© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

 
 

THE SCAR ON MY FACE
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

My face boasts a crooked scar.
The brand of an enemy knife.
A souvenir of war.
Snapshot of a moment in life.

 

I don’t recall the pain.
It was a slash in battle’s heat.
But images of that day remain,
Crimson splatter over my feet.

 

My attacker was like me,
A warrior fighting well.
I sent him to eternity,
Where he waits for me in Hell.

 

The bayonet’s mark reminds me
That Death once passed me by.
And one day when he finds me,
I’ll accept…I will not cry.

 

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FINDING JOY
By Carl Martin Johnson

Lately Joy’s been hard to find.
For days she has been hiding.
In the dark recesses of my mind,
Somewhere dear Joy is biding.

I badly want Joy’s glow
To lift my somber face.
But her sanctum I don’t know,
Though I’ve searched near every place.

I need her in my heart.
The light there’s growing weak.
She must do her part.
She has the energy I seek.

I will lie here in wait.
Think bright thoughts for a while.
Exorcise all hate.
Then trap her with a smile.

 

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TUT
By Carl Martin Johnson

Tutankhamen, mighty Pharaoh,
Had three caskets made of gold.
And he was wounded by Death’s arrow
Before he had grown old.

When at last he saw Death’s smile,
Coffins did not serve to hide
The mighty ruler of the Nile,
Husband of his sister-bride.

He wondered, through his pain,
At Amun taking him so young.
He’d only just begun his reign,
His lifesong hardly sung.

Nineteen years the sun god warmed him,
Made him wise and kept him brave.
Now a small thing harmed him.
Would send him early to his grave.

What would he leave behind
To show he’d been a king?
What would the future find
That Tutankhamen had to bring?

It would be only his tomb
With his caskets made of gold
Nothing else, from death to womb
Set him apart from kings of old.

Thus immortality is denied
To all of vain mankind.
Though many men have tried
Eternity pays us little mind.

 

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HUMANITY’S WORTH
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

I shout praise to us, Mankind.
We are the Great God’s wonder.
Look deep into our hearts and find
We are more than Nature’s blunder.

 

Can you feel what glows inside?
What you are moving toward?
We are the mystic cosmos’ pride.
Hold yourself in high regard.

 

Only through Man will meaning be.
We are the path to Truth.
There our purpose we will see,
Though the search is in its youth.

 

Look around without despair.
There’s more good in Man than bad.
Our existence is God’s own prayer.
We are all He’s ever had.

 

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I DREAMED YOU ALIVE
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

I dreamed you in the night,
An illusion to fill my heart,
Lovely and passionate sprite,
Creature of a dreamer’s art.

 

While I sleep you’re mine to hold.
You nestle in my arms,
Whispering “Be Bold”,
Offering me your charms.

 

By white starbeams we dance,
To music nightbirds sing,
Moving slow in lovers’ trance,
Across an angel’s wing.

 

In soft darkness you are real.
The love you give is true.
In these moonglow hours I steal
A life for me with you.

 

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STAR RIDE
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

I’ll take you on a star ride,
Astride a comet’s tail.
Where all the gilded fairies hide.
Where daydreams never fail.

 

We’ll speed far past the moon,
Round and shining in the sky.
We’ll not be returning soon,
So we’ll wave a fond goodbye.

 

Through the galaxies we’ll spin,
Seeking a place to call our own
Where no one’s ever been
And build our kingdom’s throne.

 

There we’ll be alive.
A tribe like none before.
Forever we will thrive
Just beyond sweet Heaven’s Door.

 

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FLEETING LOVES
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

Most loves just flash by.
A kiss and then they’re gone.
Hearts burst into flame, then die.
Lovers embrace and then move on.

 

Wounds they leave run deep,
Yet are often quick to heal,
Remaining hidden deep,
Until chance thoughts reveal.

 

From love to love we flit,
Seeking a final place to light.
But on every heart we sit,
Something is not fully right.

