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© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

Life Passing
I Can't Stay

By Carl Martin Johnson

I am here but can’t stay long.
I hear the Next Life calling.
I’ve barely time to sing my song
Before the New Night’s falling.

So I greet you with a kiss,
And embrace you with my soul.
Let us make a time of bliss
Until my death knell’s toll.

Then I’ll take my leave
Knowing my days were not wasted.
Nor you nor I will grieve,
For the best of life we’ve tasted.




By Carl Martin Johnson

Today I saw the sun rise bright
To illuminate God’s beauty.
But there is equal art in night.
If the soul’s eyes do their duty.




By Carl Martin Johnson

I see the sunrise in your eyes,
Reflecting beautifully the dawn.
Nature cannot, with all her tries,
Equal the artistry with which you’re drawn.

I love you as the night the day.
Your light gives me rebirth.
Your smile a brilliant pearl array,
Shining joy over my earth.

I know Heaven when you look at me,
Our souls melting into one.
Life together is our destiny,
And now it has begun.

When the sun at last goes down,
And night’s deep dark I face,
You will never see me frown,
If I sleep warm in your embrace.




By Carl Martin Johnson

Cinnamon, I love the spice.
Magic taste, both hot and sweet.
A seasoning so wondrous nice
In what I drink and eat.

Exciting lover on my tongue.
Flavor marvelously exotic.
Makes my entire body young.
The sensation near erotic.

So I will spread you on my toast,
Mix you into my hot drink.
You are the spice I love the most.
I’ll have some now, I think.




By Carl Martin Johnson

When he touched her she felt new,
Cleansed of her troubled past,
As if his love was true,
As if this love would last.

His hands were gently strong,
Protecting her from harm.
She would forever there belong,
Within his grasp so warm.

Other lovers had abused her.
Took her, then were gone.
Why they never stayed confused her,
Made it hard to carry on.

She had nearly reached her end.
Sweet death seemed so inviting.
Until she found this loving friend
Who made life again exciting.

It did not matter much
That she’d wake up to find
Her lover and his touch
Existed only in her mind.




By Carl Martin Johnson


Life tries hard to trick me.
It wants to keep me blind.
It is trying to restrict me.
It would like to rule my mind.


Life wants to have dominion.
Wants to be loved above all.
Afraid I’ll form another opinion
If I hear a more important call.


Life, you know I love you.
To me you’re very dear.
But there are things I hold above you.
For them your loss I cannot fear.


I will cast you aside
For my family or nation.
Just to keep you, I’ll not hide,
Or subject my soul to degradation.


I’ll keep your fire bright in my heart,
Unless your sacrifice is needed.
For a greater good we’ll part,
Because honor’s call was heeded.




By Carl Martin Johnson


Have you seen my love’s heart?
There’s a hole where it had been.
Did it hide, did it depart?
Shall I look again?


She had promised it to me,
Forever mine to keep.
Did my darling set it free
When I was asleep?


I heard she has retrieved it
To give another man.
I would never have believed it
When our love began.


I know it’s not inside,
Or she could not be so cold,
Unless it froze and died,
Like a once-bright star grown old.


If one day you hear its beat,
Please tell me right away.
My life can’t be complete
Until it’s back to stay.




By Carl Martin Johnson


I am tired and I am lonely.
I need a woman in my arms.
She needs not love me only.
I just want to share her charms.


For a moment I’ll forget
With a woman who is willing,
That I owe death a debt,
And all the blood and killing.


I won’t recall her face
The minute that she’s gone.
But I’ll treasure her embrace
In some shell-bursting dawn.


Her warm body’s all I’m after,
With a little faked romance,
Mixed with bawdy laughter,
And some soul-restoring dance.


So come, my short-time lover,
Let us in sweet lust play.
Help me, please, recover,
To fight another day.




By Carl Martin Johnson


Is that my name you’re calling, Death?
Are you saying it’s my turn?
You want me to take my last breath,
Pour my ashes into the urn.


I am afraid I must refuse.
I will go, but not today.
My exact time I know I cannot choose,
But I will have my say.


There are things I’ve yet to do.
Mountains I must climb.
A dragon I should slay, or two.
I will need more time.


So, Death, get thee behind me.
For now you’ll have to wait.
I will tell you where to find me
When I’m ready to pass through your gate.




By Carl Martin Johnson


I tore a hole in the universe
In my passion to find the Word,
To escape the heavy human curse
Of our screams going unheard.


A light came through from the other side,
Though not the kind you see.
But your soul could touch it if you tried,
And follow it back to eternity.


It pulled my mind out of my brain,
Through the cosmos set it spinning,
Into a strange and new domain,
Another world beginning.


Then by wisdom I was bitten.
I found what I had sought.
The Word cannot be written.
The Word is only thought.




By Carl Martin Johnson


Walk into the storm with me.
Do not fear the lightning.
Inside are marvels for us to see,
Glorious, if frightening.


I will keep you safe from harm.
My love is a strong shield.
The dark clouds will cause no alarm,
To the tempest we’ll not yield.


Within lies beauty for us to find,
Wrapped in music of the thunder.
Bright magic things will fill our mind.
Kaleidoscopes of wonder.


The hurricane we will tame and ride,
Galloping forth on its glory wild.
We will marry in the storm’s fierce pride,
And raise its lightning as our child.




By Carl Martin Johnson


Under Passion's sun we'll heal,

Our Hearts will mend back strong.

Never again sadness feel,

Full sweet eternity long.


By Carl Martin Johnson


I’m thinking on the years I’ve passed.
My life’s days until now.
The hours are moving very fast.
I must evaluate somehow.


How shall I judge what I have done,
What has been worthwhile,
Are there praises I have won,
That would make the angels smile?


