© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

 
 

THE LAST GOODBYE
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

It was the last time she would see him.
She knew that in her heart.
There was no way for her to free him
From the fate that was his part.

 

This was not his first campaign.
He’d been a warrior all his life.
Nor could she complain.
She was a warrior’s wife.

 

Life without him would be hard.
She held him very dear.
But she could not let down her guard.
She could not show him her fear.

 

They looked long into each other,
Yet they did not embrace,
To touch would be to smother
The glow each saw on the other’s face.

 

He turned and walked away.
Neither said a word.
They spoke all there was to say,
Though not a sound was heard.

 

She watched him vanish from her life.
Step by step, away he faded.
The world with all its strife,
She would bear now unaided.

 

Her sorrow fused with pride.
She could not change Life’s plan,
But she would be grateful ‘til she died
She’d had a worthy man.

 

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HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

Hollywood is not a real place.
It only exists in the hopeful heart
Of a young and pretty face
That is yearning for a start.

 

Doors opened to her beauty,
Yet there were many lovely as she.
So she lay back and did her duty.
Just a kind of entry fee.

 

Talent held little sway,
Though her own was hardly strong.
Seems the only part she’d play
Was the girl men brought along.

 

The party went on forever.
Strange bedrooms became her home.
For a while she thought it clever,
A carefree, pampered roam.

 

The years passed, and she aged badly.
Drugs and martinis took their toll.
She would have left this sad life gladly,
Had it not seduced her soul.

 

She looked down from her penthouse perch
On the lights of Hollywood Hills.
She was close to abandoning her search.
Now she charged for love to pay the bills.

 

A sidewalk whore looked up to see her,
And waved as if she knew
The hooker below would be her
Before her life was through.

 

For a second she thought to jump,
But hope’s flame was still burning.
Perhaps her life would survive this slump,
And she’d yet fulfill her yearning.

 

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THE DOOR
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

The path was not well-trod.
The vines were growing back.
He found this very odd,
But it was the only track.

 

The jungle could only be entered
By a portal where the thin trail led.
Where the bamboo had been splintered,
And the elephant grass was dead.

 

He glanced back for a pursuer.
None had found him yet.
But his minutes were growing fewer.
Those who chased would not forget.

 

Too many had fallen to his fire.
He feared their retribution.
Their hearts filled with bloody ire
Would allow no absolution.

 

Yet, the jungle held a secret eerie,
A thing he could not define.
Still, he was too bled out and weary
To weigh it in his mind.

 

Death was sure unless he moved.
No doubt what was behind.
The jungle’s danger was not proved.
What it was he’d have to find.

 

He forced himself ahead
Into the verdant black.
He overcame his dread.
There was no turning back.

 

When the enemy found the jungle gate.
Strange sounds seeped from the abyss,
And an acrid smell of rotting hate,
With a taste like Satan’s kiss.

 

They back off and left their prey,
Afraid to share in his demise.
They had found Hell’s door that day,
In lost Eden’s foul disguise.

 

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THE THIEF
By Carl Martin Johnson

He moved silently in the dark,
He had no need of light.
He swam like a smooth shark
In the cold, black sea of night.

The walls were hung with treasure,
Done by men from ages past.
They had worth of no small measure,
But he was after value far more vast.

The stairway he gently ascended,
Moving fast toward the room.
Softly, for his safety depended
On quiet negotiation of the gloom.

The scent of fresh-cut flowers
Came to guide him on his quest.
He called up all his powers,
That he might pass this test.

He followed sweet perfume
Down the hall and through a door,
Where a garden in full bloom
Reached his heart and made it soar.

From the creamy lunar glow
Which spread soft illumination,
He saw what all must know
Was the Jewel of Creation.

He approached in quiet awe,
Bending low for better view,
Hypnotized by what he saw.
It was too lovely to be true.

Then his target raised her arms
To hold him in love’s embrace.
He surrendered to her charms,
And stole a kiss from her dear face.


