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© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

The Gate

By Carl Martin Johnson

When I arrived the Gate was closed.
I tried the latch but found it locked.
This was not what I had supposed.
Why would my way be blocked?

I stepped back and looked around,
Hoping there to find a key.
I discovered none, but I found
A note that was addressed to me.

“This Gate will open for you.
You will not need a key.
The only thing you must do
Is solve Life’s Mystery.”

So I set out on my quest,
Determined to pass the Gate.
I swore I would do my best
Without caution as to my fate.

For years I scoured the world,
Begging answers to my plea.
Expecting a scroll to be unfurled,
With the answer all laid out for me.

At last fatigue overcame me.
I had searched the earth entire.
I was burned out, who could blame me?
My resolve had lost its fire.

So I slunk back in defeat
To the Gate from whence I started.
Too tired to keep my feet,
I collapsed, broken-hearted.

There I slept for many days.
In my exhausted sleep I dreamed
Visions of innumerable ways
My life the journey had redeemed.

When I awoke I pushed the Gate.
It opened wide and came to rest.
Then I knew the key to my fate
Was not the Answer, but the Quest.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Lie back; let Life flow through you.
I will be there by your side.
Absorb the power that’s due you.
Igniting sparks that have long died.

Open your eyes, but look within.
See the cosmos that is your soul.
Go deep to where you see beauty begin.
Far down where you are whole.

We will float upon a sea of bliss,
Our souls the sailing ships.
Our course set for eternity’s kiss
To touch God’s fingertips.

For that moment we will only feel.
No thinking will be done.
So our minds and hearts will heal.
Life’s renewal won.

We will sip a drop of Paradise,
Although we cannot stay.
For this preview we won’t pay Death’s price.
That will come another day.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I had followed his spoor since dawn.
It was fresh now; he was near.
Dusk was falling, but I pressed on,
Despite the coming dark…and fear.

The hog was huge and mean.
He’d laid waste half the county.
The reward was the biggest I’d seen.
I was there to collect that bounty.

He’s shredded dogs who’d given chase.
He’d crippled many men.
I’d come alone on this blood race
Alone I was going to win.

I’d found him once before,
In an arroyo near Laredo.
My limp body he threw and tore
Like a rag doll in a tusked tornado.

Now I rounded the bend and caught my breath.
He stood looking hard into my eyes.
I knew I was about to meet my death,
With not a soul to hear my cries.

With more calm than I really felt,
I slowly raised my gun.
We play the cards in life we’re dealt.
Not all hands can be won.

The boar moved not a hair,
While my finger tightened on the trigger.
He had an air of majesty there.
Not just a pig, but something bigger.

His dark eyes reached into me.
He was the very best of his kind.
There was a part of him that knew me,
Made contact with my mind.

He was too magnificent to slay.
I could not call up the will.
I very slowly backed away.
Some things I cannot kill.


By Carl Martin Johnson

There is an emptiness in my heart.
It’s the place where you had been.
I never thought we’d be apart,
But you won’t be back again.

You’ve moved on to something new.
I wish you happiness, I swear.
Although, to tell you true,
It is hard for me to bear.

I’ll still hold you every night,
In spite of your not knowing.
Oh, I would have put up such a fight,
Had I known that you were going!

Perhaps we’ll meet again.
Of that I am not certain.
I don’t know where I’ll be or when.
That’s behind Future’s curtain.

Against a lover I could compete.
I could vie for your affection.
But with your leaving so complete,
I would only find rejection.

Death, sweet final friend,
Has wrapped you in his arms.
As he will me, in the end.
None are immune to his charms.

Until then I will mourn.
You are gone, but not your love.
I pray we’ll be reborn
In some better place above.


By Carl Martin Johnson

When I found him he was breathing.
He gave a kind of grin.
The wound in his chest was seething,
Bloody holes where ears had been.

He had no tongue to speak.
Red foam erupted when he tried.
He made a sound more like a squeak,
Then he looked at me and died.

