© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

 
 

THE SUN CAME OUT
By Carl Martin Johnson

The sun came out at last today.
For a long while it was hidden.
I thought it had forever gone away
But it returned unbidden.

At first it was too bright for me.
I’d grown accustomed to the gloom.
Eventually, though, I came to see
It was saving me from my doom.

They’d been dark and thick, the clouds.
No light could filter through.
It seemed they’d be my funeral shrouds.
There was nothing I could do.

I forgot the power of sun’s light.
I’d lost faith in its strong rays.
Did not remember it could disperse the night,
Turning black into golden days.

Although it may cloud up again,
Next time I will be strong.
It is nowhere now that I’ve not been.
Next time won’t be so long.

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THE EMPTY GRAVE
By Carl Martin Johnson

The hole was long and deep,
The dirt piled to one side.
A final place to sleep
For the person who had died.

Someone soon would lie there.
His life on Earth was done.
Loved ones would stand and cry there
For the father, friend or son.

Long-closed mounds were dense around,
Permanent neighbors of the new deceased.
There were silent murmurs underground,
Happy to see their tribe increased.

They will comfort when the tomb is filled,
Ease him into his new condition.
In the end all mortal men are killed.
For living we must do contrition.

One day another will pass this way,
And a hole like this he’ll see.
He’ll wonder who had died that day.
The hole will be for me.


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TO THOSE WHO CROSS MY MIND
By Carl Martin Johnson

There are times my memory strays
To people I scarcely knew.
Though fleeting glimpses in the maze,
They are part of my life, too.

Only in passing met.
To some I never spoke a word.
Encounters easy to forget,
Faces recalled often blurred.

With a handful l had a feeling
Of something kindred deep inside
That time would be revealing,
Had time not been denied.

Now and then they cross my mind.
I’d like to meet them once again,
And say “Had our paths longer intertwined,
Who knows what we could have been.”

My lover or my friend.
In this life I’ll never know.
But that does not mean we end.
We have more lives to go.


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I HAVE SEEN YOUR FACE IN WINTER
By Carl Martin Johnson

I have seen your face in Winter,
Snowflakes on long lashes.
Sparkling eyes that bade me enter,
And relight my dead heart’s ashes.

I have seen your face in Spring.
Your smile outshined the sun.
Your beauty drove the birds to sing.
My fervent love you won.

I have seen your face in a Summer night,
Perfumed breezes blowing sweet.
Moon and stars the only light
Guiding our lips to meet.

Your face glowed in the Fall,
From golden hues in the air.
Perhaps then, most of all,
I found you exceeding fair.

I love you all the year.
Thank God, you are my bride.
But that which I hold most dear
Is the beauty I see inside.

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TO KILL THE DRAGON
By Carl Martin Johnson

I hurled my spear hard through the fire.
At the dragon’s heart I aimed..
If Man to rule this world aspire
It must from evil be reclaimed.

He spat his flames about me.
They scorched but did not kill.
The great beast failed to rout me,
Or bend me to his will.

My shield glowed with the heat.
My lance had struck off center.
While its point had found his meat,
His heart it failed to enter.

Now we will close and fight,
The demon serpent and I.
One of us will rule this night,
The other one will die.

My brothers and I have fought his kind
Since the day that time began.
And to victory or death we are resigned.
For my kind and I are Man.

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LOOK INTO THE SUN
By Carl Martin Johnson

If you look into the sun’s bright flames,
Likely it will blind you.
Unless you have the strength to tame
The power which will find you.

There are those born to do great deeds,
Even the mighty sun can’t best them.
For they sprout from divine seeds.
All the gods have blessed them.

Some you’ll see for what they are.
Others you will not.
Not all glow like a heavenly star,
Though their fire be just as hot.

Through words and actions you will know.
They will stand out from the rest.
It is their red blood that will flow
When the Dragon comes to test.

You may be one of these, be brave!
Raise your eyes up to the sky.
If it is glory that you crave,
There is no better way to die.

