© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

 
 

WAITING FOR THE SUN
By Carl Martin Johnson

She waited for the sun to rise
As she did every morn.
It was always a fine surprise
To see a new day born.

Why she kept watch she did not know.
She’d no idea what she expected.
But she loved the early glow.
Seeing night to day effected.

Yet she was certain there was more.
She was so strongly drawn.
Perhaps, she thought, Heaven’s unseen door
Hid just behind the dawn.

 

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WHAT YOU CAN TAKE

By Carl Martin Johnson

Nor all the gold and glory
Will mean a cursed thing
When life ends your story
And you hear the angels sing.

Lust for love and truth.
They will make you grow.
You cannot keep your youth,
But they will keep its glow.

 

When you pass beyond,
You will only take your soul.
No earthly goods will bond,
So don’t make them your goal.

 

Choose carefully your pleasure.
Determine what has worth.
In your soul hides the true treasure
That gives your being birth.

 

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I AM INSIDE YOU ALL
By Carl Martin Johnson

I am inside you all.
You can find me if you try.
You only have to call
To look into my eye.

 

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DUST
By Carl Martin Johnson

Dust covers my emotions
Like the coating on an unwalked floor.
Like soft sand from dried up oceans,
Clogging my every pore.

My love is lying fallow,
But then so is my hate.
My heart is just a shadow
Of what it was ‘til late.

I pray to have some feeling,
Even if only pain.
The scar of my heart’s healing
Allows only numbness to remain.

I need human sensation,
No matter what the cost.
What value my creation
If to laugh or cry is lost.

Let love stab at my heart.
Let humanity pierce my soul.
Give my life another start.
Make my being once more whole.

 

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SPIRIT LOVER
By Carl Martin Johnson

The ghost comes in the silence to me
At night when I am dreaming.
Her soft touch sets my sad heart free
To ride the moonlight’s streaming.

Her full lips are nectar sweet.
Paradise shines from her eyes.
My body and her spirit meet,
And the cosmos hears our cries.

In my night world she is real,
But gone when I awake.
Yet her presence I still feel
With every breath I take.

One night my sleep will last.
Then she’ll be forever mine.
I will hold her beauty fast
Within our ghostly shrine.

 

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I LIVE FULLY
By Carl Martin Johnson

I live fully for living's sake.
What Life won't give freely,
I will take.

 

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I WILL NOT DIE TODAY
By Carl Martin Johnson

I will not die today.
I’ll leave it ‘til tomorrow.
I will find a way
To overcome my sorrow.

No, I will not die just yet.
For a while more I will stay.
I owe Life a debt,
And before I go I’ll pay.

 

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DRIP LIFE

By Carl Martin Johnson

 

Drip Life, Drip slow,
Leaking from my veins.
Soon I’ll feel the last drop go,
Ending all my pains.

 

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CURSED WITH THOUGHT
By Carl Martin Johnson

Why am I cursed with thought?
Why must I mull my fate?
It’s an ability unsought.
The trepidation is too great.

I know that I will die,
But am blind to what lies past.
And I don’t know why,
Why is my fate so cast.

I envy the dumb brute
Who lives only in the minute.
No future to compute,
No vision with ending in it.

Man must know his death.
It is often on his mind.
Yet he can dream with every breath
As compensation to his kind.

 

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THE NAMES
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

Today they call the names
Of those beneath the towers.

‘Neath the rubble and the flames,
In the horror of those hours.

 

As they read off the martyrs’ rolls
Of those drowned in the concrete sea,
Ask not for whom the slow bell tolls,
It tolls for you and me.

 

(Apologies to John Donne)

 

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I HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE
By Carl Martin Johnson

I have been here before.
This life is not my first.
Seems a revolving door.
Am I blessed or am I cursed.

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WHIRLING CHANGE
By Carl Martin Johnson

Change is spinning ‘round me.
Is it time for me to go?
Has the whirlpool at last found me?
Can I escape the undertow?

Shall I surrender and move on,
Let the current carry me,
Let this life be gone?
Is that what’s meant to be?

Why am I not brave?
Why must I resist?
Why must I this life save,
If only to exist?

I must leap off the cliff,
Though I cannot see below,
Or forever think “What if?”,
And I would never know.

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HOPE IS THERE
By Carl Martin Johnson

Hope is there, dig deep.
Tunnel through the sorrow.
Find it in your sleep.
It will be with you tomorrow.

She rests but never dies.
You can wake her with a prayer.
Raise her with your cries.
Sweet hope is always there.

Her glow keeps us alive.
Her spark ignites soul’s fire.
It is she lets us survive.
Gives reach to our desire.

Look for her smiling face
Shining through clouds of despair.
Accept her warm embrace.
She will meet you anywhere.

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TUMBLING TEARDROPS
By Carl Martin Johnson

Tumbling teardrops told
A heart was being broken.
I saw a tragedy unfold
With no hard word spoken.

So let me be your man.
My heart has room for you.
I will cherish all I can
If you want me to.

My heart has space for many.
Each in rapture quite complete.
I’ll not reject any
Who want our hearts to meet.

All of us are one.
All love we must share.
Together, not undone,
In each other’s care.


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TASTING MY WORDS
By Carl Martin Johnson

I wonder how my words would taste
Within the poems I write.
With what spices would they be laced
If a reader would take a bite.