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THE CLUB OF LOST SOULS
By Carl Martin Johnson

Heaven has an anteroom
Where souls like me must wait,
Where we pray to put off our doom
And enter Peter’s Gate.

We sit and play at cards,
Poker chips spread ‘round the table,
Sharing jokes with angel guards,
Glimpsing the Light when we are able.

We are those souls who lost
The key that once we had.
Now we’ll be told what is the cost
For having lived ‘tween Good and Bad.

All of us are gamblers,
Seems the most favored sin.
We have generally been ramblers,
And often killers of men.

But roaming was born inside us,
The killing justified.
It was Heaven’s court that tried us.
The verdict, though, was tied.

We’re awaiting our appeal,
Having pled for mercy to the Judge,
Hoping He knows how we feel,
And won’t bear us a grudge.

For sin’s cause is being Man,
Born into a sea of strife.
We will drown, that is the Plan.
The cause of Death is Life.

Perhaps I will see you here,
If I’ve not been told my fate.
We’ll play the cards of Hope and Fear,
And gaze upon Heaven’s Gate.

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HER BEAUTY BETRAYS HER

By Carl Martin Johnson

Her beauty preyed upon her.
Like a wolf, it ate her heart.
Every day it would feed on her,
Tearing her apart.

Men pursued her and admired,
Yet, she was weary of their gazes.
What had flattered, only tired.
She’d her fill of depthless praises.

She sensed a loss inside,
Where a core of substance should now be.
Nothing there that gave her pride,
That fulfilled a destiny.

Her mirror whispered to her
That her radiance would fade.
That time would soon undo her,
If a great change were not made.

Years of shallow, false affection,
Men granting her every whim.
Self-indulgence with no direction.
Outlook for true love very grim.

Was it too late to find a purpose?
To find love with meaning?
Or nothing beyond surface?
Only posturing and preening?

Tears streaked down her makeup.
She knew she had to try.
She thanked God for this wakeup:
“Please let me live before I die.”

 

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THE WORLDBEAT
By Carl Martin Johnson

Today I felt the world alive,
Throbbing with my heartbeat.
I sensed its strong will to survive,
And make its unity complete.

Its vibrance coursed all through me,
If only for a second.
I heard it calling to me,
Its great power beckoned.

A glory shared filled me full,
Made me welcome in the world,
Drew me near with loving pull,
Soft around me curled.

It may never come again,
This uniting with the Whole.
But it’s somewhere I have been
I now have seen the Soul.

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WHISPERINGS
By Carl Martin Johnson

The universe whispers quietly.
It tells me secret things.
The words flow by transparently,
Like gentle angel wings.

Voices of those who have gone before
Softly tell me why
I must learn on this side of the Door
Before my soul can fly.

They murmur of the Love that waits,
If I can grasp on this side first,
What ecstasy real love creates
To slake the spirit’s thirst.

The whispering lips are starlight made,
Glistening with ardor Divine.
The words pass like clouds and quickly fade,
Leaving poems in my mind.

I will find a heart-mate here on Earth,
A companion to the learning of Life.
Someone the whispers say from birth
Was meant to be my wife.

We will charge each other’s soul,
Allies in our quest
To hear the Whispering’s sacred scroll,
And find our journey blessed.

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WARRIOR’S BLOOD
By Carl Martin Johnson

Some men are born with warrior’s blood.
It feeds them in the womb.
It flows from their hearts in bright red flood
Until they lie in a warrior’s tomb.

They take the fore with sword and shield
When the dragon nears the gate.
There they stand, refuse to yield,
While lesser men debate.

These men hate war but love the fight,
Yet they keep the peace secure.
Fellow citizens sleep safe at night,
And civilizations long endure.

They stand lonely and apart.
Their world is not the same.
A different drummer stirs their heart
With wildness they cannot tame.

So, when they return from war,
Heads bloody but unbowed,
Cheer them then for what they are,
And tell them you are proud.

