top of page
The Bright Star

© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved


By Carl Martin Johnson


I feel life dripping from me,
Fertilizer for my soul.
It does not overcome me.
The loss just makes me whole.


Each drop serves well to feed,
I feel my being grow,
Nourishing my need
To evolve and, more, to know.


Sweet life is leaking out,
By the hour, by the minute,
Breaking my soul’s drought
With the energy that’s in it.


When the last tear spills,
I will be something new.
It is not a loss that kills,
But one that makes me true.




By Carl Martin Johnson


At dawn I’ll walk out on the wind
To kiss the rising sun.
I’ll wave him on, my special friend,
Wish him well on his daily run.


With luck, I’ll find a passing cloud
Who’ll take me for a ride.
From it I will shout out loud:
“I am Man!” with pride.


I’ll survey all the earth below
To appreciate her glory.
Loving the wonders she has to show.
Revealing humanity’s story.


Then I’ll inhale deep and long,
The air, sweet angel’s breath
That will keep me godly strong
And far away from death.


I’ll share the blue sky with the birds,
As the firmament we traverse.
They will whistle secret words
Which I will capture for my verse.


At dusk I will slide to earth,
As the winds die down.
I’ll pray all night for the next day’s birth
Clothed full in golden gown.


And I will ponder as I sleep
The world and I as One.
How we one another keep,
Brought together by the sun.




By Carl Martin Johnson

Hide here in my heart with me.
I’ll make room for you.
Here is where love came to be.
Here is where it grew.

We can’t let people find us.
They will see how much we care.
Our passion often blinds us
When we are unaware.

We only have to touch
To be obvious in our ardor.
The attraction is too much.
Keeping secret’s getting harder.

Our eager flames we hide,
Embers fanned by our embraces.
We shelter the heat inside.
Cool the warmth from eager faces.

In my heart we can be free
To let our lovelust roar.
There is only you and me
Behind my heart’s closed door.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Scratch me tigress! Claw!
Let your nails dig in.
Make our lovemaking raw.
Put great passion in our sin.

Mark my chest with trails deep red.
Brand me as your man.
Create a jungle of our mating bed
As only a tigress can.

Sink your fangs into my flesh
Until I writhe with passion’s pain.
Send my blood run hot and fresh
Then no inhibitions will remain.

With your strong legs wrap me.
Bend me to your lustful will.
With your panther’s heat entrap me.
Use me up, but do not kill.

When you have left me spent,
I will roar and rise again.
The magic of your scent
Makes a lion out of men.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Take my breath away.
Make my still heart beat.
Kiss the night to day.
No fruit grows so sweet.

In your eyes I see forever.
We can go there if we try.
Beyond the twelfth of never
With angels we will fly.

The thrill of our uniting,
The feel of flesh on skin,
Ardor so inviting.
Let our dance begin.

We will breathless lie
Spent from passion’s celebration.
Only you and I
At the center of Creation.



By Carl Martin Johnson


Our lives are passing shades.
Only shadows on the earth.
Our presence quickly fades.
We end soon after birth.


There is no enduring fame.
What there is is brief.
We return from whence we came
With little joy or grief.


I you would live forever,
You must advance your being.
Become a creature stronger.
Go beyond the world you’re seeing.


There is a path inside your mind.
Sink deep and you can feel it.
It will be hard to find
So only you can steal it.




By Carl Martin Johnson

Maggie, you took my youth.
My juices you drained dry.
You kept me from the truth
That all men are meant to die.

I loved you every dawn,
Caressed you in the night.
But now I must move on.
I have pain I cannot write.

You took me to your bed
When I’d not yet a beard.
Clothes and innocence I shed
As your loveliness appeared.

I grew old in your arms.
I let my life float past.
I took comfort in your charms.
Though they were waning fast.

Now in the dark I wait,
Feeling my light fade.
With every breath I take
I curse this life I’ve made.

But I am not yet dead.
Maggie, you did not kill me.
I will jump up from this bed
And find a life to fulfill me.




By Carl Martin Johnson


Let my fights be just.
Let honor be my guide.
And, when kill I must,
May it be for the righteous side.


Let me manly my sword wield.
My enemy unsuffering die.
Grant me courage not to yield.
Put the storm in my war cry.


When I face the foe
With my brothers at my side,
Let only valor show,
My fear hide deep inside.


Death’s lance one day will find me.
Let me meet it with disdain.
My Angel, stand behind me.
Keep me upright in my pain.


Then lead me to my brothers,
Who have walked the path before.
Seat me with the others
Until there’s need for us once more.





By Carl Martin Johnson

Do I rise for the sun
Or does he rise for me?
Tell me please which one
Shines light for Man to see.





By Carl Martin Johnson

There is a secret place
Where I lock all my fears.
So when you see my face,
You never see my tears.


My sadness hides there, too.
That’s why I always smile.
If people only knew,
They would wonder at my guile.


Sometimes at night I visit
To face my fears and woes.
I question just why is it
Some are not there, only those.


One by one I take them.
I fight and sometimes win.
They obey me if I make them.
Strength where none has been.


The struggle makes me brave
If not filled with joy.
From fear my life I’ll save.
Only sadness can destroy.


By Carl Martin Johnson


I saw a star some years ago,
The brightest in the sky.
It set the earth beneath aglow
With light from its celestial eye.


It shined down on a man like me,
Who was then a child.
A brilliant joy the boy set free
Like the universe had smiled.


