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© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

A Father's Promise
Her Baby's Father

By Carl Martin Johnson

No one knocked on her door
To let her know he had died.
No one saw her on the floor,
Where she had collapsed and cried.

She heard the news along the street.
At first she would not believe.
Not now, when life was so complete.
This was no time to grieve.

His parents did not know her,
Or that it was his child she carried.
When he returned he planned to show her,
And say they would be married.

Life dealt a lousy hand.
He would not see his son.
Fate was not theirs to command,
But she would do what must be done.

The boy would have his name.
He would know his father’s story.
He would share his father’s fame,
Tell his own son of his glory.

The hero’s flag over the casket
Would not be hers beside the grave,
But if she felt fear, she would mask it,
And show him she too could be brave.


By Carl Martin Johnson

If you bring guns across the river,
You’re going to visit a jail.
Mexico is no great forgiver,
And it’s damned hard to make bail.

But you can’t fight guns with knives.
Too many good people will die.
Our side lost too many lives.
Still, we gave it a try.

Bloodied, I made my retreat.
The Rio Bravo my destination,
Doing my best to avoid a meet
With the police of this violent nation.

I ran hard but they caught me
Just south of the puebla Cheran.
The same damned federales who fought me.
Now for sure I’m a dead man.

They gave me my own private cell.
I wouldn’t last a minute with the rest.
I don’t believe I’ll have long in this hell.
They’ll soon put my sad soul to rest.

I’ll be sacrificed to the gods of the Aztec.
I’ll be dead, but at least I’ll be free.
The sentence a sharp sword to the white neck
Of gringo guerreros like me.



By Carl Martin Johnson

If only clouds could tell stories,
Speak of what they know,
Tales of defeats and glories,
In the world they see below.

They learn us humans well,
From their vantage point on high.
Surely they can tell
What makes us laugh and makes us cry.

Do they scorn our shallow lives,
Casting off the hope of youth?
Awaiting the day our death arrives,
Chasing pleasure instead of truth?

Or are they angels in disguise,
In the sky to help us dream,
So that we awake in sweet surprise
That we are greater than we seem?


By Carl Martin Johnson

Jewels fill the sky at night,
Illuminating the angels’ home,
With silver sparks, some dim, some bright,
Spread over the black dome.

I love these points of stellar fire,
They hypnotize with wonder,
Both poetry and love inspire,
All who in their glow stand under.

I embrace their tiny starbeams,
Streams of luminous tears they drop,
They hold within my far dreams.
I pray they never stop.

I will myself up to them,
Bounce among their glows.
I feel I always knew them,
That I am one they chose.

The constellations are my friends,
Painted by Heaven to show love.
It is a canvas that never ends,
All one need do is look above.

If I need proof God’s love exists,
I visit the starlight in my soul,
Each sweet star there is a kiss
That proves to me I am God’s goal.


By Carl Martin Johnson

These steel tracks will guide me,
Wherever it is they go.
I’ve got a feeling deep inside me
There’s something that they know.

It’s probably been a hundred years
Since a train rolled down these rails.
But they’ve been oiled with many tears
From bums like me and our tales.

In return they point and smooth the way.
At least make us feel we’re moving.
Give us hope to last one more day.
That life will be improving.

So I will travel where they lead me.
Destination? I don’t care.
My heart is hungry, and they feed me.
Life will be better there.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Mama Grande was my lover
A lifetime or two ago.
Why she finally blew my cover,
I’ll never really know.

She was generous with her treasures
Which she displayed in fashion bold.
I never tired of her womanly pleasures.
Nothing about Mama was ever cold.

I slept cradled in her bosoms ample,
Protected there from all earthly harms.
Nestled between two mountains, a good example
Of my placement in sweet Mama’s charms.

But Mama coveted riches,
And the reward for me was large,
So she sold me to the sons-o’-bitches.
Robbery with murder was the charge.

