© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

 
 

PREDATOR
By Carl Martin Johnson

I am a hunter of dangerous prey.
I track in wildest hills.
I move at night and hide by day.
Who does not die is he who kills.

But I am quarry too.
What I stalk searches for me.
When the night is through,
One of us will not be.

I have seen my prey before.
Looked into his bloodred eyes.
So I am sure what is in store,
Should I not take him by surprise.

In truth, we are the same.
I have gazed into his heart.
We were born to play this game.
And we both know well our part.

We feed the same mad beast,
Crawling in our brain,
Who makes our soul his feast,
As he first did with Cain.

We live red in tooth and claw,
For on our skill Life’s future hangs.
Like the panther, we eat raw.
The only difference is our fangs.

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DREAMING THE WORLD
By Carl Martin Johnson

Is this world a dream I made?
Does it exist at all?
Is it real or only shade,
A fantasy I recall?

Am I some minor god,
Asleep in my sacred bed,
Creating a detailed façade
Entirely in my head?

The sun above that beams,
Did I light its fire at dawn?
Does it shine or only seems?
Will it be there when I’m gone?

When I die will I be waking?
Will I remember this world I’m in?
Is this sleepwalk I am taking
Not truly where I’ve been.

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HER
By Carl Martin Johnson

The sidewalk crouches at her feet,
Like a dog begging for a treat.
Heat flows off her in a giant wave.
She exudes what all men crave.

Her body moves in a sensual trance,
Like a panther in her mating dance.
Do you see her gliding past?
Don’t she make your heart beat fast?

She’s the kind of woman makes a man cry.
She’s the kind of woman makes a man die.
Her name is passion, her name is lust.
Don’t want to look at her, but you must.

She could be a gift, she could be a curse.
Could be the devil’s daughter or something worse.
Of all the women that ever were,
Never been a woman so woman as her.

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THE FOG
By Carl Martin Johnson

The rolling fog swept in to hold me.
Wrap me closely in its foam.
Like my mother-made quilt did enfold me
In my good warm bed at home.

The wool-wisp soaked up the sound.
Soft silence, and sweet peace.
The quiet fleece spread all around,
Covering the hill in God-sent peace.

I turn eighteen tomorrow.
“God willing” as they say.
But that’s time I cannot borrow.
Best to just enjoy today.

Soon they will come back to fight.
I will kill or die.
So I hold my weapon tight,
And let the time pass by.

I thank the fog for what it gave me,
If only for a while.
I know it cannot save me.
But at least it made me smile.

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THE DRAGON’S MAW
By Carl Martin Johnson

I opened up the Dragon’s maw
To see what I could find.
Hoping that the things I saw
Would save us poor Mankind.

True, the light inside was weak,
But I spied evil there.
Though I dared not speak,
I could not help but stare.

I marked Jealousy and greed,
Noticed cruelty and spite.
Every wanton human deed
From the darkness of the night.

I cried and cried in my despair
At the viciousness I’d seen.
How could life be so unfair?
How could humans be so mean?

I crawled deeper into the black
To see what the cause could be.
Then I saw a face staring back….
The face belonged to me.

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LOOK AND SEE ME
By Carl Martin Johnson

When you look, do you see me?
Can you see my heart’s desire?
Do my eyes to you seem dreamy?
Are they sparkling with love’s fire?

Do you see how much I want you?
Does it come out when I smile?
Like Love’s ghost, do I haunt you?
If I confessed, would it be worthwhile?

You are my life’s full reason.
You alone that I adore.
Every day of every season
I will only want you more.

So, I hope that soon you’ll see.
You will notice and love too.
Then I will give you my heart’s key,
And forever worship you.

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THE HAND
By Carl Martin Johnson

The old prisoner wiped away the sweat
That had gathered on his brow.
He would no longer be a threat.
He could not hurt us now.

I dared not look at his face,
Knowing in a moment he would die.
Although I had not seen a trace
Of terror in his eye.

So my gaze fixed on his hand
As it did what was needed.
Faithfully following each command.
Every wish of its master heeded.

