© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

 
 

DEATH OF A MERCENARY
By Carl Martin Johnson

My wound will leave no scar.
It will have no time to heal
Looks like I’m done with war.
My life has come full wheel.

We are an unloved lot,
Me and others of my kind.
I deserve just what I got,
The death I knew I’d find.

The fight still rages ‘round me,
Yet I am here apart.
Destiny at last has found me.
I can feel my dying start.

This cause has been largely just
I won’t fight for pay alone.
So, bleeding in the dust,
My honor I still own.

Born centuries too late,
Years past I’d’ve been a knight.
Well, that was not my fate,
No matter how well I fight.

So, Satan greet me, if you dare.
I will meet you with this prayer:
“Vive la mort; Vive la guerre!
Vive le sacre mercenaire!”

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SMILING EYES
By Carl Martin Johnson

You passed me early today.
You walked close by his side.
I tried not to look your way.
He owned you with such pride.

Last night we lay together,
Your lips moist on my chest,
Your breath soft as a feather,
While your body I caressed.

My heart was torn inside.
How could you stay with him?
My love is too strong to hide.
Is yours only a whim?

Now you come my way again.
This time you don’t turn from me.
Your face reveals our lovers’ sin.
My desires near overcome me.

We burn with passion’s heat,
Fueled more intense by our lies.
But I will no more worry when we meet.
Truth is in your smiling eyes.

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THE WIDOW AND HER BOYS
By Carl Martin Johnson

The widow and her pretty boys
Filed from the church each Sunday.
The one day she did not touch her toys,
Every other day was a fun day.

The widow was a lovely lass,
If really somewhat portly.
She had a well formed lovely mind (ha ha)
Her demeanor refined and courtly.

It is known she had healthy appetites,
Varied and not easily sated.
I have heard there were vicious fights
When her needs were left unabated.

She cared well for her retinue,
To maintain their youthful vigor.
In turn, they were made to pursue
Sexual stamina with great rigor.

But at last the widow’s life was spent.
T’was time to join Heaven’s choir.
Yet she refused to go without the saints’ consent
To keep her earthly desire.

On nights when the moon is glowing,
Her ghost seeks young men’s arms
Countless youths are seduced unknowing
By the buxom widow’s charms.

I was, myself, one of those, too
Ravished by her hungry shade.
One man, I fear, will never do,
Until a better man is made.

Now, I am near my soul’s release.
I die happy, but full drained.
We males best see our tribe increase,
If the widow be maintained.

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A POET TO HIS MUSE
By Carl Martin Johnson

I am the Poet, you can feel me.
My words live in your heart.
My verses are the real me.
And of each other we’re a part.

The love we have is rare,
Between poet and muse only.
Not an emotion we can share.
We are alone, but never lonely.

I paint new words each day,
With the blood hot in my veins.
Only you will know the way
I lay bare all my soul’s pains.

When you quiver at my words’ touch,
We are uniting once again.
For we poets love is such.
That is how it’s always been.

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RUNNING IN THE SHADOWS
By Carl Martin Johnson

Running in the shadows,
Seeking shelter from sunny skies,
Hiding in the shadows
From your love. From your lies.

I will weaken if you find me.
I will lose my hard disguise.
I will let your beauty blind me.
Damn your love! Damn your lies!

Though you’re the one that’s cruel,
It’s myself that I despise.
You make me such a fool,
With your love. With your lies.

What sort of demon could it please
To hear my anguished cries?
To see me begging on my knees
For your love? For your lies?

God help me, I can clearly see
How a weak soul dies.
Your betrayal is killing the spirit in me.
Damn your love! Damn your lies!

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THE TREES
By Carl Martin Johnson

They wave to me, the trees,
While whispering secrets low,
Soft and gentle in the breeze
What they want me to know.

The trees steal knowledge from angels flying
Too close to towering treetops,
Mixed with dew from saints whose crying
Drips love down in their teardrops..

The trees pass all that along to me
Because they are my friends,
And because I love the symphony
Their leaves play in the winds.

