on at the charge,
Black silhouettes against red sky.
Like mounted men, but twice as large.
Make way for them, or die.

Nor God, nor Satan gave them birth.
They come from a land between.
They ride nightly past the Earth
Toward Purgatory’s ravine.

Human souls they scatter,
Be they dead, or be they living.
They let naught but destination matter.
And they ask for no forgiving.

Should you hear them coming,
Be wise and step aside.
The sound of ghost hooves drumming
Are warning from those who’ve died.

 

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YOUR HANDS

By Carl Martin Johnson

Your hands run down my chest.
Over my abdomen and below.
Your hands do loving best.
They know how to make me glow.

Your slender fingers trace
Hard muscles of my thighs.
My gaze moves to your face.
I see the woman-lust in your eyes.

The smooth tip of your finger
Travels softly on my skin.
It senses just where to linger
And tempt me on to luscious sin.

Will this lead to full loving sweet
Where our bodies strain in union?
Or will your hands make love complete,
And leave our souls to final communion?

 

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LUCIFER

By Carl Martin Johnson

What a fool you are, Great Demon!
You were progeny of the Divine.
Born of the Creator’s holy semen.
No brighter star did shine.

He called “Light” your name.
None did He love more.
Your were Lucifer, God’s flame,
Guardian of Heaven’s Door.

For your sedition, the High Lord spurned you.
Set in your place another.
Sent you to the fire that burned you,
And, in your stead, put Michael your brother.

With hope, He made my kind,
Correcting what was flawed.
You, Lucifer, should have known His mind.
Only Man can become God.

 

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WORDLESS VERSE
By Carl Johnson

I go fast for love of speed,
Not in pursuit of quick arrival.
The thrill is what I need.
I care nothing for survival.

I hunt beauty for its own sake,
Not for my body’s use.
Though a long look I may take,
It is not always to seduce.

I write words for sound alone
With no regard at all for meaning.
Rather tempo, perhaps tone,
As a Te Deum or funeral’s keening.

Words only get in the way.
They pollute communication.
Even when we pray,
The best is wordless supplication.

Pretentious poets, those like me,
Hold words our God-given tools.
Yet, with an honest look we see
We are simply arrogant fools.

There exists a wordless verse,
Hiding deep inside our being,
But Adam’s harshest curse
Was losing the vision for its seeing.

 

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DEUS VULT
By Carl Martin Johnson

Undefeated, keep your pride!
Being victim is for others.
We are not of those who hide.
We are Divine Victory brothers.

We are eaters, not the eaten.
Too good for master, too strong for slave.
We can be killed, but never beaten.
The only way we live is brave.

We were born to fight with valor.
We are attacking if we run.
Our faces show no coward’s pallor.
We hold fast ‘til the mission’s done.

We protect Civilization’s weak.
But we will never be thus.
Christianity’s enemies we seek
And all who stand against us

All our wars will e’er be glorious.
The demon Infidel our prey
With God’s help we will be victorious.
This is the New Crusader’s day.
 
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CATCHING A STAR
By Carl Martin Johnson

If I catch you, distant star,
What is it you will bring?
You are magic, I know you are.
I have heard the song you sing.

Will you grant me wealth and beauty?
Easy for you, I’m sure.
However, I think it is your duty
To gift things far more pure.

Your brilliance I can nearly touch,
With my heart, if not my hand.
Though your fire I may not clutch,
Your glow is just as grand.

And, if I miss my aim tonight,
I will return tomorrow.
I know you will be just as bright,
So there’ll be no cause for sorrow.
 
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DREAMING I BOUGHT MONA LISA

By Carl Martin Johnson

She loved me though
We never met.
I want her so
I can never forget.

Her eyes. Her lips. Her hair.
Were painted just for me.
Never was there one so fair,
And mine for eternity.

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SEARCHING
By Carl Martin Johnson

I’ve searched for God forever,
Not knowing where to start.
At last I feel I’ve found Him.
He was right here in my heart.
 
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WINTER WIND
By Carl Martin Johnson

The winter wind blew sharp today.
It cut right through my coat,
Stroking the powerlines above to play
A single mournful note.

I closed my eyes against her bite
Too late to stop them tearing.
I savored the cold winter night
To the sad tune I was hearing.

An advance patrol of sleet attacked,
Signaling a coming charge.
I could tell by the way the branches cracked
The main force would be large.

Despite the storm, I stood there still,
To shelter no thought given.
I defied the wet and bitter chill.
From that spot I would not be driven.

The sensation odd, nor pain nor pleasure.
Nature’s extreme I was embracing.
The experience is one I treasure,
And conjure up when hardship’s facing.

I love the winter wind.
She reminds me I am mortal.
Every time she comes again,
I take one step toward death’s portal.

Her desolation, cold and gray
Runs hard against summer’s pleasure,
As blackest night contrasts to day.
But which do I most treasure?

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TO MY GROWING CHILD
By Carl Martin Johnson

I would keep you safe forever,
Kill all dragons that come near,
But I know I am not so clever
That you will never feel life’s fear.