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THE FARM
By Carl Martin Johnson

Dying sun held the pale blue eyes,
Though he was looking past.
Seeing through life’s thin disguise
Into reality at last.

The land beyond was hard,
Worn with use, like him.
Rolling plain, gnarled and scarred.
Like his face, strong but grim.

Half a century she’d been there
Making bleak years worthwhile.
Driving off the care
With the sunlight of her smile.

Their cabin was a palace,
If to others it seemed plain,
Where they drank from their love’s chalice,
Sheltered from living’s pain

Their land to them a great estate.
The day’s toil left them glad.
They felt no anger or hate,
Only blessed for what they had.

Now, at last, she’d gone.
He hoped to something better.
He’d known she would move on,
And that he never would forget her.

He gazed over the dirt,
Saw it now as just a farm.
Its red clay cold with hurt
That no sun could ever warm.

The day was glowing down.
The nights would now be long.
But he would not sink and drown.
For her sake he’d be strong.

He would never drop a tear.
She would want him to be brave.
The woman he’d held dear
Was not there in that grave.

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I AM MAN
By Carl Martin Johnson

I am Man, I come to rule.
This universe is mine.
I am no one’s tool,
Neither mortal nor divine.

I conquer time and space,
Set forth on the wildest sea,
Stand firm in the dragon’s face,
Send fleeing the shrill banshee.

I am the image of my Creator,
Made by Him to share His reign.
To me he is no dictator.
We stand together in this domain.

Not on my knees, but at His side.
Not as subject, but as friend.
I am Man, I am God’s pride.
And on my kind He will depend.

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METEOR
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

I’m an ember from Life’s Great Fire,
Sparkling past like a burning jewel.
I use hope, love and desire
For my pure, eternal fuel.

 

I go trailing diamond dust.
Silver and gold I fly
Where I will and where I must,
Spreading beauty through the sky.

 

Come now, and set your soul free.
Join me in my flight.
Together, my love, you and me,
Will brighten the blackness of night.

 

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THE NEW MAN
By Carl Martin Johnson

His new uniform was clean,
Except for all the blood.
His wounds not the worst I’ve seen,
Yet they killed him where he stood.

We laid him straight and cleaned his face
When the firing stopped.
I looked for his dogtags, but not a trace.
When we moved him they must’ve dropped.

His glazed eyes were open wide,
Disbelieving of his fate.
Amazed that he had so soon died.
Should have prayed, but now too late.

He was dropped in just that morning.
His luck was such a traitor.
Suddenly, and without warning,
The enemy hit us seconds later.

I could not read his name.
Shrapnel had shredded his combat shirt.
I felt a sense of blame
For the boy dead and nameless in the dirt.

So I memorized his features,
Made sure I’d not forget,
This man, one of God’s creatures.
Who’d paid his honor’s debt.

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GOING
By Carl Martin Johnson

We who are not gone are going,
Running quickly through our lives,
Never stopping, never slowing,
Save for Death when he arrives.

Are we here only in transit
From the Before to the Beyond?
Is that how Life plans it?
Are we simply being spawned?

Can we stop, if stop we try,
And hold this lifetime still,
Or must we charge on ‘til we die,
Slaves to the Cosmos’ will?

I think I’ll try to jump this train.
See what I discover.
It’s likely I’ll find only pain,
But perhaps my soul’s true lover.

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NEW DAY
By Carl Martin Johnson

I see the new sun rising.
The night did not destroy me.
Though there is no disguising
It did far more than annoy me.

There were times I near gave in.
The darkness brought me to my knees.
But I could not let night win,
Nor succumb to its dark disease.

The hard fight tore and bled me
Not my body, but my soul.
Yet something greater fed me.
Gave me strength to take control.

Now sunbeams wash my heart,
Lighting up a future bright.
On this new day my search will start
For the Neverending Light.