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EYES OF GOD
By Carl Martin Johnson

I looked into the eyes of God.
The universe was there.
My soul was stilled, my mind was awed,
My whole being was a prayer.

Ideas flowed ‘round me, more and more.
Streams of knowledge quenched my thirst,
And carried me up to wisdom’s core,
Where I learned what had been First.

Washed in Prime Thought, I saw all.
I knew what and why.
Concepts, reasons held me in thrall,
Let me know I could not die.

I held That Beyond Which Is No Higher.
I felt the Holy Kiss.
I was overcome with desire
To spend eternity like this.

The emotion began to fade.
I was to be granted just a taste.
The price I had not yet paid
To be eternally embraced.

I refocused from within.
I could now see this world clearer..
And the eyes that God’s had been
Gazed back at me from my mirror.

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KICK IT DOWN
By Carl Martin Johnson

Kick down the door that holds you back,
No need to treat with deference.
Or burst right through, if you’ve the knack,
And that be your preference.

The life you have is a great gift.
Its use is up to you.
Steer it well, or watch it drift.
Its anchored when its through.

Find your target and lock in tight.
Do not let it evade you.
Go after it with all your might.
Let none alive dissuade you.

There are very few who burst the dam.
Most lie becalmed in the stagnant lake.
The Select shout “This Is Who I Am!”
And conquer what they would take.

If you would be remembered,
Like them, be Bold be Brave,
Or your name will be dismembered,
And lie forgotten in your grave.

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MAMA’S LITTLE GUY
By Carl Martin Johnson

Sometimes on the star-filled skies
He thought he saw her smile.
He would lie back and close his eyes,
And remember her a while

They took her away a year ago.
They said that she was mad.
He really didn’t believe that though.
She was just a little sad.

It was his tenth birthday he saw her last.
She told him not to cry.
She said he must grow up very fast.
He was her special little guy.

Among his friends fathers were rare.
He himself had never had one.
About that he didn’t really care.
Better none than a bad one.

His mother was for him enough.
She would come back soon and stay.
Meanwhile he would be very tough.
He’d get stronger every day.

He was home here on the beach.
For food he worked and stole.
He would learn what life could teach.
Then he would eat this big world whole.

He would make his mama proud
Of the things he will have done,
So she would shout to all out loud:
“This is my Little Guy! My son!”

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FIRST SIGHT
By Carl Martin Johnson

I’ve never seen the bright of day,
Nor the smooth white of the moon,
Or the dazzling points of the Milky Way,
But, I will, and very soon.

The bandages will be unwound,
That thing called “light” seeps in.
It will be a new world I have found.
Then my new life will begin.

What will I want to look for first,
When I emerge from the dark gray murk?
Will I satisfy my aching thirst
To find where rainbows lurk?

Will I search museums of art
To see the works of fame,
To know the beauty they impart,
To share the eyes from whence they came?

And all the wonders of the earth:
Pyramids, canyons, mountains.
The place of my great nation’s birth,
Rome with her famed fountains?

I cannot deny my pure elation
At the miracle I am receiving.
Yet, despite my endless celebration,
I feel the gift may be deceiving.

I have lived without my sight,
But I have not been blind.
I have experienced more than night.
I had no darkness in my mind.

I saw things deep down in my soul,
Since I could only look within.
There was Life’s glowing coal
Where God has always been.

What, I think, one sees with eyes
Are not the things most true.
To find what you will really prize,
You must look inside of you.

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I SAW HOPE TODAY

By Carl Martin Johnson

I saw Hope today.
There was sparkle in her eyes.
She turned her face my way,
Her smile a beaming prize.

Her hair was soft and fair,
Flowing gently in the wind.
She kissed away despair
And made me whole again.

She promised she would stay,
Make her home within my heart.
And would only go away
If I forced her to depart.

Now I can brave it all,
With dear Hope inside.
I can get up when I fall,
And face every day with pride.

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