I cut him from the tree
Where the enemy had tied him.
I screamed to God my plea
That swift vengeance be not denied him.

I saw his torturers disappear
Into the jungle down below.
They now had much to fear.
They had made a deadly foe.

We three tracked them hard for days.
We were recon and light armed.
We hung back unseen in the tropic haze
That they feel not followed nor alarmed.

Lust for revenge sustained us,
Though they were many and we few.
The best of men had trained us.
We knew well what to do.

At last our prey grew lax.
With stealth we moved around them.
They were vulnerable to attack.
The hangman’s noose had found them.

We set ambush on an ideal site.
Crossed fire zones a lead guillotine.
Our claymores placed just right
No enemy would survive this scene.

At first light they moved past.
Twenty regulars, maybe more.
This day would be their last.
They were bound for Gehenna’s shore.

Worst of Hell’s demons would have run.
Our retribution so complete.
We meant to spare no one.
It was massacre, not defeat.

All were dead or dying.
I would have finished them were they not.
Yet none were cowardly crying.
They knew the justice of their lot.

I had the patch from our dead troop’s sleeve,
And I was determined my foe knew why.
We sought vengeance, not to grieve.
I wanted the butcher to see and die.

I held it to the leader’s eyes.
He nodded his admission.
Then his soul escaped to warriors’ skies,
Before I could exact contrition.

I would dream about it later.
At times I would feel bad.
I’m not much of a hater,
But just then I was glad.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Sweet Joy, you can’t escape me.
Though you’ve been hiding behind a cloud.
I need your help to reshape me.
I want to live out loud.

My grasp you have evaded.
Am I unworthy of your embrace?
I will see that you’re persuaded,
Now I have won the chase.

Stay, become part of me.
I’ll keep you in my heart.
In time, you’ll learn to love me.
Then we’ll never be apart.

I promise I will share,
Spread wide your happy seed.
I will offer you, I swear,
To all who have a need.

Come then to my arms,
Dear Joy, my special friend.
You have seduced me with your charms.
May our union never end.


By Carl Martin Johnson

The club was near deserted,
Too early for the crowd.
Still, the band had been alerted,
So they played, but not too loud.

Arm in arm two old folks entered,
Moving along at shuffling speed.
The band’s spotlight had them centered,
As a joke more than a need.

I watched them from the bar.
My heart was filled with pity.
There is no respect for who you are
In this cruel, cold-hearted city.

The wife took her husband’s arm.
Led him to the empty floor.
He bowed with old-time charm
Before moving slowly to the mournful score.

He had his arm around her.
She moved with his embrace.
I could feel the memories surround her
From the look upon her face.

But a joker in the band
Decided he would have some fun.
Instead of the slow waltz planned,
A tango was begun.

Anger burned in my belly
At the disrespect they showed.
I would have pounded the player to jelly
Had not the woman suddenly glowed.

The old man’s smile grew wide.
They took up the tango stance.
Their aged eyes lit up with pride.
And they began to dance.

The band played hard, the tempo rose,
Yet they could not match the dancing
Of the old ones on their heels and toes,
Like a mare and her stallion prancing.

They stepped and twirled, whirled and spun.
They showed no hint of age.
Their agile style hypnotized everyone
Who watched the couple’s passion rage.

The band played now to match their pace
The old ones had earned respect.
No younger dancers could have more grace,
Nor with the tango more soul’s connect.

And when the music ended
The dancers held their pose.
For them time was suspended.
They were in the age they chose.

Then the couple’s lips met
Like they had when they were wed.
A scene my heart will not forget
Until the day that I am dead.

The spotlight held on their features
While they moved slowly off the floor.
There were never lovelier creatures,
Though the magic held no more.

The band rose with applause
When the couple passed them by.
And I was not alone with cause
For a teardrop in the eye.


By Carl Martin Johnson

She was stretched naked by his side,
Her body glistening in the full moon’s light.
That she loved him gave him pride,
Though they met only in dark of night.