Looks like I’ll swing tomorrow.
They’ll hang me high an’ dandy.
I won’t miss this vale of sorrow,
‘Cept for Mama Grande.


By Carl Martin Johnson

This is not my first fight,
But this time the fear is icy.
Just three of us left tonight.
The situation’s dicey.

My mouth is too dry to swallow.
Both my hands are shaking.
Inside, I’m feeling hollow.
My last breath could be the one I’m taking.

In a minute we’ll attack.
There’s no hiding, I’m afraid.
We are soldiers, we don’t turn back,
Though a soldier’s dues be paid.

St Michael, please hear me.
St Michael, make me brave.
If I can feel you near me,
I won’t lie in a coward’s grave.

Now I’ll close my eyes
And remember who I am.
Everybody dies.
If I die, I’ll die a man.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Your eyes of amber golden
Seduce me with their smile.
I am to them alone beholden
For a trip to pleasure’s isle.

We are standing near the dance floor,
My blue eyes locked onto your own,
Together opening a secret door
To ecstasy before unknown.

Your eyes undo my shirt
While mine remove your dress quite slowly.
Revealing breasts, firm and pert
A delicious picture wholly.

I see you kiss my chest,
Eyes tracing muscles smooth and tight
Your sight moving down to rest
On the source of your delight.

You slightly turn your back to me,
Showing curves smooth and defined.
Your eyes inviting me to see
What I am about to have for mine.

Your eyes increasingly connect
While you put your body on display.
This is a movie you direct,
About lust and sensuous play.

Your temptation was too much.
My breathing almost stopped.
Our eyes are making love.
All pretense should be dropped.

Your head leans back, full lips apart,
And my eyes enter you.
We feel our passionate loving start.
Holding fast ‘til we are through.

I see your unfocused look,
As your desire is sated.
I don’t know how much time I took,
But while I finished, you waited.

Our eyes embrace and kiss,
A kiss that’s warm and long.
What our bodies may have missed,
For our eyes was very strong.

One day we may meet.
Then, perhaps we will not.
Could real love be as sweet,
Or even half as hot?


By Carl Martin Johnson

If you are ill, I will cure you.
I will make you well again.
I will nurse you and ensure you
Have health that will not end.

A house for you I’ll build,
That your mother makes a home.
I will keep it cheerily filled
With a family to call your own.

I will put food on your table,
Wholesome, fresh and hot.
As far as I am able
You will have what I did not.

Should danger try to find you,
I will stand firm in its way.
You can put all fears behind you.
I am with you night and day.

I’ll forever be your Dad.
You can always count on me.
I will never make you sad.
I will keep you safe and free.

And when from this life to the next I go,
I will still guard you every day.
I will ever be you father, you know.
Your Dad will never go away.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Satan, you kill the weak.
Children die by your hand.
But if it is battle you seek,
I challenge you…fight a Man.

Your visage inspires fear.
There are many who will flee.
Look at my face and see clear,
It is you best flee me.

Your eyes are red, mine are blue.
Both stare firmly straight.
While mine look for what is true,
Yours are filled with hate.

To you, O damned King of Hell,
I issue challenge to duel.
We shall see if a child of God can fell
A creature so horribly cruel.

I ask no help from my Creator,
Nor from Michael, patron saint.
In our life or death theater
You will not find me faint.

You, Lucifer, I taunt you.
Come and take me if you can.
I am a better thing than you.
I am a Man.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Great sorrow oft will overwhelm.
It is drowning me today.
In all of Great God’s realm,
I cannot find my way.

I wander, bereft and lost,
My soul painted darkest black.
I stay alive, but at heavy cost.
Will I ever get happiness back?

Misfortune grows to evil and destroys,
Cutting off the soul’s sweet breath,
Laying waste to all our joys,
Leaving us longing for the peace of death.

Yet cancerous sadness we cannot let win.
We must not be destroyed.
Virtue wields a mightier sword than sin.
We can reclaim what was once enjoyed.