Your life, like mine, will end.
I pray not for many years.
No matter how much care I spend,
I cannot prevent death’s tears.

Should I lock you in a room?
Shelter you from wind and storm?
That would be a living tomb,
Though it kept you free from harm.

A ship is safe while in port remains,
But a ship is for exploring.
It cannot discover new domains
Until set free from its mooring.

So I will ensure your hull is tight,
Your sails mended and strong,
You know well a captain’s fight,
And ignore the Siren’s song.

Then I will let you risk the gale.
My love too dear to hold you back.
Survive or die, succeed or fail,
It is your life to attack.

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THE TOUCH OF JEANNE D’ARC
By Carl Martin Johnson

I fought beside her at Orleans.
Her banner led us on.
With the Maid of Orleans at our head,
Battle after battle we won.

Her sword hacked aside a killing lance
Coming at my throat.
It slashed instead her lovely hide
Through the links of her chain mail coat.

Now they ride her past in shackles.
Cauchon, damned traitor, has condemned her.
She stands in the prisoner cart alone
With no one to befriend her.

Where are those who cheered her
As she drove English armies into ground,
The multitudes who sang her praise
Are nowhere to be found.

And myself, coward that I be,
Am I any better?
I raised no voice when the judge said “Burn!”
Here I am cringing to forget her.

She is moving near, young head unbowed.
I see no terror’s tears.
Oh, dear God, she looks my way!
Can she see a coward’s fears?

She smiles at me.
Forgiving. No harsher scourge.
She feels only a comrade’s love.
Lord Jesus, my weakness purge!

I steel myself to be a man,
I push through to her martyr’s cart.
For a moment I regain my pride,
Inspired by this girl with a warrior’s heart.

Reaching out, I touch her hand.
Her own moves to my face.
She restores my honor with a caress.
She shares with me her Grace.

She smiles once more, turning to the stake,
Soon lit by executioner’s spark.
Yes, she is young, yes, just a girl.
I shout: “By God, this is Jeanne d’Arc!”

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THE RIVER
By Carl Martin Johnson

It was the river who led me to you.
Your beauty drove me to the shore.
But when I landed my canoe to pursue you,
You disappeared through some unseen door.

I searched the pueblo on the river’s edge.
I could find not a trace.
The villagers swore a holy pledge
They had never seen your face.

I built a home on the opposite bank.
Believing you would return.
Every night I knelt in prayer to thank
Heaven for letting such love burn.

Years went by and I grew wealthy.
My estancia expanded and flourished.
Yet my obsession with you remained unhealthy,
My sad love endured fully nourished.

I was kept alive by that single factor,
My beard lengthened and grayed.
I was a lonely and tragic actor
On the stage where my life played.

Then, as age was fogging my sight,
You appeared on the bank across.
I leapt into the current in the blackness of night.
For now my life would not be a loss.

Like a figure made of wispy lace,
You led me through the trees.
The gossamer charms of your body and face
Wafting softly in the night’s gently breeze.

Through the village streets I ran,
Desperate for your embrace.
But I was no longer a youthful man;
I knew I would soon lose the race.

You disappeared behind a rise.
When I got there you had vanished.
I saw only desert, graveyard and night skies.
I cried out, abandoned and banished.

My legs grew weak, lost all strength.
I surrendered both body and soul.
Lying over an old grave stretched full length,
I forswore my passionate goal.

I, Rafael Orlanger, man of boundless devotion,
Would no more seek my heart’s only desire.
The cold, deep waters of despair’s ocean
Would quench my hot lover’s fire.

My tears muddied the dirt to mask my cheek
Before I lifted my head to leave.
This chill cemetery, sad and bleak,
Was a fitting place to grieve.

Then I took note of the stone to my front.
I focused on the engraving.
I knew I had reached the end of my hunt.
Found dark satisfaction for my craving.

“Here Rests Catalina Orlander,
And her husband, the good Rafael.
He tried to save her from the river’s anger.
He loved his dear wife very well.”

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KISS ME IN THE MORNING
By Carl Martin Johnson

Kiss me in the morning,
For I may not return.
Fate rarely gives us warning.
Fate has no concern.

Tell me that you love me.
Bless me on my way.
Swear to the stars above me
That you will always stay.

Say you will await my returning,
Should I be gone for many years.
That love’s light will still be burning,
And you’ll greet me with joyful tears.

My heart will ache until I hold you.
You will never leave my mind.
Please remember what I told you:
My heart has not left you behind.

But, if ill chance befalls us,
On this earth this kiss be our last,
We will meet again where eternity calls us.
And there forever our love hold fast.


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LOVERS’ NEW YEAR
By Carl Martin Johnson

Let us run away in the New Year.
Let us find a lovers’ place.
A place for us to hide, dear,
In a never-ending embrace.

We will leave the past behind us,
Make a future of our own.
Only passion will ever find us.
Only to God will we be known.

All chains that bound us will be broken,
Save those which bind our troth.
The moon shall be our token.
The stars will guide us both.

We will melt into each other,
Our two souls become one.
We will cherish one another
Until the world is done.

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