© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

 
 

THE WORD
By Carl Martin Johnson

I am searching for a word,
A word only angels know.
Not yet spoken, not yet heard
By mortals here below.

When I find it, I’ll be free,
Along with all my kind.
It will change what I can be,
Unchain my heart and mind.

It floats singing in the noosphere,
In harmony with human thought.
A fragment will at times appear.
Just a glimpse is caught.

Yet it tinges every genius verse,
Aristotle and Shakespeare.
Even Dante’s famous curse,
And sonnets, sweetened dear.

In a prayer that lifts the heart,
A book of mankind’s worth.
Of all great documents a part
Since Man appeared on Earth.

One day I’ll catch it in my net,
Or it will swallow me.
Then my goal will be met,
And the world will smile to see.

I know the word is waiting.
To find it is my fate.
To birth a new world worth creating
My soul and this word will mate.

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THE RAIN
By Carl Martin Johnson

The rain slapped me awake,
Brought me back from dreamless sleep.
Though I begged for pity’s sake
To let my oblivion keep.

I’ve been drunk for days.
In and out of jail.
I would like to change my ways,
But, each time I try I fail.

I open my mouth to drink
From the monsoon pouring down.
Quenching my thirst, washing my stink
While I lay useless on the ground.

I open my rain-washed eyes,
Searching the jungle around me.
Can it see through my disguise?
Its demons come confound me?

Do adventurers like me
Have a purpose here or not?
Are we really meant to be,
Or just a species God forgot?

Mercenary, treasure seeker,
Fighting small wars, hunting gold.
Growing weary, growing weaker.
I’ll be dead before I’m old.

I will struggle to my feet,
I’ll do better if I can.
Life does not yet have me beat.
After all, I’m still a man.

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MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE
By Carl Martin Johnson

We are more than meets the eye.
Sight alone is not knowing.
More than is seen are you and I,
More than what is showing.

Our true self is inside us.
Real feelings take refuge there.
We use our face to hide us.
It is a mask we wear.

We live our lives in isolation
Too timid to reach out and grow.
Our hearts wither in starvation,
Hungry for love we fear to know.

Be brave if you would be whole.
Risk all for lover or friend.
We are only complete with another soul.
Take the chance before your end.

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BILLY
By Carl Martin Johnson

William Bonney is on my tombstone.
That’s not how I was born.
I changed it when I was full grown.
And it’s that name people mourn.

Pat Garrett shot me in the dark.
I died quick and I died young.
But Garrett didn’t snuff my spark
Until my song was sung.

My life was short and it was hard.
I was an orphan and a thief.
Nothing more than a poor discard.
No friend to give relief.

I had neither looks nor brains
That could help me to endure.
To break the iron of poverty’s chains,
My six-gun was the cure.

Alive, my words were lacking.
My revolver did the speaking.
It was my arguments’ backing
To resolutions I was seeking.

Not much, true, for a man.
I could make others only fear me.
No respect in my whole lifespan.
I speak now so you will hear me.

Mine was no hero’s fame,
Of that I am not proud.
Although many know my name,
My country’s flag was not my shroud.

They say I killed many men.
I know it’s true, I did.
It was a violent world back then,
When they called me “The Kid”.

Should I live another time
Freed from this Purgatory,
I would not live a life of crime.
I would die in patriot’s glory.

If you ever do think of me, friend,
Forgive me, if you can.
For I have met a sorry end,
Unfitting for a man.

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WAKE ME
By Carl Martin Johnson

Wake me up when it’s all done
This lovely life I’m dreaming.
Is it near over or just begun?
Real or only seeming?

Will I awake to sadness,
Or a new world filled with cheer?
Life is mostly madness,
Yet I hold it very dear.

In what opera fate may bring,
I will write the chant.
That’s the tune that I will sing.
No one dare say I can’t.

Be this life parallel
To another just as true,
Can I elect in which to dwell,
I’ll choose the one with you.


