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© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

Come Inside
A Face Made for the Screen

By Carl Martin Johnson

Come inside a while.
Rest here in my heart.
Let me make you smile.
Let me take your part.

The world can be unkind,
So stay here in my embrace.
I will soothe your weary mind.
Bring a soft smile to your face.

We’ll create a world just ours
Where you and I will dream.
I’ll use all my magic powers
To set your life agleam.

When reality strikes again,
We will face it hand in hand.
The strength we have within
All life’s tempests can withstand.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Will I have a statue in the square
To celebrate my glory?
Will the old men sitting there
Tell the young my story?

Will every year in early Fall
Be a parade held in my name?
Welcoming to join in, one and all,
Who celebrate my fame.

Perhaps a city park with swings
Commemorating my great coups.
A tower bell in the Town Hall rings
On anniversaries of the heroic news.

Of course, as yet my feats are small.
None worthy of great praise.
If I am to gain any notice at all,
My achievements I must raise.


By Carl Martin Johnson

At night I walk these vampire streets.
They suck the pain from out my soul.
In their silence pound loud my heartbeats.
Like a drum march for my stroll.

The world is dark and empty then.
It belongs to me alone,
Save for fleeting things with pallid skin
That dwell in the unknown.

They whisper soft as they slip past.
Tell me the secrets to my healing.
Chants and spells they once held fast,
These phantoms are revealing.

So I love them as my kin.
They are not evil, only shy.
They all hold life’s glow within,
But share with me as I walk by.

And these streets, until the dawn,
I wander without sorrow.
They give me strength to carry on,
Renewal for the morrow.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Let my words caress you.
Feel their loving touch.
They will arouse and bless you.
Hold your body in their clutch.

Tremble with desire
At the ardor of my verse.
They will set your flesh on fire.
Unwilling moans they will coerce.

Every syllable a code
That no one else can see.
Each single one bestowed
With sexuality.

My lines slide over your skin,
Sending you into rapture.
Sensuous verbal sin
Will first tempt, then capture.

My words are warm hands on you.
In your valleys, over your hills.
‘Til erotic urge has drawn you
To me for passion’s thrills.

My verbiage casts strange spells.
With joy you will give your treasure.
As we flow where ecstasy dwells.
And drown ourselves in pleasure.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I lie here in blood and dirt.
It is my final second.
I will ignore the fear and hurt.
I’ll forget that Death has beckoned.

I know this life I’m leaving.
My wound is grievous bad.
I will not waste time left in grieving,
Or on any thought that’s sad.

I harbor no ill feeling.
Who killed me is a warrior, too.
He fired and sent me reeling.
He did what soldiers do.

Now my mind is cleared.
I will look into my heart.
Before death, that looms so near,
Sees it is torn apart.

This last instant of life is mine.
I will use it well.
There are no more drops of wine
Before I hear the final knell.

Inside I see the star.
It lies glowing in my soul.
It will take me far.
To a place where I am Whole.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Tiger, come and fight me!
Hide not in the trees.
Will your long fangs bite me,
Bring me to my knees?

You think you own this land,
But I will take it from you.
Come at me! I will stand.
Attack! I’ll overcome you.

Your teeth, angry and bared,
Are like others of your race.
A child’s grin when compared
To this warrior’s grim warface.

Now let combat decide.
Let the blood begin to flow.
To God’s will confide.
In moments, Fate will show.

And if I die in struggle brave,
My sons will of me sing.
There will be no victory for the grave.
Death will have no sting.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Hear my heartbeat…….Boom!
Can you hear it drumming?
Pulsing from the womb,
Cadence for what is coming.

Rhythm for Life’s wild dance.
Tempo for Life’s celebration.
Background to enhance
My time in God’s creation.

I close my eyes and feel
The throb throughout my being.
My broken parts it will heal.
Send all malaise fleeing.

The Universe beats in time.
My heart will synchronize.
So my lines of verse will rhyme,
And Truth will find my eyes.


Carl Martin Johnson

A bee perched on my finger.
I suppose he needed rest.
He had little time to linger
On his pollinating quest.

He’d take a moment for honey making,
Leaving the world with nectar sweet.
Free for bear and brave men’s taking.
Nature’s wondrous healthy treat.

He crawled to test my flavor.
Found me not much to his taste.
Since there was nothing of me to savor,
Staying there was just a waste.

I thought that he might sting,
If only from frustration.
But the fragrant air of Spring
Soothed the insect’s irritation.

He made ready to depart,
And I found myself admiring.
He was a bee of the finest sort.
An animal quite inspiring.

I bent down to his eyes
So I could see him whole.
Inside them, to my surprise,
I saw a little soul.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Yesterday was bright and pregnant
With promise of delight.
No hints of times malignant,
Only happy day and passion-filled night.

Time coming was a dreamland.
Never a thought of sorrow.
But life does not go as planned.
We cannot see Tomorrow.

Today came after Yesterday,
Warm, imperfect lover’s kiss.
I could not have it all my way.
Yet its embrace I won’t dismiss.

It is the Present where we stay.
No moving sweetly back
Where nostalgia shows an array
Of many joys these new days lack.

And I still have Tomorrow
To paint as my heart chooses.
I will color it with no sorrow.
He who despairs only loses.