Down the beam from Heaven’s star
Passed breath from God’s own soul.
And that made sacred who we are,
Made our broken parts whole.



By Carl Martin Johnson


It was a day in a real hard winter
When Momma went away.
We could not prevent her,
Though we begged her please to stay.


She’d been unhappy a long while.
Daddy noticed too.
She never seemed to smile.
She was always blue.


There were six of us to mother,
From me to little Nell.
Enough of us to smother.
Guess we were Momma’s hell.


One day when Daddy’d gone
She brought us all together.
She said “I’m movin’ on,
‘Spite of this damned weather.”


She said: “Jenny, you’re near grown.
You care for the rest.
You’ll have young ones of your own.
Let this be your test.”


She walked on out the door
Into the snow and wind.
We needed her even more
But we knew it was the end.


We watched through window panes
As she fought through knee-deep snow.
She seemed to drop her chains.
Her face began to glow.


She stuck out a hitcher’s thumb
When she reached the county street.
Hoping a lift would come
Before she froze her feet.


She was hours beside the road,
Trying hard to catch a ride.
Not a single person slowed.
Though they saw how Momma cried.


The cars just sped on past,
Sucking out all Momma’s hope,
But a semi was coming fast,
Charging down the slope.


She saw it was not slowing.
She knew it would not stop.
As its silhouette was growing.
I saw a sad tear drop.


The big truck barreled on.
Mama turned to look at me.
Then she stepped out and was gone.
Momma was set free.




By Carl Martin Johnson

I scar this paper with my pen,
Composing foolish rhymes.
The most unworthy of all men,
My scribbled verses crimes.

How dare I talk of meaning,
When I do not know my own?
My precious poet’s preening
Brings the universe to moan.

Let me instead be still,
Listen and stop speaking.
The world will tell me what it will.
I’ll drink the secrets it is leaking.

See words written in night skies.
Hear the music of the earth.
Then, before my body dies,
My lines may have some worth.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Happiness just flew by.
I felt the wind from beating wings.
Can I catch her?  Should I try
To claim the blessings her joy brings.

Maybe I’m too late.
She has caught me unaware.
Can I change my unhappy fate
Before I see  Death’s hard stare?

Now she’s looking back at me.
Her eyes begin to flirt.
Could she be my destiny?
Will she kiss away my hurt?

She slows to let me gain.
She wants me to embrace her.
She wants to stop my pain.
That’s why she made me chase her.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I think I felt an angel’s tear.
No, it was not rain.
See, the skies above are clear,
If darkening from Man’s pain.

Perhaps the angel heard a plea
From a child about to die.
If the angel saw how Man can be,
It would surely make him cry.

But he could have seen a mother
Playing with her baby boy.
Innocence like no other,
And the tear was dropped for joy.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I saw you in the shadowed light,
Pressed hard against the wall.
As I approached you ran in fright,
Although you heard me call.

Is what we had so hard to bear?
Was our coupling somehow vile?
I have been searching everywhere,
Only now do I see your smile.

You tore yourself hard from me.
I never wanted us to part.
I felt great pain overcome me
As you ripped in two my heart.

O Courage, don’t desert me!
Return and make me brave.
With you nothing can hurt me.
Save me from a coward’s grave.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I danced once with a whirlwind.
She spun me ‘round ‘n ‘round.
She was the best I ever sinned
At least, above the ground.

She twirled me in the dirt,
Blew stardust in my eyes.
I felt pain but not hurt
As we crossed the moonlit skies.

Up we twisted to a cloud.
She kissed me with its lightning.
Her beauty made me proud,
Though her embrace was frightening.

When at last she loosed me,
Dropped me from above,
The tornado that seduced me
Had won this cowboy’s love.




By Carl Martin Johnson


The sigh slipped out her parted lips,
Sounding near kin to a moan.
It carried the plink of memory drips
From a heart that’s all alone.


Sad symphony of shattered dreams
From the orchestra in her soul
Came melancholy music streams
Out of heartache’s deepest hole.


Harmony of hopes now faded.
Notes coated with time’s dust.
First true love for riches traded.
Loss of a good friend’s trust.


Then the sigh was breathed back in
In hopeful angel’s choir.
Singing she could start again
If she set her heart on fire.





By Carl Martin Johnson

I will live life bright.
I will storm her ramparts cheering.
I’ll never run from a just fight.
I’ll leave my enemies fearing.


All seven seas I’ll sail.
Every dragon I will slay.
I will face, though I may fail,
Every challenge, every day.


When time comes to rest,
When my race is run,
I’ll know I’ve lived my best.
The game of life I won.





By Carl Martin Johnson

All alone at the end of the dance.
By myself when the others have gone.
Wondering if I let slip my chance.
Wondering if I should really go on.


Gifted moments I let pass by
Of love, sweet, faithful and true.
Now I stand here and cry
Regretting what I can’t undo.


Sparkling eyes and wide open hearts,
Whispers beneath the moon.
Doing nothing as my lover departs.
To real feeling I’ve been immune.


I could turn out the lights and leave.
Or perhaps I could try again.
I could sit on the dance floor and grieve,
Or listen to new music begin.



When Momma Went Away
Hide In My Heart With Me
The Poet As Fool
Tigress, My Lover
Happiness Flew Past Me
An Angel's Tear
Passing Shades
In The Shadowed Light
Sweet Maggie
Dancing With A Whirlwind
The Sigh
A Warrior's Prayer To His Angel
Life Bright
The Sun And I Rising
Alone At The End Of The Dance
A Secret Place
bottom of page