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LOST CHANCE
By Carl Martin Johnson

I let the prize slip through my grasp.
I let the chance pass by.
Why did I not reach out and clasp
The gift, or at least try?

This one will not come again.
What held me back from winning?
To have lost such beauty is a great sin.
Why am I so prone to sinning?

Bright stars sometimes shine through the cloud.
We rarely get to see one.
How could I be so foolishly proud,
To ignore the offer of a free one?

I howl like a cat on a hot tin roof
When I think what I have lost.
My bleeding soul is grieving proof
That I have learned, but at what cost!

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MY TONGUE’S TOUCH
By Carl Martin Johnson

I caress you only with my tongue,
The only part of me to touch.
It carries every song I’ve sung
To the woman I love so much.

It traces light your delicate ear,
Outlines your wine-sweet lips,
Licks up the joyful tear
That from your closed eye drips.

Your open mouth I penetrate
To entwine hot with your own.
They feel our souls and bodies mate,
The seeds of our love sown.

In all the world no finer taste
Could my tongue ever know
Than loving you full and without haste
In the warmth of passion’s glow.

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PATROL
By Carl Martin Johnson

In the dark of human streets,
I move silently on patrol.
Where this world the next one meets,
Is the borderland I control.

In the half-light you may see me
From the corner of your eye.
You have no need to flee me.
I will soon pass by.

I am here to protect you,
To keep evil ones from your door.
I will not let them infect you.
They will scatter at my roar.

They seek to suck the holy spark
From the marrow of your soul.
And replace it with foul things dark
That the Prince of Hell extoll.

I am here, your Paladin,
To protect from demon bands.
Let the violence be my sin.
No blood be on your hands.

In the penumbra here I glide,
Slaying that which would invade.
From me they cannot hide,
In this land twixt light and shade.

I will this vigil keep,
I will let no harm befall you.
Mankind may peacefully sleep,
‘Til Gabriel’s horn will call you.

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ANGEL FALLING
By Carl Martin Johnson

I saw an angel fall today.
His wings were bent and torn.
I wondered how he’d gone astray,
As he lay there so forlorn.

I could not recall if angels died.
But around him all was so stilled
That I thought to run and hide
To keep myself from being killed.

With care I moved toward him,
Feeling I should render aid,
Or at least do my best to guard him
Until there was some rescue made.

Had he been fighting Lucifer’s legions
In another Holy War,
In otherworldly regions
Beyond the farthest star?

Was he hurt protecting me
From Satan’s vile intent?
Wounded to keep me free?
Letting his angel blood be spent?

The glowing figure slowly rose,
Shaking translucent wings,
Striking a warrior pose
Which, on Earth, would belong to kings.

He turned to look my way
With eyes of diamond blue.
With no words I heard him say:
“Yes, I fight for you.”

Then he faded like a mist
Back to the battlefields.
And I knew I would not exist
Save for the righteous sword he wields.

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ROLL PAST ME, RIVER
By Carl Martin Johnson

Roll past, you great wide river.
Carry my troubles to the sea.
My woman is no forgiver.
She’s gone. She set me free.

I let temptation best me
With a loose but lovely girl.
She was sent by the devil to test me,
Put my mind all in a whirl.

I’m young, but I’ll get older.
Don’t I deserve another chance?
But her heart could not be colder.
She says I’ve had my dance.

I’ll throw my heart into your current,
Let you take it far away,
With things that might have been, but weren’t,
That have gone for good today.

If I thought it would ease my sorrow,
I would jump in too.
Although, could be tomorrow
Fate will bring me someone new.

Then to her I will be true.
At the very least I’ll try.
Sometimes I can’t help what I do.
My weakness makes me cry.

Why I am so I cannot find,
No matter how deeply I delve.
Perhaps I will better control my mind
Next year when I am twelve.

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ON AN ANGEL’S BACK
By Carl Martin Johnson

An angel took me on his back.
He said that we were kin.
Said we would travel down a track
To somewhere I’d never been.