When dawn came she would go,
Leaving him once more alone.
He wanted no other, even so.
She was the deepest love he’d known.

She belonged to another man,
A man she would not desert.
She said she would leave if she can,
When it would not cause him hurt.

That day would never come, he knew.
Their love would always be like this.
He should tell her they were through,
But he would die without her kiss.

His fingers venured to explore her,
Down her back, over her thigh.
It was his curse that he adored her.
He could never say goodbye.

He was aroused but would not take her.
The moment had him in its spell.
It would be broken should he wake her.
He wished to fix this memory well.

Her back rose slightly with her breathing.
He grazed her shoulder with his lips.
He could feel his passion seething,
As his hand moved over her soft hips.

She writhed into her waking.
They moved together now,
Frantic in lovemaking
In the time she could allow.

Then she left with a wordless smile,
And he shed the tear he’d hidden.
He would not see her for a while.
Could not meet ‘til he was bidden.

One day she would not come at all.
Their affair would reach its end.
He would brace himself for that fall,
And take the love she gave ‘til then.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I bring you candy sweet
To soothe and dry your tears.
From the moment that we meet
You will give up all your fears.

You will snuggle to my chest,
Smell the odor of my skin.
I will stroke your lovely breast,
And our passion will begin.

Your dear heart has been broken.
He has left you in the dirt.
I will erase his harsh words spoken.
I will take away the hurt.

I will undo your garments gently,
Until we both stand skin to skin.
My hands exploring differently,
Not rough and harsh like him.

I will lower you into the flowers,
Kiss all of you with fire.
I will fondle you for hours,
Until you peak with hot desire.

When I take you, you will moan.
You will bless me for the pleasure.
You will feel no more alone.
My loins eruption you will treasure.

And when exhausted we lie still,
Uncovered with no shame.
You will not recall him, never will.
You will not even know his name.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I roam throughout creation,
Choosing targets here and there,
Seeking to spread germination
Of the holy seeds I bear.

I choose fecund, fertile soil
To sow my sacred crop.
I take care lest the seedlings spoil,
And the miracle I’m charged with stop.

What I plant always takes root,
Sometimes it survives.
When the trees that grow bear fruit
It is wonderful what thrives.

I am proud of what I do.
That which I spread is Divine.
And a thing I know is true:
My greatest crop is Humankind.


By Carl Martin Johnson

In the Dreamtime, before Life began,
There was a lonely Thought.
It was perfectly complete other than
Something to love it sought.

A Great Bang shook the void.
Matter born of Mind.
But the Thought was still annoyed.
There was nothing of its kind.

Then the Thought breathed out a soul
To animate the dust.
Matter awoke and became whole,
All together securely trussed.

Yet that was not enough.
It was a Thinker the Thought needed.
The Thought kissed the living stuff,
And the first of Man was seeded.

Now they could think each other’s Being,
Until their thoughts became as one.
It was with the same Mind all were seeing.
Creation’s work was done.


By Carl Martin Johnson

An angel I have always been.
I can remember nothing more.
I don’t know where my kind begin,
Somewhere in the Creator’s core.

I must be just a divine thought,
Like the rest of his Creation.
Simply a being God has wrought,
In His great Imagination.

Ecstasy is my condition.
I am spirit pure.
Heaven’s energy is my nutrition.
I did not grow; I was born mature.

I’ve felt dissatisfied of late.
There are things I know I’ve missed.
Most would envy an angel’s fate,
But I’ve never in my life been kissed.

Though my will is free
There is little in my world that tests it.
Nothing bad seduces me
In my world, no evil infests it.

I think I would like to see
If I can overcome temptation.
Becoming a better me
Would then be cause for celebration.

From weakness grow to strength,
Face down suffering and pain.
Endure a life’s finite length.
Withstand loss and enjoy gain.

I want to lose when I fall short,
Win when by my efforts I can.
I want to have a human heart.
I want to be a Man.


Stolen Love
The Space In My Heart
Candy Man
The Patch
Life Sower
Angel Daydream
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