I think cinnamon in my love lines
Delivering my passion’s heat.
Or maybe deep earthy red wines
To make erotic intentions complete.

There’d be peppermint in comic phrases.
Molasses in tearful laments.
War cries with hot pepper blazes.
Praising nature yields fruity contents.

Honey for words blessing life.
Bitter gall the flavor of sins.
Red meat for conquering strife.
Pure nectar for humanity’s wins.

Stanzas that address things divine
Would leave a piquancy along the tongue.
A sensation only the angel’s assign.
And perhaps the innocent young.

 
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THE LAST BATTLE
By Carl Martin Johnson

Soon my sun will set.
The final night will fall.
I hope I’ll not forget
My life…I loved it all.

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THE TEAR IN YOUR EYE
By Carl Martin Johnson

Is that a falling tear I see
In the corner of your eye?
My friend, won’t you look at me?
What has made you cry?

If you’re lonely, I am here.
If hungry, I will feed you.
You are held most dear.
You must know how I need you.

Fear nothing in the night.
I’ll chase all harm away.
Every monster I will fight.
Every dragon I will slay.

But if the tear is one of joy
Let it stay and glow.
Would be a pity to destroy
A glad heart’s happy show.

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THE SILENCE
By Carl Martin Johnson

I sit here in the silence
While it washes my soul clean,
Erasing all the violence,
All the blood my eyes have seen.

It rocks and softly holds me,
Soothes me with its calm.
Its gentleness enfolds me,
Consoles me with its balm.

Like a lover long awaited,
Its soundless arms embrace
Our union celebrated.
Our conjugation a state of grace.

I am engulfed by the tranquility.
My heart finds sought refuge.
A moment of fragility,
Still a respite from life’s deluge.

Keep me in blessed quiet,
‘Til I must war again.
Then once more I’ll face the riot
Of the world and its harsh din.
 
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THERE IS NO DEATH IN DYING

By Carl Martin Johnson

There is no death in dying,
When death’s cause is just.
It is foolish to be crying,
For die we each one must.

 

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THE JANITOR
By Carl Martin Johnson

He carried trash and swept the floor,
He always did it well.
He didn’t mind the kids who swore
And teased him about his smell.

Sometimes he could remember days
Before he had been hurt,
When he had normal ways,
Not coated in grease and dirt.

The scar that split his head
Was from a wound cleared from his mind.
The painful thoughts had fled.
Forgetfulness was kind.

But at night before he slept,
He pulled a medal from his drawer.
A badge of valor that he kept
From an unremembered war.

 

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LOOK INTO YOUR MIND
By Carl Martin Johnson

Look into your mind
And see
That I am you
And you are me.

 

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A WORD FOR LONELINESS
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

There is a word for loneliness,
That is too dark to speak.
It can only be felt, I guess.
Its sound would be too bleak.

 

Only through tears can it be seen,
And even then not clearly.
No word more cruel has ever been.
No syllables pain more dearly.

It is by mortals never heard,
By demons only said.
Those who truly know the word
Are either damned or newly dead.

Yet lovers broken-hearted
Feel it moving on their tongue.
For heartache is where it started.
From there the sad word sprung

 

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SOME DAYS THE WORDS ARE THERE
By Carl Martin Johnson

 

On most days the words are there,
But some days they are not.
Some days they’re too sad to share,
But today I just forgot,

 

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MY BIRTHDAY
By Carl Martin Johnson

Some events are momentous.
Some eclipse the sun.
Some great happenings content us.
But my birth was not one.

My very first act caused pain.
Though I was kind of cute,
I’ve heard my dear mother complain,
She wished I’d found another chute.

I was not a perfect child,
I am the first to confess.
Yet I was only slightly wild,
Did not intend to cause her stress.

For my youthful sins I’ll pay,
But I take it kind of hard,
When on my special day
You send Mom a sympathy card.

Anyway, I’m still here.
Another year has passed.
To my enemies: Have fear.
It will not be my last.

To all who call me friend,
I give a birthday smile.
May your lives never end,
And let me be with you awhile.

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DAY OF BIRTH
By Carl Martin Johnson

We celebrate our day of birth,
The day we first breathed air.
Before then we were not on earth.
Before then we were where?

I think alive we’ve always been,
Though life of a different kind.
Perhaps we were the angels’ kin,
Resting in God’s mind.

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A FINE GIFT
By Carl Martin Johnson

What a fine gift is this day!
A place in time unique.
I’m so glad it came my way,
Bringing the joy I seek.

Tomorrow is a dream,
And I hope it will come true.
I see it all agleam
With Hope’s comforting hue.

But today is here and real,
Holding me in warm embrace.
Its raw energy I feel
Flowing full with God’s own grace.

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DAYS PASS
By Carl Martin Johnson

The days keep slipping by me.
I call them, but they’ve gone.
They are stronger and defy me.
They seduce me and move on.

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REACH OUT, LORD
By Carl Martin Johnson

Lord, reach out and touch me.
Let me feel your grace.
With your strong hand clutch me.
Hold me up to kiss your face.

Call me to the Mountain.
Show me what your eyes see.
Give me drink from Wisdom’s fountain.
Make True Man of me.

I will be your friend.
For in your image was I born.
We’ll be united in the end.
My soul back from where ‘twas torn.

Then I will be of You.
And within You me.
The Truth that I once knew
Is what again I’ll be.
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