 

So we hunt again.
One day we’ll find our treasure.
‘Til then it is no sin
To ease life’s way with pleasure.

 

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I SAW A GHOST
By Carl Martin Johnson

I saw a ghost this morning.
It caught me by surprise.
It came with no warning,
Barely made out by my eyes.

Its features instilled no fear,
Though they may have once been strong.
They were hardly clear.
Something about them was very wrong.

The specter began to waver,
Its substance coming lost.
A being drained of flavor,
Whose life force had been tossed.

Its eyes were watery pale,
Until it slowly turned to stare.
I thought my heart would fail
As fire grew in its glare.

Yet I saw through to an empty soul,
Barren of all grace.
A thing no longer whole,
With an eerily familiar face.

By the dawn light I could now see
What had truly come to pass.
The phantom I saw was me,
Leering back from my looking glass.

 

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WOUNDED WARRIOR
By Carl Martin Johnson

Months ago I saw him leave,
A handsome boy, and strong.
Sergeant stripes proud on his sleeve.
He’d have more ‘fore long.

He was ready for the fight.
Brave, as young men are.
He believed the cause was right.
But he had not yet seen war.

Well and hard he fought.
He saw blood and death.
He found freedom must be bought,
Sometimes with a man’s last breath.

He almost made it through.
Harm came close but missed him.
So when the explosive blew,
He thought the devil’d kissed him.

Now he moves on wheels.
Parts of him aren’t there.
I wonder how he feels,
Always sitting in that chair.

Inside he must stand high.
His soul a warrior’s still.
They could not make that die.
The warrior pride they could not kill.

 

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LIFE, I SAW YOU COMING

By Carl Martin Johnson

 

Life, I saw you coming.
Now I see you go.
I just sat here humming,
Then reached out,
But too slow.

 

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LIFE, I NEED YOUR HELP

By Carl Martin Johnson

 

I greet you, Life, this morning
As a friend I’ll ask to dance,
A friend who’ll give me warning,
Who’ll ensure I have a chance.

 

Today, Life, watch my back.
I need some help from you.
There’s a bump here in the track.
I need a hand to get me through.

 

Won’t let problems kill me.
I’m too strong to go down.
But these now do not thrill me.
I can’t erase my frown.

 

Life, just be my brother.
Don’t make me bear it on my own.
Lift me up so I don’t smother.
It’s worse now than I’ve known.

 

Boost me up this one last time.
I’ll be just fine if you will.
There’s no mountain I can’t climb
If I can top this hill.

 

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WHEN SHE AND I WERE ONE
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

The world was fine back then.
Filled with music from her laughter.
That joy will not come again.
Only memories hereafter.

 

And my world was colored brightly.
Lit with brilliance from her smile.
We danced to love’s tunes nightly.
Swam in pleasure’s pool a while.

 

One day my love moved on.
Took her heart and left my own.
I woke and she was gone.
I would have stopped her had I known.

 

Now that we travel separate ways
My life has come undone.
Oh, how I long for those sweet days
When she and I were one.

 

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FLY PAST, LIFE
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

Life, fly quickly by.
This world is not my own.
Then let me peaceful die
When I’ve learned that to be known.

 

I will absorb here what I can,
On my way to better things.
Though now I’m only Man.
Not yet my true song sings.

 

I am in eternity’s anteroom,
Waiting to open infinity’s door.
There my soul will completely bloom.
There my Being will be more.

 

Meanwhile, this life I will devour.
Its lessons I’ll digest.
And use the knowledge gleaned for power
To face the coming test.

 

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CHILD OF ROCK
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

I am a bastard Child of Rock,
Grandchild of Rock ‘n Roll.
Oh, Lord, won’t you turn back the clock.
Let that music soothe my soul.

 

By the time I got to Woodstock,
The Child of God was gone.
Nothing left that could shock.
The beat had well moved on.

 

I saw sweet Rock music’s birth.
It put fire into my heart.
Helped give my foolish actions worth.
Made being young an art.

