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© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

Cogito, Ergo Sum
Here I Am


By Carl Martin Johnson

Here I am, do you not see me?
I stand right before your eyes.
Another used to be me.
Does this take you by surprise?


I was once some other man.
I’m different now…..A change.
Look inside me if you can.
You may find me strange.


I don’t know how or why.
Or if I grew or I diminished.
Just something new before I die.
Didn’t want to leave unfinished.


So I let myself transform.
Let go and spun the wheel.
I thought it could do no harm
Just to see how it would feel.


I am happy being new.
I left much bad behind.
I still have lots to do
But the change has cleared my mind.





By Carl Martin Johnson

The sound of streaming starlight
Falls softly on my ears.
Life that rules the black night
Causes me no fears.


In its gentle dark I sleep.
In its velvet arms I dream.
Its nocturnes lull me deep
‘Til dawn’s bright slivers gleam.


Night creatures’ phantom choir
Calls forth spirits with its song.
Raising ghosts of past desire
That have lain dead too long.


Smooth shadows flowing by,
Moving without greeting.
Only flickers in my eye,
And a brief smile at our meeting.


I take comfort in the night.
Its darkness is my friend.
To see I need no light.
Night vision has no end.




By Carl Martin Johnson

It was a creature thickly furred,
One he’d never seen before.
Through his vision weak and blurred,
He saw a wild thing, nothing more.


It was dying, if not dead,
Lying close by in the mud.
They shared a pool of red,
A comingling of their blood.


The soldier’s wounds were deep.
He knew his time was near.
Soon now he would sleep,
But for him death held no fear.


He looked up at the trees,
At the forest birds returned.
Their songs carried on the breeze
Over the ground that war had burned.


He grasped the ball of fur,
Though it lay deathly still.
Praying it would stir,
He focused all his will.


As he stroked its blood-soaked coat,
The tiny creature stirred.
A cry came from its throat
That the soldier barely heard.


The man smiled at the small brown eye,
Though he would not see dawn.
The soldier knew that he would die,
But Life would still go on.




By Carl Martin Johnson

Life leaves no prisoners taken.
You fight or you will die.
Weak souls are soon forsaken.
There are no ears to a coward’s cry.




By Carl Martin Johnson

I hunger for your flesh,
The taste, the smell, the feel.
Your memory is fresh,
But I need you real.


Your valleys and your hills
Are such sensuous landscape,
The sight of you brings thrills.
My mouth follows every shape.


When you stand here before me,
I must surrender to your charms.
The passion we are seeking
Is found hot in each other’s arms.


Our bodies, moist and pressing,
Ardor’s noises we are making.
With all Heaven’s blessing,
Great pleasure we are taking.


Feel my tongue caress your ear
Telling poems of lust for you.
How much I hold you dear,
And wondrous things that we will do.


When at last we’re spent,
Together we will lie.
Covered in rich lovers’ scent
‘Til life’s urge again comes by.




By Carl Martin Johnson

Life may not sing my song again.
This may be my only dance.
If I am ever going to win,
This could be my only chance.

Let my colors fly.
Let the world know who I am.
Paint my name across the sky.
Only for honor give a damn.

Every sunrise I’ll befriend.
Have conversations with the leaves.
So when I meet my end,
The whole world for me grieves.

I want my statue in the square,
Be a memory in a small child’s mind.
Whatever Life deems fair
For a warrior of my kind.

And if, when I die,
Turns out there is no after,
You will still hear me if you try,
In the bells of a young girl’s laughter.

Now Life, come to my arms.
Let this man embrace you.
Surrender to my charms.
I will not disgrace you.




By Carl Martin Johnson

Red is real life’s hue.
We see through a ruby lens.
In great things that men do,
With red it begins and ends.

Color of blood and passion.
Tint of sunset’s glow.
Cloak of human compassion.
Coals when fires grow low.

Red floods our head with pain,
And the ground when we are wounded.
Spreads terror through our brain,
Like the sight of the blood moon did.

When we reach the stage
Where life ends and we are dead,
The color of our rage
Will be bright scarlet red.



By Carl Martin Johnson

A shadow passed across the moon.
A wispy silhouette.
Dancing to the night wind’s tune.
A whirling pirouette.

I watched to see what it might be,
Floating demon or blythe specter.
Perhaps a silent wild banshee,
On a search for bloody nectar.

Was it a dust mote in my eye,
Blurring brief my sight,
For a second swimming by
As I looked up at the moon’s white light?

Or a simple hallucination,
An illusion of my mind.
Based on the evocation
Of some ghost I’d left behind.

No, it was an angel’s wing
Sweeping past on night patrol,
Guarding us from the evil thing,
Protecting my weak soul.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Cover me, Night.
Make me whole.
Rest my body.
Restore my soul.




By Carl Martin Johnson

I flew off the mountain yesterday.
I don’t know how or why.
With unseen wings I soared away,
My first time to fly.

I was not at all surprised.
It seemed a natural skill.
The talent had been there, disguised.
I had simply lacked the will.

I climbed far into the blue,
The world spread out below.
Such exhilaration I never knew.
I am magic……Now I know.

I think I am not a man at all.
My humanity is a sham.
I can fly and never fall,
Because an angel is what I am.




By Carl Martin Johnson

If my soul you wish to see,
Gaze not into my face.
It’s my actions that are me,
Not a single place.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I look deep inside to find me,
To see if I am real.
Has fantasy defined me?
Only illusions that I feel?


Am I a god who dreams a man?
Or a man in a god’s mind?
I want to know, if know I can.
If a creature, then what kind.