Gnarled and rough and thick.
A hand whose life was hard.
A hand both strong and quick.
Used to service and to guard.

Patched with callous, lined with scars,
It had worked, caressed and fought.
And here, under foreign stars,
Would pay for the life it had bought.

The hand ran fingers through gray hair
That was thick and full, though short.
Dropping for a moment, unaware,
Over the old man’s heart.

Then it traveled over the grizzled fighter,
Bidding all his parts goodbye.
Some held soft, some held tighter,
Telling all they would soon die.

Suddenly the dark exploded,
As the cell door opened wide.
A barrage of light unloaded,
Attacking the gloom inside.

The hand flew up to cover
The eyes from the hard bright.
Like a protective lover
Against a demon in the night.

It trembled not at all
But hung steady by his side
As he stood against the wall
Defiant with warrior pride.

Before the bullets slammed him dead,
Before the life was lost,
The hand moved to the old man’s head
Where it slowly signed a cross.

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DRAGON TIDE
By Carl Martin Johnson

The dragons swept in on dawn’s red tide,
Eyes ablaze with Satan’s flame,
Finding dark places where sin may hide,
Bringing Mankind to shame.

On their backs rode imps most foul,
New weaned from banshee’s milk,
Leaning their fanged maws back to howl,
Inciting great hordes of their ilk.

Each day the same invasion.
The goal the soul of Man.
With the sticky lure of temptation
To achieve the Fallen One’s plan.

Yet every time they are driven back
In their campaign of sin
By great and Godly counterattack
From Heaven’s Paladin.

These Invincibles are Virtue’s knights,
Golden armored on white steeds,
To Gehenna’s forces hateful sights,
Who thwart their evil deeds.

Tremble, dragons from the Pit of Sin!
Tremble, demons who ride you!
From the Holy Paladin,
Lucifer cannot hide you.

Hell has no force so great
As the Paladins’ mighty clan.
These warriors forever lie in wait
Deep in the heart of Man.

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TASTING HER
By Carl Martin Johnson

She stood waiting for the sun’s first kiss,
Eyes closed, arms open wide.
Her expression one of perfect bliss.
Only gods merit such a bride.

Her body dripped the morning dew,
Glowing golden in pre-dawn.
Her naked beauty in full view,
For my eyes to feast upon.

I wanted her quite madly,
Though I knew her not at all.
I would not have her, sadly,
In spite of passion’s call.

Yet I set free my imagination
Moving unseen to her side,
Exploring forbidden sensation
I would have no need to hide.

I began with her full lips,
Biting gently those sweet berries,
While my fingers traced curving hips,
And up her spine like fairies.

My tongue flicked her unknowing eyes,
Wandered to her sculptured ears,
Down to her downy woman’s prize,
My lust stronger than my fears.

I sucked every drop of sugared dew,
From her forehead to her toes.
What would happen if she knew?
Only God, or Satan, knows.

I held myself from becoming bolder,
Began to walk away in shame,
When I felt her soft hand on my shoulder,
And heard her call my name.

Do I dream, or love awake?
Am I seduced by my illusion?
What difference does it make?
I am content, real or delusion.

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HONOR THE WARRIOR
By Carl Martin Johnson

It is Warrior’s blood that waters the seeds
Of freedom for the rest.
Pay homage to the Warrior’s deeds
When you put him to the test.

If you send him in harm’s way,
Be sure the cause is just.
He is the one who’ll pay,
Should you betray his trust.

Politicians, you take care.
Do not use him for selfish ends.
I caution you….beware.
Make not enemies of your friends.

On ideas are great nations founded.
Ideas are the roots that nourish.
But only when by brave men surrounded
Do civilizations flourish.

Therefore, honor your Warrior’s worth.
With him your fortune lies.
He allowed your country birth.
Without him your nation dies.


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LAST TASTE
By Carl Martin Johnson

Give me a taste of whiskey, friend.
Give me a taste of wine.
Looks like my time on earth will end.
Not long ‘til the worms will dine.