Let us loose our anger’s sharpest fangs
To maul that which brought us grief.
Righteous vengeance soothe our anguished pangs,
And bring us blessed relief.

Someday Sorrow will return
Riding the back of Evil Deed.
Till then we will not hide, but learn
How to fight back when there is need.


By Carl Martin Johnson

My Mommy took me to school today.
I was happy ‘cause it was sunny.
So we could go outside and play
And do things that are funny.

She packed a cupcake in my lunch
Because I’ve been a good kid.
I liked that a real whole bunch.
I liked almost everything Mommy did.

My teacher tickled me on my ear.
She always makes me laugh.
She said “What have you got dear?”
I said “A cupcake. You want half?”

Then something happened, a little scary.
A big noise, then a light
And somebody held me…a kind of fairy,
And said “It will be all right.”

I’m going away now, way up high.
I see Mommy down below.
I’m okay. Please, Mommy don’t cry.
But she can’t hear me now, I know.

She’ll see me soon, my angel said.
She will hold me then.
God will take care of me, now I’m dead,
Until Mommy’s with me again.


By Carl Martin Johnson

If you hurt me, I’ll forgive you,
Whether by insult or a blow.
My blessing I will give, too.
I am saying, so you’ll know.

Forgive and be forgiven
We are taught by holy men.
If from our sins we would be shriven,
We must absolve those who have done us sin.

Ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis
All the wrongs you have done to me.
I excuse even the newest,
Even those that are yet to be.

But, although you do me harm,
Escaping with no threat,
You have no magic charm.
And, I warn, lest you forget.

While virtue is my goal.
My Lord I wish to please,
I have an ordinary soul,
Despite praying on my knees.

If you touch someone I love,
I will give you a bloody end.
Your entreaties to God above
Will not save you then.

Yes, I try hard to forgive.
I will turn the other cheek.
But you mind where my people live,
Unless hard death you seek.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Silence. Can you hear it,
As it filters through your soul?
Embrace it. Do not fear it.
It has come to make you whole.

Let it cleanse you of the clamor
That screams into your brain,
And strikes you like a hammer,
Until you break, insane.

It flows gently through the universe,
Spreading soft its hush.
Causing din and racket to disperse.
Drowning them in tidal rush.

Its comforting blanket will enfold you.
Wrap you close and keep you warm,
Insulated from sounds that once controlled you.
Give you life without alarm.

Make it you lover and rejoice.
You will find a prize quite rare.
Feel the Unspoken Voice.
God’s whispered love is there.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I hope that you remember me.
I’m the man you sent to war.
I gave all I had to keep you free
On a battlefield off far.

It was an honorable way to die.
I did not mind the pain.
I know it made my mother cry,
But I would do it all again.

There are years of living I will not see.
Children I won’t watch grow.
Sweetheart kisses that will not be.
It was worth it, even so.

Just hold our country dear.
Bless this good land when you pray.
Our nation’s values hold sincere.
And remember me today.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Some loves die hard,
Crash and splinter on the ground.
Lovers blood on every shard,
Pain and vengeance dripping down.

Sweetest nectar turns to bile,
Vinegar from passion’s wine,
Angry frown from joyful smile
Scars the face was once divine.

How fine the line ‘tween love and hate.
How could such beauty end?
No one who has felt love so great
Could ever be a friend.

Like all hard grief, this too will heal.
But for a time darkness will reign.
The heart too numb, too dead to feel,
And the mind will be insane.

Until one day the sun breaks through,
Shining bright from someone’s eyes.
What was felt once will then renew,
Love will grow where anger dies.

Before that time there is no cure,
No mending what’s torn apart.
The suffering one must endure.
Only love can heal the heart.


A Challenge To The Devil
Gringo Guerrero
Cloud Stories
A Child Passes
Old Tracks
Mama Grande
The Last Fight
Remember Me
Your Eyes
Some Loves Die Hard
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