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NEW YEAR, MY LOVE
By Carl Martin Johnson

Old Year has escaped me.
I could not hold her fast.
I tried to grasp her as she shaped me,
But her compass was too vast.

I gaze now into New Year’s eyes.
She seduces with her hope.
Pray God she make me strong and wise.
May I find love within her scope.

I will dance with her to Life’s heartbeat.
Drink full her scented wine.
I will beg her make me more complete,
As my soul and hers entwine.

I will make this New Year love me.
I will win her heart, I swear.
I will make her think well of me.
Flaming hot be our affair.

And when the New Year’s done
We will have given birth
To a fine new world we’ve won,
And Mankind of greater worth.


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SECRET LOVE
By Carl Martin Johnson

My lover’s lips are warm and moist,
Though I have never kissed them.
She’s never heard my love words voiced.
And she has sorely missed them.

We are by our thoughts united,
Our minds embrace as lovers do.
The passion we have ignited
Is real love, strong and true.

I know her face and lovely charms
I have caressed her tender soul.
I’ve dreamed of her lying in my arms,
As we make each other whole.

One day our bodies will join in bliss.
Then the universe will quake
To see the power of our kiss
And the wondrous love we make.

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THE VICTOR
By Carl Martin Johnson

He lay unmoving, his eyes closed,
Arms spread to embrace the sun.
Flies buzzed loudly as he dozed,
And dreamed of what he’d done.

He had no desire to fully wake.
The conscious world could wait.
This was a break he had to take
Before he slipped back through the gate.

Pain knocked at the door,
Which he had securely locked.
But he could hide no more,
Could not keep reality blocked.

At first he saw blue skies,
Soft clouds floating light,
Until he turned his eyes
To the detritus of the fight.

It was quiet, save the moans
Of wounded and the dying,
Whose torn flesh and shattered bones
Left even heroes sighing.

At his side, close enough to kiss,
Was the last man he had killed.
Drowned, like him, in this abyss
Full of brave souls spilled.

He struggled to his feet,
A dozen holes oozing blood.
There was no one to greet.
He was the only one who stood.

His side had won the fight,
But he felt no pride.
He looked at the horrid sight,
Hung his torn head, and cried.

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DREAMS SLIPPED BY
By Carl Martin Johnson

New wrinkles every morning.
Her mirror did not lie.
Time had given her no warning
How fast it would fly by.

Tonight makeup would mask her.
The lights would hide her age.
Not that anyone would ask her.
She’d such a small part on the stage.

When the curtain fell she’d leave alone.
Men no longer sought her.
Nothing like the youth she’d known
When no treasure could have bought her.

She once heard Hollywood’s call
To show her acting art.
She gave the try her all,
But she couldn’t get a start.

Ambition left her lonely,
Trading love for a chance at fame.
She’d often thought “If only”.
Yet she accepted all the blame.

Once again she’d face the footlights,
Smiling, but not with her heart.
Wondering how many more nights
She could play life’s tragic part.

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FIRE
By Carl Martin Johnson

Burn, ye fire
And Rage!
Ignite my coward’s heart!

Let me inspire
The Age!
Time for a New World start!

Devour the Old World’s evil
In your all-consuming flame!
Prepare for the upheaval!
Take back civilization’s name!

Make the blaze strong felt
Inside!
Let inhibitions melt
To pride!

We are this world’s last chance.
Who else the torch will hold?
Take a warrior’s stance!
In the fight be bold!


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MICHELE
By Carl Martin Johnson

Michele walks softly in the sand,
With only starlight to guide her.
Wishing she could take command
Of the melancholy deep inside her.

She looks to beauty in night skies,
Begging the dark to love her.
Praying angels will hear her cries
And smile down from above her.

She hears waves murmuring in their foam.
Millions of lovers caressing the shore.
She wonders how long her heart will roam
Before she need wander no more.

She prays that soon the one will find her
Who can see into her soul.
Then heartache will be put behind her.
Her spirit will be whole.

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