I knew it was a magic place,
Although I could not see it.
I felt immersed in a kind of grace.
It was Heaven…I guarantee it.

Then the angel unlocked my mind.
He filled it with great knowing.
Wisdom and learning of every kind.
All the world’s sights worth showing.

It made me ponder why I’m alive.
Should I be something more?
A higher goal for which I should strive?
A growth in my human core?

The angel took my hand.
He said “It’s time to go.
Now you know what is planned,
You must help Mankind grow.”

He left me in a worried state
On the ground where he had found me
I shouted out, though it was to late
To the emptiness around me.

Are there not far better men,
Charged with the evolution of our kind?
Or does the advance of history then
Rely on a foolish poet’s mind?

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FIGHT ME, LIFE!
By Carl Martin Johnson

Come out, Life, and fight!
We will see who is the stronger.
I do not fear your might,
Nor that you’ve been here longer.

Every day you challenge me.
Now I return the taunt.
Since we must battle, let it be.
Any time or place you want.

I will overcome you,
Bend you to my will.
I will squeeze your juices from you.
I will beat you but not kill.

And my victory will enhance you.
You will glory in my win.
Toward Omega Point I’ll advance you.
We’ll both be more than we had been.

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MORNING STAR
By Carl Martin Johnson

A single star stood in the twilight,
Challenging the rising sun.
That would seem an unequal fight,
Yet the smaller light may have won.

The star glared down on the solar glow,
Daring it to dawn,
Wanting the fiery orb to know
That the star was not yet gone.

The sun grew hot and brighter.
It did not fear the star.
Still, the star, a tenacious fighter,
Would not be driven far.

“I will leave you to rule the day,”
He said as his radiance waned.
“But I will not forever go away,
Though it leaves you sorely pained.”

“I will return to guide the night,
To help men find their dreams.
My gleaming sings an aria light,
While your fiery harshness screams.”

“Mankind, Sun, needs you to live.
Your loss would to them be tragic.
Food and warmth and light you give…
But I supply the magic.”


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MY ENEMY’S EYES
By Carl Martin Johnson

I saw you coming hard at me,
Your bayonet held ready.
You would kill, that I could see.
I kept my weapon steady.

Your bullets hit, but the wounds were small.
Just enough to spoil my aim.
I fired my whole clip and let it fall,
Then froze as on you came.

Our eyes locked; I saw you knew.
Like me, far past the fear.
There was nothing we could do.
Our fates would be decided here.

I see your eyes now fixed on mine
I hear your battle cry.
Soon the blood of one will shine,
Or perhaps we both will die.

If it is I, I wish you well.
You are the last face I will see.
Last look I’ll know this side of Hell,
For all Eternity.


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EL CID
By Carl Martin Johnson

Ride, great warrior of Castile,
Roderigo of noble birth,
Let the Muslim horde taste your steel.
Sweep the foul foe from the earth.

Viva la Reconquista, Campeador!
Long live the new Christian Spain!
Drive out the curse of the Moor,
And let the Cross once again reign.

The barbarians are at the gate.
You, Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar,
Must strike before it’s too late.
Show, even dead, how brave you are.

You have fought for the Prophet’s kings,
As well as those of Christ Lord.
But now your seraphim sings,
Calling you to Heaven’s reward.

In shining armor you ride.
Your hero corpse mounted full well.
Sending the Almoravids running to hide,
And those who remain straight to Hell.

Spain will remember your name.
El Cid, El Campeador.
Live forever in glorious fame,
Great conqueror of the Moor.


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DRAGON AT THE GATE
By Carl Martin Johnson

There’s a dragon at the gate.
I can see his hungry eyes.
He will gorge on all the hate
That humankind supplies.

Hypocrisy is his seasoning.
Lies his preferred spice.
His sauce perverted reasoning,
Stirred into human vice.

His excrement forms politicians,
That’s obvious from the smell.
He has extracted all nutrition,
So they serve his purpose well.

You and I hold the keys.
But we have let him in before.
This time, I beg you please,
Let us keep barred the door.

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