My heart sings to their tune sweet
When beneath their boughs I sleep.
I pray that after death we’ll meet
In the sleep that’s long and deep.


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HOTEL PURGATORIO
By Carl Martin Johnson

I am here for venial sins,
Nothing of great moment,
Only just where sin begins.
I hardly moral discord foment.

There are many like me here.
We each have our own room.
Facing ennui more than fear,
There is no sense of doom.

Perhaps it is my greatest crime
To have caused God such boredom,
Wasting the Great Judge’s time
With my pursuit of wine and whoredom.

The others here are much like me,
Their offences wimpish and minor,
Not worth begging pardon on one knee,
Like a weakly sinning whiner.

If in my next life I remain a sinner,
I will try for offences mortal,
Lest I appear yet a rank beginner,
Still unworthy to pass Hades’ portal.

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THE FEW
By Carl Martin Johnson

Humanity advances through a few.
The remarkable ones who lead.
Without the extraordinary things they do,
We would be a sorry breed.

They think, they risk,and they explore.
They fight and often die.
Their ships lose sight of the safe shore,
And fly beyond the sky.

Some in statues are made immortal.
Some have cities with their name.
Others pass through deities’ portal,
Blessed with near-eternal fame.

But most live unregarded.
Their names are never known.
Their contributions unrewarded.
Though through them has mankind grown.

Here let them now be praised,
Heroes without name or face.
Through them our worth is raised.
They are the vanguard of our race.

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MEMORIES TO TRADE
By Carl Martin Johnson

I have memories to trade,
Should I find someone so inclined.
Recollections of mistakes I’ve made
That weigh heavy on my mind.

Unless, of course, they have a heart,
Find inhumanity hateful fare.
In that case they’ll want no part
Of my misery to share.

And if their memories are no better,
We’ll just have to let things be.
I’ll become a good forgetter,
Or maybe a better me.

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CHALLENGE TO A BLOWHARD
By Carl Martin Johnson

O, God of Thunder, come and fight!
Stop your foolish boasting.
With your brash lightning in the night,
It’s only clouds you’re roasting.

You hide behind the dark storm cloud,
Shouting threats to us below.
Your voice, indeed, is loud,
But it is all for show.

Perhaps because you are unseen,
You frighten the weaker of my kind.
They think of you as strong and mean.
I’m a different sort, you’ll find.

I stand here to call your bluff.
Face me, if you dare.
We’ll see who is truly tough,
And who is full of air.

But, wait..I am a poet.
I’m full of hot air, too.
In case you didn’t know it,
I’m a lot like you.

So, I may let you go,
If you teach me your charade.
I could use the tricks you know.
They could help me in my trade.

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THE BUTTERFLY
By Carl Martin Johnson

A softly graceful butterfly
Settled gently on my arm.
I thought it came to say goodbye.
It knew I would not harm.

Its wings were the hues of angels’ eyes.
They fanned me with Heaven’s breeze.
Was it a real angel in disguise
Come to put my soul at ease?

I moved slowly my good hand,
Taking the creature in my palm.
It somehow made me understand
I would survive if I stayed calm.

I raised it to my bloody face.
It kissed my fear away.
I had not yet run Life’s race.
I would not die that day.

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MY STAR
By Carl Martin Johnson

That star above is there for me.
The one that’s flashing bright.
Its light is meant to help me see,
To guide me through the night.

Thick blackness deep surrounds me.
It is heavy, but I won’t break.
The obscurity confounds me,
But I will find a path to take.

Until now I’ve wandered blind,
Though my eyes were open wide,
In the dusky abyss of my mind,
Where elusive truth might hide.

That astral flame’s been waiting,
Hoping I would look its way,
To share the energy it’s creating,
Turn my soul’s night into day.

I will swallow the great spark,
Let it burn light into me.
Then I will see beyond the dark
To the truth that sets me free.


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JUMP
By Carl Martin Johnson

Jump high into the air!
Don’t worry, you won’t die.
If you come down, I’ll be there.
Or, perhaps, you just might fly.

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NORTH TEXAS RAINY DAY BLUES
By Carl Martin Johnson

Daddy left and Momma died.
Now I’m here alone.
I just sat here for a time and cried,
Even though I’m near full grown.

