© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

 
 

THE HARD MAN’S SOFT LOVE
By Carl Martin Johnson

He was hard and strong.
A man by any measure.
He had been lonely long.
He had no one to treasure.

Then he suffered a defeat,
Yet, was happy to surrender.
He knelt at her lovely feet
To utter love words tender.

She was a delicate flower.
He was a roaring storm.
He gave their love power.
She kept his soul warm.

He saw dawn in her eyes,
Beginning life’s new day.
He felt desire arise
To change his warrior way.

He held her in the night,
Enchanted by her smiles.
Life now felt so right.
They would overcome all trials.

But an enemy stole past
To inflict on his love great pain.
Killing silently and fast.
While the warrior fought in vain.

It stole into his wife,
As he helplessly stood by.
He would have protected with his life,
But he could only watch her die.

Now violence has returned,
Though he directs its aim.
He fights only evil men.
To not give his darling shame.

They run from the warrior’s path
Lest he their head from body part.
Nothing soothes his dreadful wrath
Save her memory in his heart.

 

_______________________________________________

 

WAR FLOWERS
By Carl Martin Johnson

Crimson blossoms on every chest.
Boutonnieres of war.
Roses that in full attest.
What the horrors are.

In fields the poppies bloom,
Ground fertile from warrior’s blood.
Where the valiant met their doom,
Face down in red hued mud.

Now stands a lily on each grave,
In hope of souls’ rebirth.
God holds dear the fallen brave
For their sacrifice on earth.

 

________________________________________________

 

A STRANGER PASSING
By Carl Martin Johnson

I passed a stranger on the street.
I nodded as I walked by.
Although I did not stop to greet,
I looked him in the eye.

It seemed that we had met before
In some distant place.
But when I glanced at him once more,
I could not recall the face.

Yet he had a familiar air,
Something in his bearing.
I had seen the man somewhere
That my memory was not sharing.

Together, perhaps, we fought,
In a battle, side by side.
Won a victory dearly bought,
Where he and I both died.

 

________________________________________________

 

WOUNDING WORDS
By Carl Martin Johnson

Wounding words were spoken,
Slicing out in haste.
Lovers’ hearts were broken.
Feelings laid to waste.

Tones were sharp and cruel.
Souls’ sweet juices spilled.
A brutal savage duel.
All affection killed.

Word whips lashed and flayed.
Hearts’ tender flesh ripped raw.
The price that would be paid
Was more than either saw.

And when the first pain ends,
Love will not be the same.
Though they make amends,
Each will the other blame.

________________________________________________

TO THE WOMAN WHO TOOK MY YOUTH
By Carl Martin Johnson

Take me to your bed.
Teach me what you know.
I am young, but can be led.
I am ready now to grow.

You are older, but a beauty.
Take me wisely in your arms.
My tutelage is your duty.
Bless me with your charms.

Show me all love’s truth.
By dawn I’ll be a man.
Take away my youth
As only woman can.

________________________________________________

DREAM SONG
By Carl Martin Johnson

In my dream I heard a song,
A soft and eerie tune.
The verses were not long,
And it was over soon.

It vibrated through my being,
Causing all of me to glow.
Gave me a kind of seeing
Of things I did not know.

The words they made no sounds,
Rather soaked into my blood.
Suddenly I found
My life understood.

I was set afire.
I knew then my worth.
I had a strong desire
To be more than I was by birth.

When I awoke, I’d grown.
A man still, but greater.
Blossoming of seeds sown.
Creature and Creator.


________________________________________

 

SPIRIT KISS
By Carl Martin Johnson

A spirit kissed me on the cheek.
I felt but did not see.
Perhaps she sensed my mood was bleak
And sought to uplift me.

I admit it gave me cheer.
My frown became a smile.
I held that spirit dear,
And begged her stay awhile.

I could taste the scent of Spring.
Wildflowers in the field.
I was brushed by soft-fluttered wing,
Whose wearer was concealed.

