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© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

Why Did You Go?

By Carl Martin Johnson

The hand held steady with the blade,
Gaze firm on the enemy’s eye.
The fighter whose attention strayed
Would be the one to die.

The battle noise around them stilled.
In their own world isolated.
One would kill, the other killed
In the arena they’d created.

Movements ruled by instinct pure,
Refined by arduous training.
Their death-dance delicate and sure.
A ballet of thrust and feigning.

An instant froze in each man’s mind.
They saw each other clearly.
They both had much to leave behind.
Both loved living dearly.

The victor in this bloody duel
Would also be the vanquished.
The fate that made him kill was cruel.
His heart forever anguished.

But there was no time for such thought.
There was fighting must be done.
Yet when the battle had been fought,
Neither man would have won.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Ghost Wind blows through valleys
At night when dark is deep.
Down streets and along alleys
Where weary spirits sleep.

On the mountain top it wakes them,
Calls them forth to haunt the land.
In the desert it overtakes them.
Drives them forth with howled command.

The voices of demons, spirits and wind
Raise loud in chorus eerie.
Keening and wailing for those who've sinned
Whose hearts are hard and dreary.

And Ghost Wind twirls in mad dance,
Scattering demons, sparks in the night.
The Ghost Wind may give second chance,
But you will have none tonight.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Taste me, let me feed you.
I’ll fill your body with desire.
You want me and I need you.
We are slaves of passion’s fire.

Sink deep your lover’s fangs.
Suck my blood inflamed.
I will endure the pangs.
Your hunger will not be blamed.

Make your feast my body whole.
Let your lust devour all parts.
Cast off your self-control.
Bow down to Eros’ arts.

And when your thirst is sated,
I will dine in turn.
Passion’s banquet celebrated,
Our souls in love’s flames burn.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I could not sleep last night.
Today the paper will be signed.
It was not because of fright,
Although fear was on my mind.

If we fail in this endeavor,
Our lives and fortunes will be paid.
We have bound ourselves forever
To this grand experiment we’ve made.

The Tories, perhaps, will spare my wife,
Though she’s more resolute than I.
She would gladly give her life
To hear Freedom’s triumphant cry.

So I will be a man today.
I will sign John Hancock bold.
And to Providence I shall pray
This nation’s future blessed unfold.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I ring the bell for my soul’s sake.
I ring it for my brother.
May it guide us on the course we take,
That we kill not one another.


By Carl Martin Johnson

River Girl’s had many men.
She swears I’ll be her last.
I can’t help what she’s been,
Only hope the past is past.

She goes down to the river
To watch memories float by.
The sad pleasure that they give her
Makes River Girl smile and cry.

Her heart is carved up neatly.
Each lover has a piece.
She shares herself so sweetly,
I cannot beg her cease.

Every lover she loved truly.
She was faithful while she stayed.
Never caused them pain unduly.
She was worth the price they paid.

I will risk the heartache,
If for a moment she is mine.
Until I feel my soul break,
I will drink my River Girl’s wine.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I have no love just mine alone.
All the love I get is shared.
It is the only kind of love I've known,
So it cannot be compared.

Sometimes I am given days.
Mostly only hours.
To explore love’s warm and passionate ways.
To smell its fragrant flowers.

I must have women many
To make a lover complete.
But I feel lucky to have any
Like these who make my life so sweet.

I pass by their homes at night.
I see the windows glowing.
Yet to me it still seems right,
The secrets we are knowing.

I believe that I am blessed,
Not cut off from true love’s flow.
For my soul is oft caressed.
All my lovers help me grow.



By Carl Martin Johnson

If I can, I’ll find a way
To make this ordinary day
A perfect one.

I know it’s kind of gray.
I’ll have to chase the clouds away,
And bring the sun.

I’ll make all spirits bright,,
Scatter the worries of the night.
Dark matters shun.

Only laughter will be heard.
Not one negative word
Will sound alarms.

I will gather hope and cheer.
Hold all humanity dear,
In my arms.

A bright rainbow I will capture,
With its gaily colored rapture.
Make it mankind’s friend.

Then I will close my eyes and pray
That this simply perfect day
Will never end.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Eyes lit bright with passion’s fires.
White hot the flames have grown.
You have demons, you have desires.
I have some of my own.

This is the night, my Angel in Red,
That I make your volcano explode,
Hot lava of your blood erupt in our bed.
This night we reap the carnal seeds we have sowed.

I see you now imagining things
That will make our pleasure intense,
In your thoughts your whole body sings,
Exciting to extreme every sense.

Tonight, my love, your desires will meet mine.
Passion’s sweet demons run free.
Drunk and unashamed with our lovers’ wine,
In wild abandon we’ll be.

There will be no imagining too far,
No demon of lust cast aside.
We will be all that we are.
Eros will not be denied.



By Carl Martin Johnson

It was a dream, I thought, that held me,
When I began to change.
I tried to wake, but it compelled me.
I felt euphoric, although strange.

I felt myself emerging,
My essence exhaled through my skin.
All my weakness purging.
Something of import would begin.

My new home lay in between
The concrete and the unreal.
Like nothing I’d ever seen,
With many secrets to reveal.

I’m floating now, or so it seems.
Newly birthed from my chrysalis.
Like the butterfly of my dreams.
Monarch of this new world’s palace.

I am the first one of my kind.
A graduation of my race.
A growth of Being’s mind
Toward the smile on our God’s face.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Last night you were here.
My arms were wrapped around you.
How could you so soon disappear,
When I’ve only just now found you?

All my life I’ve been looking for you.
I almost gave in to despair.
Then you came and I adore you.
My heart for you I have laid bare.