I sold the last cow yesterday.
Think I’ll let the horses go.
Tax man’s comin’ anyway.
Gonna kick me off, I know.

We’ve had this land a hundred years.
Never was much worth a lick.
No need to drop a bunch o’ tears.
Best get out and get out quick.

Falling hard, this cold gray rain.
Don’t care if it ever stops.
Suits my mood, suits my pain.
I won’t be bringin’ in no crops.

My trucks paid for, an’ she’ll still run,
But she’ll need work sooner than later.
Maybe I’ll drive her down to Galveston,
Ship out on some tramp freighter.

That crow up there that’s circlin’ ‘round,
Guess he’s tellin’ me goodbye.
If he’s waitin’ for me to hit the ground,
Sorry, I ain’t gonna die.

I been down, way down, before.
Maybe not so bad as this.
I ain’t got a home no more.
Reckon that’s the thing I’ll miss.

Well, I’m goin’ to get up now.
I’ll stand real straight an’ tall.
I ain’t dead yet anyhow.
An’ I’m tougher than it all.

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GYPSY
By Carl Martin Johnson

There’s gypsy blood in my love’s veins.
She runs free-willed and wild.
No one puts my love in chains.
She is Nature’s feral child.

She makes love with a panther’s screaming,
Claws raking bloody down my back,
Smoldering eyes with pure lust gleaming,
Her passion a predator’s attack.

Her lines are fluidly sleek.
Her body firm on mine.
She’s not a woman for the weak.
Her ardor is not benign.

Her glance can set my loins aflame,
Fueled to inferno by her kiss.
My lust is full, no sense of shame,
Only sweet, erotic bliss.

Her lithe legs wrap around my waist.
I’m held fast for my gypsy’s pleasure.
All love’s nectar we will taste.
All animal desires we’ll treasure.

I thank the gods for her gypsy blood,
Her wondrous spicy wine.
I drown each day in passion’s flood,
Her lusty torrent only mine.


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SHELTER
By Carl Martin Johnson

I’ll shield you from the lightning,
Give you shelter from the storm,
Protect you from all that’s frightening.
In the cold I’ll keep you warm.

I will take away your pain,
Give you rest when you are weary.
Evil dragons I’ll see slain
I’ll lift you up when life is dreary.

I’ll hold the sun high in your sky.
Clouds will never block its beams
I’ll let nothing make you cry,
Awake or in your dreams.

Take refuge in my strong love.
Sleep cherished and secure.
You have nothing to be fearful of.
Together we’ll endure.

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FEEL ME
By Carl Martin Johnson

Do you feel me, feel my skin,
As our bodies lie here trembling?
Feel the beauty of our sin
Which forces our dissembling?

Our lips are touching but no more.
We breathe each other’s air.
Passion burns within our core,
And in moments we will share.

We use fingertips alone
To trace the contours of our faces.
We let escape a tortured moan
As they roam to other places.

We luxuriate in our lust,
Each delicious moment savored.
When we move, and soon we must,
We will taste how love is flavored.

Now let that which we feel run deep,
Quivering, straining for release.
Unspoken promises we’ll keep,
Then our bodies will find peace.

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THE MUSE AS A GIRL
By Carl Martin Johnson

He touched her softly in his mind,
Fingertips roving naked thighs
Their souls in passion intertwined,
Sharing silent ardor’s sighs.

Her spirit flowed into him
To fertilize his thought.
Without her energy running through him,
He could not find the words he sought.

Her lips were full and wet,
Her tongue tasted of youth.
He could never repay the debt
For her seducing him to truth.

Her skin was smooth as moonlight cream,
Under the stars spread wanting.
Poet and muse in sensuous dream,
All Eros’ realm were haunting.

Inside the muse grew a wondrous thing.
A pregnancy of verse.
Soon birthing lyrics for the world to sing.
Poet the transcriber, muse to nurse.

The poet sucked his muse’s breath.
It was more than love they shared.
They were united in life and death.
For eternity they were paired.

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