Into the night sky long I stared,
Wondering at things unseen.
Admiring brave ghosts who dared
Break past their dimension’s screen.

Now when I’m melancholy
The spirit comes to my side.
She always makes me jolly,
My darling ghostly bride.

_______________________________________________

PAST LOVERS
By Carl Martin Johnson

All the lovers in your past
Stream through my mind to haunt me.
I pray the visions do not last.
They only serve to daunt me.

I imagine your lovemaking.
Bodies joined as one.
The joy you both are taking
In the acts of pleasure done.

Passion’s secrets shared.
Uninhibited primal lust.
Erotic touches dared.
Heated loins combust.

I hear each ardent moan,
Feel your mating’s heated breathing.
View the wild abandon shown.
Aroused hormones seething.

Lying with your lovers, spent.
Soaked in copulation’s sweat.
Sated and content.
Knowing the night will bring more yet.

But my love for you is strong,
Driving jealousy away.
My hurtful thoughts are wrong.
I will not permit them stay.

________________________________________________

SCREAM LIFE
By Carl Martin Johnson

Scream out your elation!!
Roar with pure delight!
Make Life a celebration.
Enjoy with all your might.

Breathe the world-ghost in.
Let it fill you with life-lust.
Your hunger will be no sin.
Do what it says you must.

Let the universe hear your cry.
Shout in wonder to the sky.
Find the secret in Life’s eye,
And Death cannot make you die.

 

________________________________________________

 

BE!
By Carl Martin Johnson

Be! Don’t just exist.
Make living a work of art.
With Life have a lover’s tryst.
Do not unsung depart.

Beat Satan at his game,
Make him hold you high in wonder.
Let the angels cheer your fame,
Let your shouts silence the thunder.

When from this world you part,
May you leave the whole earth crying.
Leave mankind with a broken heart,
From a phenomenal human’s dying.

 

________________________________________________

THE WASTED MOMENT
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

A moment just passed by.
It won’t come again.
Its loss near makes me cry.
Such waste should be a sin.

 

I could have used it well,
Made a memorable minute.
Then a story folks would tell
Of all that I did in it.

 

I could have built a rhyme,
A better one than this.
I could have used the time
To steal a pretty girl’s kiss.

 

My moments are my living.
When they’re done then so am I.
I should value the time they’re giving.
Should live full until I die.

 

_______________________________________________
 
HIS CHILD
By Carl Martin Johnson

He gazed down upon his son,
Pleased with the infant’s beauty.
He’d do all that need be done
To fulfill a father’s duty.

He would watch the baby grow.
Would not restrict him, only guide,
Hoping the freedom he would know
Would instill a manly pride.

He would let him go his way,
Risking evil, risking harm.
Hoping he could hold fear at bay
By the strength of his brave arm.

There was a chance that he would fail,
Or cause his father’s heart to break.
Find some walls too high to scale
Wrong roads the boy might take.

Then the father gave him breath.
As was the father’s plan.
And Life won over Death.
God gave birth to Man.

_______________________________________________

SMELL
By Carl Martin Johnson

Diverse aromas the air tinted.
Lent an earthy smell.
It came to me, life-scented.
The world was doing well.

Living’s sweet perfume
I inhaled with every breath.
Existence in full bloom,
Even the gentle decay of death.

Joy’s rosiness trailed through,
Coating softly with cologne.
And a hint of morning dew
Covered the newly grown.

The azure sky above
Was curtained with essence fine.
I opened it with love
To savor the Divine.

_______________________________________________

NECTAR ON YOUR LIPS
By Carl Martin Johnson

I kiss the nectar from your lips,
Love juices’ tiny beads.
I drink them all with gentle sips,
Slaking my hard thirst’s needs.

Passion’s remnants unconsumed.
Love liquid still remaining.
Kisses that once bloomed.
Once my ardor draining.