This dawn finds me alone,
Abandoned with no goodbye.
You are the only love I’ve known.
Now I’m too grieved to cry.

There is no hope for your return.
I’ll stay alive, but with no spark.
Nothing in my soul to burn,
No fire to light the dark.

Death may not be the end.
Perhaps you are there waiting.
If so, Death come be my friend.
Be not cruelly hesitating.

Yet I have had a taste.
A brief sip of true love’s wine.
Living was not a waste.
I’ve had a glimpse of the Divine.


(To the Oppressed People of Venezuela)

By Carl Martin Johnson

If you want freedom, you must fight.
It will not be given to you.
It must be earned; it’s not a right.
Only through struggle is it due you.

There is blood that must be shed.
Lives that must be taken.
Some of you will end up dead,
If your cause not be forsaken.

Marching, chanting on the street,
Easy targets with signs of protest,
Will bring nothing but defeat.
It will not win the contest.

Others cannot do this for you,
If the prize be yours to own.
Lady Liberty will ignore you
Should courage not be shown.

Take up arms to cut your chains!
Slice off the tyrant’s head!
Fight ‘til it is freedom that remains,
And tyranny is dead!


By Carl Martin Johnson

Raindrops spattered in red dust,
Leaving rusty moonscape craters
Drying fast like loveless lust
Between two joyless haters.

My tongue was cracked from days of thirst,
My soul dry from despair.
I thought fate had done its worst.
I was too tired to care.

I used my rifle as a cane.
I had no ammunition.
I struggled on and racked my brain
For what called for such contrition.

The drops increased,
Or were they tears?
I had long ceased
Feeling my fears.

Soon I would dry up.
I would float away.
My life would fly up
Leave my earthly clay.

I prayed hard for that relief.
I had borne all I could bear.
I hoped the passing would be brief.
To Hell or Heaven…anywhere.

Then a long deep rumble came.
A horrid, eerie din.
Like a demon belching flame,
After eating mortal sin.

A flood spilled down hard and fast.
The dust turned quick to mud
The deadly drought had broken at last.
Now I faced a flood.

I laughed as I near drowned,
In the arroyo swept away.
A secret I had found:
A man dies either way.


By Carl Martin Johnson

The stars whisper low.
They have a secret they are keeping.
They want no one else to know,
For fear they’ll wake the sleeping.

They feel the cosmos changing.
Vibrations carried in the astral wind.
Things once fixed now loose-ranging.
Something beginning, something at end.

The planets the stars warm,
The comets that fly by,
Are trembling in alarm,
Uncertain as to why.

But the stars will not tell,
Though all existence will soon change,
Until they hear their world’s death knell,
And watch Life rearrange.

They know a force has come of age.
The most powerful since time began.
It will a war of conquest wage.
Nothing will stop the advance of Man.


By Carl Martin Johnson

In the desert I will meet you.
In the emptiness scorched by sun.
I will be on time to greet you.
Your will, darling, will be done.

We can talk atop the mountain.
Discuss our love in bloom.
Drink from passion’s fountain.
Smell ardor’s spicy perfume.

In the jungle I will find you
Amidst the birds of varied hues.
Turn ‘round, I’ll be behind you.
I’ll confess my love if you accuse.

Riding storm-tossed ocean waves,
I will bind your ship to mine.
No tempest I would not brave
To share your loving wine.

Should you spin off to a star,
For the heavens are an angel’s place,
No galaxy will be too far
To chase my love’s embrace.



By Carl Martin Johnson

The Hush is wrapped around me,
Dark and soft and warm.
Soon Truth will have found me.
I will blossom and transform.


By Carl Martin Johnson

She walks daily to the stream,
Her spirit fresh as the water.
She loves to bathe in it and dream,
This beloved, darling daughter.

Droplets tickle through her toes,
Current glistening past her feet.
The spring murmurs as it flows,
Calling at her laugh to greet.

She glows in radiance within.
She makes all Nature smile.
She clears minds of pain and sin,
Though it be only for a while.

One day soon, she’ll leave us.
But her soul’s light will remain,
And, though her passing grieve us,
We will see her laugh again.


By Carl Martin Johnson

You are the angel from my nightmare,
The golden creature who saved my soul.
You appeared clean and bright there.
You slayed the demons and took control.

I was drowning in the black sea.
You pulled me choking from the foam.
Saved my heart from the screaming banshee,
Carried me to the Light, my Home.

Now I ask that you release me,
Though you have set me on Heaven’s shore.
I beg your leave to simply be me,
To have free will once more.

God willing, I’ll return,
Having earned the entry price.
If not, my soul will burn.
Either way, my own device.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I’ll take you to a secret place
Made just for you and me.
Where we can share our love’s embrace
With no one else to see.

Even when we’re far apart
We can meet there in our mind.
There is no distance for the heart,
No place too hard to find.

You will be happy there, my dear.
I will hold you safe all night.
It’s a world where dwells no fear,
Where we are warmed by our love’s light.

We’ll lie naked in delicious sweat,
Licking the drops like morning dew.
Making love we won’t forget,
Making a single soul from two.

It will be our special world.
No one will ever know.
In each other’s arms we’ll stay curled,
Until we see the dawn light grow.

Dearest darling, take my hand.
We have magic, no need of wings.
We’ll fly off to our secret land,
And stay ‘till the morning bird sings.


Freedom Fight (To the Oppressed People of
Ring The Bell
Ghost Wind
Taste Me
The Morning Of The Signing
Star Whispers
River Girl
I Will Meet You
Back Door Man
The Hush
Perfect Day
Baby Doll
The Angel From My Nightmare
Desires And Demons
The Secret Place
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