By Carl Martin Johnson

She had a face made for the screen.
What a beauty!
A lovelier smile was never seen.
Such a cutie!

One look and a man was lost.
No pity shown.
He must have her at any cost.
For himself alone.

She soon achieved great fame.
She was a star.
The world attracted to her flame.
She had gone far.

One day she woke and took a leap.
A suicide.
She hoped that deep eternal sleep
Her pain would hide.

Everyone was shocked.
How could she?
Foundations of belief were rocked.
Why would she?

She had wealth and adulation
From her fans.
Every day a celebration
Of her plans.

Then her agent found a note.
One word only.
In her lovely hand she wrote


By Carl Martin Johnson

My life drips, drips away
A little at a time.
Night by night, day by day,
Though I think I’m in my prime.

I would stem the bleeding,
Stop it, if I could.
Or, at least spill where there is needing.
Let it be draining to do good.

My hope is that it nourishes,
Since it surely will not cease,
So that all life’s garden flourishes
And my kind may fair increase.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I awoke to bells in the soft glow
They blended together as one.
I was reminded of a verse I know
From the Englishman, John Donne.

“No man is an island” he told.
We are each of us part of the other.
We are united as one by our soul
Formed in the womb of our mother.

“Ask not for whom the bell tolls”
He warned us in the same breath.
“It tolls for thee” - for all souls
For all men at each man’s death.

So I rose determined to find
Ways to be kinder, and I must be.
For I know I am All Mankind.
And All Mankind is Me.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I saw the Future’s silhouette
Black against flames of the sun.
And though, of course, we’d never met
I felt no need to run.

Her features cleared as she came near,
Neither loathsome nor a beauty.
I stood my ground and held my fear.
I knew it was my duty.

She held her arms straight out to me
Fists clenched and white palms down
And on her face I could not see
A smile, no, nor a frown.

She looked deep into my eyes
And in a whispered voice
Said “Both hands hold your future’s prize.
Now you must make a choice.”

My finger trembled madly
As I raised it to decide.
For should I choose, and badly,
There would be no place to hide.

Then I pulled my finger back.
I had made my own selection
I said “I’ll take a different track
One of my own direction”

She looked at me, appeared confused.
“ That is a choice allowed.
But, it is hardly ever used.”
Then she lowered her gaze and bowed.

I turned away and left her there.
I felt unsure, but free.
Whether the winds blew ill or fair,
My life belonged to me.


By Carl Martin Johnson

This dawn I ran to greet the sun,
Stood naked in his heat.
I felt that he and I were one,
Part of a thing complete.

I filled my lungs with air,
Inhaling the world’s ghost,
Taking perhaps more than my share,
Feeling both guest and host.

And the world’s breath made me strong,
Lent me immortality.
Made me feel that I belong,
A part of all that will ever be.

I wonder, was I created,
Or have I always been God’s part.
Am I Him, or just related?
Great mystery is this God’s art.

What I breathe in sustains me,
Gives me fuel for the day.
Be I Life, or Life contains me,
I am happy either way.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I have slipped inside your mind.
Now I know who you are.
You and I are the same kind.
Born beneath the same blue star.

I look out through your eyes,
And see the world your way.
Finding, with some surprise,
To the same god we both pray.

The roses that you smell
Give the same sweet scent to me.
No difference can I tell
In olfactory identity.

The songbirds heralding dawn
Sound alike to both our ears.
And when the sun is gone,
We share the dark night’s fears.

We fight on this blood-soaked field
Because our honor says we must.
Alike, neither man will yield,
So next we share Death’s dust.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I saw the bullet twist you
Throw you through the air.
Like Thanatos had kissed you
And pushed you toward his lair.

First I killed the death-bringer,
Then watched in anguished trance,
Screaming loud, your requiem singer,
As you pirouetted in macabre dance.

I fell, cradling your head,
Horror’s fingers clenched ‘round my heart.
I knew too well you’d quick be dead,
Young life cut down before full start.

Then you lay so very still,
Pain draining slowly from your eyes.
You sang a low death chant until
You slipped this life for Odin’s skies.

Now I have lost you friend,
You were a warrior soul, like me.
Hold a place for my near end.
I’ll soon keep you company.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I walk this world alone,
My living done inside me.
What you see is a vacant clone
That I have bred to hide me.

I’ve grown a warrior’s shield
So I can do what needs be done,
So I can conquer, never yield,
Can win what must be won.

For this I’ve paid a price.
In many ways my heart’s grown numb.
I would not live this way twice.
I would rather to the pain succumb.

I envy those with heartache.
They are tasting life in full.
I would gladly have my heart break,
If I could only feel love’s pull.

It may not be too late.
Can I tear down the wall?
Can I re-direct my fate,
And be human after all?

Or, perhaps I will remain
What I have come to be.
If so, I’ll not complain.
But spare a tear for me.


By Carl Martin Johnson


Infinity hides at the top of the Stairs.
When I open the Door I’ll find it.
Then, at last, I’ll be aware
Of what Secret lies behind it.


Dripping Life
Vampire Streets
Waking to Thoughts on John Donne
Love Words
The Last of It
Breathing Life
Fight the Tiger
Inside Your Mind
To A Dying Comrade
Infinity's Secret
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