Bits of honey tempting,
Resting on plump cherry flesh.
Inhibitions all preempting,
And my hungry lust refresh.

I lick the droplets dry.
Every one I savor.
For more I’d gladly die.
To taste their love-spiced flavor.

_______________________________________________
 
THE WAR KNIFE
By Carl Martin Johnson

I saw the war knife slashing,
Sharp across my face.
Sunlight hit steel flashing
On the path to Death’s embrace.

Its edge was honed and keen,
So the cut gave little pain.
It spun at me unseen,
A silent hurricane.

Reflecting on the blade,
Fast images streamed by.
Scenes of the life I’d made,
How I was about to die.

The blood began to spurt,
I felt my spirit going,
Realizing Death’s small hurt
Would lead me to the Knowing.

As I float toward the Light.
I feel no dread or fear.
Only pure delight
At the vision coming clear.

_______________________________________________

TELLING MY STORY
By Carl Martin Johnson

My story’s being told.
I am the sole narrator.
I see it all unfold,
Since I am its creator.

Though I may wish to change it,
I cannot once it’s spoken.
Nor erase, nor rearrange it.
The past cannot be broken.

I make my present while I say it.
At times planned, others not.
I determine how to play it,
Try to make it what I sought.

As the future comes to meet me,
I hope to speak it well.
I will not let words defeat me.
I will tell a loving tale.

When I reach the final act,
When my monologue is ended,
May I cherish every fact,
Because they cannot be amended.


_______________________________________________

 
THE ORPHANED THOUGHT
By Carl Martin Johnson

I took in an orphaned thought
That floated through my mind.
It was not an idea I sought,
Still, it was a pleasant find.

I do not know who birthed it.
But an intellect quite deep.
T’was by chance that I unearthed it.
Yet it’s a stray that I will keep.

It came not quite full grown,
So I provided nurture.
To see what flower had been sown.
I am a keen researcher.

It may not please all men,
Though I know it will change me.
What before I may have been,
Now a better man I’ll be.

_______________________________________________

THE RED-EYED BEAST
By Carl Martin Johnson

I spied the red-eyed beast,
Gazed deep into his eyes.
He would make my soul his feast,
Take joy from my demise.

I held fast his stare,
Determined not to blink,
Returned with fire his glare.
Resolved I would not shrink.

I fought him for my soul,
And for his destruction.
He struggled for control,
And for my complete seduction.

We are both well-armed,
I with virtue, he with vice.
Neither will be unharmed.
Both will pay a price.

I struggle with him yet.
There is no escape, you see.
He will always be a threat,
For the red-eyed beast is me.

_______________________________________________

THE BIRD’S SONG
By Carl Martin Johnson

That bird up there sings just for me.
He knows that I am lonely.
From his perch in the live oak tree,
He warbles for me only.

He is God’s own tenor.
His aria an angel’s voice.
Serenading this poor sinner.
In this opera I rejoice.

His notes are clean and clear,
Cleansing sadness from my heart.
Immersing me in Nature’s cheer.
Giving the day a joyful start.

Every morning when I rise
I listen for his singing.
When his music fills the skies
I feel the joy that he is bringing.
 
_______________________________________________
 
THE PRICE OF REFUGE
By Carl Martin Johnson

She was well-sheltered from the rain,
But she paid a heavy price.
Her heart endured the pain
Of her husband’s hands of ice.

She took a lover when she could.
To relieve her stifling troth.
Too late she’d understood
Her soul would have no growth.

Passing quickly was her youth.
A new wrinkle every day.
Cruel mirrors shouted truth.
Age could not be kept at bay.

Ellusive were her dreams.
Before she grasped them they were gone.
Lost with the night’s moonbeams
Dissolving in the dawn.

Then she lowered her head and sighed,
Drank to chase heartache away.
Since a girl, she had not cried,
And she would not start today
.
 
_______________________________________