I am, I know, a being.
“I think, therefore I am.”
But all that I am seeing
Could be a kind of sham.


When I die, if death there be,
The veil at last may lift.
I may learn of the real me,
And of Life, this wondrous gift.



By Carl Martin Johnson

She was a lady… could see.
Men near bowed as she walked past.
If she had bothered to look at me,
I would have been caught in the spell she cast.


I had seen her there before.
I had hoped she’d come again,
So I could feast on her once more.
To only look was not a sin.


The Zocalo was packed.
Men stood still to see her.
Any male she would attract.
Any woman would want to be her.


Her dark eyes were flashing bright.
I would have loved to see her mind.
Had she come from a lovers’ fight?
Would it be passionate thoughts I’d find?


Her full, moist lips were parted.
Her teeth were glistening white.
She’d left many broken-hearted
Under the stars of a Mexican night.


Was she stopping…was she turning?
Was she coming back for me?
Did she feel my ardor burning?
Was it something she could see?


Then she halted and looked ‘round.
My God! I’d caught her eye!
No…she was looking for a sound
Coming from another guy.


When I saw her smiling face.
The brown eyes’ loving beam,
I knew I’d have no embrace,
But I would always have my dream.



By Carl Martin Johnson

He watched the enemy run.
He had fought to save his nation.
The hard war had been won.
But there would be no celebration.


Tomorrow he’d fight again.
There always would be war.
It was Man’s original sin.
Man had not come very far.


The blood he’d spilled this day
Would irrigate hatred’s crops.
No matter those he’d slay,
The fighting never stops.


His mind turned to his son,
A baby, but soon grown.
He prayed that war be done
Before his child would fight his own.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I saw a ghost this dawn,
Floating soft across my room,
A wispy flash, then gone,
Leaving a pale glow in the gloom.


I turned and she was there,
Looking full into my eyes.
I smelled roses in the air,
Yet my heart froze in surprise.


Such beauty I’d never seen.
It overcame my fear.
Goddess…angel…or between.
I prayed she would stay near.


She spoke without a word.
Her soul carried a sweet fire.
Thoughts I clearly heard,
Full of innocent desire.


She kissed me deep and slow,
I knew we’d loved before.
But it was many lives ago.
Far beyond time’s door.




By Carl Martin Johnson

It lay lifeless on the ground,
Dull and flat, but once bright red.
Its brothers flew and bounced around.
It alone seemed dead.


Sprawled on the fairground clay,
Unloved and unfulfilled.
No boys to join in play.
No freckled girls screaming well thrilled.


While the rest were round inflated,
The red balloon was dropped.
No rising moon celebrated.
It stayed earth-bound where it flopped.


Then a child walked past.
Bent to the ground and raised it.
The balloon had hope at last
When the young fellow praised it.


The boy’s father inhaled deep
And blew into it fast.
He made the red rubber leap.
He tied the end so it would last.


As the little boy grinned,
The father threw it high
It caught an upward wind
And flew far into the sky.




By Carl Martin Johnson

I am a woman of the night.
I give the lonely pleasure.
I make sad hearts bright,
In exchange for a bit of treasure.

Every sunrise I’m alone,
No strong arms to hold me.
I’ll end my days alone,
Just like my mother told me.

What I do gives me no shame,
Though it’s a path I didn’t choose.
I dreamed of wealth and fame.
That is a dream that many lose.

In this life I’ve found my place,
And I do the best I can.
I take pride in the warm embrace
I wrap ‘round a needy man.




By Carl Martin Johnson

Talk to me in riddles.
Talk to me in rhymes.
While the drunken fiddler fiddles,
We’ll commit all lovers’ crimes.

Whisper secrets low,
So no one else can hear.
Only you and I will know
What we hold truly dear.

Seduce me with your eyes.
No words can say as much.
No need for lover’s cries.
I far prefer your touch.

Let your body sing.
Vibrate naked against mine.
Our souls in tune will ring
In harmony divine.


By Carl Martin Johnson

She turned to look behind her,
Knowing I would follow.
Confident I could find her.
I had no pride I wouldn’t swallow.

Her husband must never know.
She had no plans to leave him.
Nor would she let me go.
Instead continue to deceive him.

She had seduced me first.
I was easy prey.
My eyes betrayed my thirst.
She was certain I would stray.

Perhaps risk added spice,
Excitement to our tryst.
Something tasty to our vice,
That otherwise we missed.

She was in control.
I was her willing slave.
True, she owned my soul,
But she had the charms I crave.

Now I lie here at her side,
Feeling my passion wane.
Wondering why we still must hide,
Refugees from our lust’s pain.


By Carl Martin Johnson

The great bird saw the child
While he soared above the land.
He appeared to be half wild
Crossing the badland sand.

The gods used the eagle’s eyes
To keep watch upon this place.
From his vantage in the skies,
He could see all the hard earth’s face.

He saw warrior in the child’s walking.
Though young, he wielded spear.
And the cougar that was stalking
Gave the boy no fear.

The eagle swooped full-winged to warn.
The young brave saluted with his lance.
Then grinned and shook his head in scorn
At the stalking lion’s chance.

The huge bird circled slow and long,
This boy the gods would know.
His life would leave a fine death song,
This young Apache, Geronimo.


The Mexican Woman
The Sound Of Starlight
Life Goes On
After The Battle
I Saw A Ghost This Dawn
Life Leaves No Prisoners Taken
Your Flesh
The Unblown Balloon
The Only Chance
Woman Of The Night
Talk To Me
Shadow Across The Moon
First Flight
Eagle Watcher
Cover Me, Night
If My Soul You Wish To See
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