 

The radio still plays it.
It has a special kind of truth.
Won’t stop dyin’ but delays it.
Sweet Rock brings back my youth.

 

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THE GENERAL OF GRAN CIELO
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

He sat his mount atop the hill,
Looking down upon the tanks.
No more enemy left to kill.
For that he gave God thanks.

 

Some thought him insane,
The old gringo paladin,
But he was winning this campaign,
And he was worshipped by his men.

 

No one knew from whence he came.
They just saw that he could lead.
In Gran Cielo he’d gained fame
With the people in their need.

 

The General could not now recall
Why he came to this poor place.
Nor remember anything at all
About the man in the mirror’s face.

 

Yet it caused him no concern
For this war it was not needed.
Maybe his memory would return
When the peoples’ fight succeeded.

 

In this revolution he had worth
He felt not there before.
Here was his rebirth.
Fate had offered him a door.

 

For here in this small nation
People would revere his name.
There would be yearly celebration
And long-lasting fame.

 

If he died here for this cause,
Knowing nothing of his past.
He would give the gods applause
For granting his good days last.

 

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A RED ROSE IN THE GRAVEYARD
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

Stone crosses leaned amongst the weeds,
Stained tombstones scattered ‘round.
The air bleached free of living deeds,
Dusting cracked and drying ground.

 

He had taken a wrong turn
On a rarely explored trail.
But there could be a thing to learn,
Knowledge his error would unveil.

 

These dead were long in earth.
Those who had mourned them drifted away.
No matter their wanderings from birth,
In this dirt was where they’d stay.

 

This bleak home of the dead,
So different from their world of light,
And the lives that they had led,
Now they lay wrapped in cold death’s night.

 

Then bright red caught his eye.
Amid the straw a fresh-cut bloom.
Was it from a passerby?
A chance visitor to this gloom?

 

He moved to the crimson rose,
Bent down to read the stone.
Date of Death was last century’s close.
Name and Date of Birth “Unknown”.

 

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BORN BEHIND A STAR
By Carl Martin Johnson

I was born behind a star,
Love child of angels’ lust.
But I am higher than they are.
God’s soul within me thrust.

In my mind the cosmos seethes.
It is there the world’s evolving.
The cradle where new life breathes,
Where God’s secrets are resolving.

Will I become more Man,
Or an entirely new Being?
Will what my birth began,
Send existence’ limits fleeing?

 

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CHANGING
By Carl Martin Johnson

Every day I’m changing.
Every morning I am new.
My ideas rearranging,
Weighing what is true.

Each moment I live I grow,
Getting larger, becoming more,
Feeding on what fresh I know,
That has come through my mind’s door.

Like a butterfly I rise
From sleep thoughts multi-hued.
Over wisdom’s blossoms my spirit flies.
In the dawn I am renewed.

Full perfection is my goal,
Though I may never reach that height.
I will strive hard for a worthy soul
Before I enter the Great Night.

 

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DAWN WIND
By Carl Martin Johnson

Stand firm against the dawn wind,
Gentle breezes can grow strong.
Prepare well to defend.
The battle may be long.

What is morning’s soothing breath
May become a storm.
Whirling dervishes of spinning death
From gusty harbingers are born.

Though kissing soft at the rising sun,
The zephyr’s passion may soon rise.
Once her turbulence has begun,
The unprepared is he who dies.

Lift your face up in the morning.
Let angel puffs blow your hair.
But, my friend, take warning.
A hurricane lurks there.

 

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A STAR FOR YOU
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

I chose a star for you last night.
It was sparkling pure and clean.
There were others twice as bright,
But it was the bluest star I’ve seen.

 

A lustrous sapphire jewel,
Icy azure flame,
Burning angel breath as fuel,
God’s wonder to proclaim.

 

I’ll wish it into your heart.
It will light the beauty there.
You are God’s work of art.
There is none alive so fair.

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