Or has my time been wasted,
Have I slept while life swept by?
Have I left life’s fruit untasted,
Waiting indolently to die?


I want to have some worth,
Be there a Heaven or not,
So that my name and time on earth,
Be not with death forgot.


By Carl Martin Johnson

He focused well his mind,
While he still had some life spark,
On what he’d leave behind,
Before the light went dark.

The enemy’d aimed well.
The bullet snapped his spine.
He’d soon face Heaven or Hell,
That line for him was fine.

But he had this moment now.
He had not yet died.
Yet his memory failed somehow,
No matter how he tried.

So he filled his eyes with sky,
And let his vision fade.
It was good, he thought, to die
Soul full of beauty that God made.

By Carl Martin Johnson

There was determination in his stride.
The limp he near concealed.
Though a trace he could not fully hide.
Perhaps a wound not healed.

He had a soldier’s bearing,
His expression not sad, but stern.
He moved as a man uncaring,
With the resoluteness battles earn.

There was a pin in his lapel.
It showed he’d won a Star.
Must have seen a bit of Hell,
Had a full taste of war.

He faced a couple on a bench.
His shadow let them know.
The girl turned to him with a wrench.
Her companion turned too, but slow.

The soldier stood there still.
The woman looked up paled.
She mouthed his name, but shrill.
Her lover’s voice just failed.

The soldier’s eyes were ice.
The woman shrank in shame.
Then the soldier nodded twice,
And returned the way he came.

By Carl Martin Johnson


I whisper softly down your throat,
But no words are my mouth forming.
My breath on you in prayer rote
Sets your blood to warming.


My lips blow a gentle breeze,
Flowing smooth across your breast.
Your woman’s urges now I tease,
Putting your propriety to test.


With my kisses I caress,
Your loveliness explore.
All your treasures I will bless.
Your abundance I’ll adore.


I feel your vibrations growing.
Spine arching high in rapture.
I sense the pleasure you are knowing,
And the ecstasy you capture.


Soon you’ll surrender to sweet lust.
The joy of love will overcome.
You will offer me your trust.
To my charms you will succumb.




By Carl Martin Johnson


Night’s icy fingers grazed my face
Like the touch of ghosts long dead,
Squeezed my heart in chilled embrace,
Held me fast with dread.


Stars speared through the pitch-dark sky,
Pricking my eyes with their sharp light.
In my mind I heard them cry,
Near driving me to flight.


Yet I waited still,
Denying my fear rule.
Though it tested hard my will,
I’d not run, a cowardly fool.


At last I heard the sound,
Careful footfalls on the track.
What I’d waited for I’d found
Coming to me through the black.


Soon battle would begin.
It would be a bloody fight.
Chances I’d survive were thin.
But I feared more the night.




By Carl Martin Johnson


In this minute a life was born.
In this minute someone died.
In a war human flesh was torn.
A grieving widow cried.


The seconds that have passed
Can never be reclaimed.
They appear but never last.
Moments honored, moments shamed.


Eternity lies in every minute
Until the next one’s here.
The world and all that’s in it
Will arrive, then disappear.


If I could catch and hold just one,
Which one would it be?
The moment that my life is done
And the next world I can see.




By Carl Martin Johnson


The Dawnwalker watched the new sun rise,
Saw it blossom in the sky.
It reflected in his golden eyes
As he bid the night goodbye.


He breathed in the morning air
And blew under every angel wing,
Set free the breezes fair,
Then whistled tunes for the birds to sing.


Dawnwalker starts the world each day.
Welcomes the newborn splendor.
He keeps all night ghosts at bay.
He is Mankind’s defender.


Dawnwalker dreams the early mist,
And sips the fresh-brewed dew,
Sees each living thing life-kissed
To wake them all anew.


When full sun the horizon breaches,
Dawnwalker dissolves to light,
Blessing all a sunbeam reaches
Until he rests another night.




By Carl Martin Johnson


Words bleed from my poet’s pen,
Painting pictures from my mind.
Things that were, or might have been.
Things I would not leave behind.


I watch as they fill the page.
One by one they begin living.
Characters on imagination’s stage,
I am the god their soul giving.


Sometimes the words smile.
Other times they cry.
They keep me company for a while.
Then we say goodbye.


I wonder at their magic,
How they make life- feeling whole.
So beautiful, so tragic.
Tiny pieces of my soul.


And the song the words compose
Nourishes my heart.
Dresses life in loving clothes
To make existence art.




By Carl Martin Johnson


I found an old photograph
While hiking a remote trail.
I barely saw it under my walking staff.
Images were drained a ghostly pale.


I could just make out the couple there,
Not young, and yet not old.
She had a ribbon in her hair.
Her husband’s gaze was bold.


It was sheltered under ancient boards,
Rotted with the seasons,
Forgotten, or like many hoards,
Put there for secret reasons.


Was their house built with love that then decayed?
Was it a home that glowed with joy?
A place where hopes and dreams were made,
They thought time could not destroy?


Did the lovers look up at the sky,
The one I’m seeing now,
And swear their dreams would not die
Until they came to life somehow?


Perhaps they both are buried near,
Mounds and markers lost to time.
As were their memories, I fear,
Until resurrected in my rhyme.





By Carl Martin Johnson


My heart has empty places.
Spaces I can never fill.
I still can see their faces.
I know I always will.



The Life Spark's Dimming
Today I Saw The Sun Rise Bright
The Sunrise In Your Eyes
The Limp
When He Touched Her
Arousing You
Jealous Life
Have You Seen My Love's Heart?
The Minute
A Woman In My Arms
The Dawnwalker
Not Now, Death
Words From My Pen
The Hole In The Universe
The Abandoned Photograph
Walk Into The Storm With Me
My Heart Has Empty Places
Under Passion's Sun
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