They’re coming now for certain.
There’s a high price on my head.
This will be the final curtain.
This last act will see me dead.

I hear the Federales say
That I’m an easy kill.
That they could’ve had me any day,
And today they surely will.

Well, I guess it’s their turn now.
I’ve sent many to the grave.
As for dying, I’ll show them how.
If I go, I’ll go brave.

So, give me one last drink.
Better smoke a last cigar.
Might as well, I think,
Seeing how things are.


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ONCE
By Carl Martin Johnson

I had a love, seems long ago,
I thought would never end.
It’s my fault it’s gone, I know,
And it will never come again.

Youth and passion ruled us,
My darling one and I.
But our emotions fooled us.
Anything can die.

I was defeated by temptation
Risked a diamond for a shiny stone.
A moment’s celebration,
Then I found myself alone.

Some wounds bleed forever.
Some wounds never heal.
No sorcerer could be so clever
As to numb the pain I feel.

In the dark rooms of my heart
The walls are cold and bare.
But of my life there was a part
When real love once lived there.


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THE HUNT
By Carl Martin Johnson

The cold gray mist hid us well,
My hunter father and his son.
Many birds our guns would fell
Before the hunt was done.

The man was a god to me.
He could do no wrong.
He taught me what a man should be:
Decent, honorable and strong.

That day he told a story
About his time at war.
He wrapped it in no glory,
Just told me how things are.

He let me shoot his twelve gauge gun.
It was big for me back then.
Of our Southern rituals that was one
For boys growing into men.

He told me if I looked to my heart,
All my dreams were there,
And every human had a part
Of God’s big Dream to share.

He held a bird that we had shot,
Said that it dreamed too.
That all creatures’ dreams in one big lot
Would come together when the world was through.

So never cry when a loved one dies.
They are only in Heaven dreaming.
Life on this earth quickly flies.
It’s not real but only seeming.

Today I found him all alone,
As he had been for years.
I saw the hole his gun had blown
In this chest, red through my tears.

He had made the decision to separate
Things that are real from things that seem.
He’d had to break through hard Death’s gate,
But I knew he was with the Dream.


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OCTOBER
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

October is the month of dreams,
But not the magic kind.
Its sun sends us cool buttery beams
That soothe a summer-burnt mind.

 

She gives us fantasies when we sleep
That get us ready for the gray of winter.
Happy dreams, and not too deep.
That store bright colors in our center.

 

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THE CHARGE
By Carl Martin Johnson

In a minute I will raise my head,
Charge out where harm can find me.
Could be I’ll be quickly dead.
Then my fear will be behind me.

Now my cheek’s pressed to the ground.
If I could I’d crawl into it.
I’ve used all the courage that I found.
Don’t know if this time I can do it.

Their firing’s slowed some now it’s night.
I might make it if they can’t see.
Maybe I’ll live through this fight,
If my angel’s watching me.

I’m running pictures through my mind,
In case it’s the last I can,
Holding the best ones that I find
Since my memories began.

It’s been a pretty good nineteen years.
Sure as hell was not a bore.
Sorry about these sissy tears,
But I’d like a few years more.

Well, it’d be another man if not me
That’s here to make this show.
So, since this is what has got to be,
I’ll be ready when the bugles blow.


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I MADE A WORLD
By Carl Martin Johnson

Today I woke and made a world.
It was a place of wonder.
A bright blue band of sky unfurled
With a verdant landscape under.

I conjured moon and stars and sun,
Clouds to add soft beauty.
It was good, but I’d just begun.
I had further duty.

I populated it with living things.
All played well together.
Mammals, fish, and every bird that sings
In any sort of weather.

I needed people to make it whole.
I made them all the same
So they would be easy to control.
They would stay nice and tame.

Then I took a walk around my art.
It was ready for exploring.
Sadly, though, it had no heart.
In fact, it was quite boring.

No wonder God left imperfection,
Left us to work things out.
He trusted us to find direction.
Isn’t that what Life’s about?

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