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© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

I Felt Life Smile
The Button

By Carl Martin Johnson


Her blue eyes squeezed and squinted
As she focused on her task.
It was not work she resented.
He had never had to ask.

Her needle’s aim was true,
Slipping through the buttonhole.
It was a pleasant thing to do,
Because to please him was her goal.

She crossed the thread to hold,
Every stitch a loving touch.
A love verse tender told.
Her heart recalled so much.

She raised the shirt to see
If she had done her work neatly.
It was as perfect as could be,
She thought to herself sweetly.

She glanced at a black-rimmed frame
Around a strong and handsome man.
And before she knew it came,
Down her cheek a teardrop ran.

With slow and tender care
She undid the thread.
Her husband was not there,
But she could see him in her head.

Time and time again
She would sew the button on
And continue to pretend
He was not really gone.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Come, girl, drink my wine.
Take sweet loving sips.
Our smooth bodies intertwined,
The nectar spilling from your lips.

Let it intoxicate you,
Cast inhibitions to the wind.
I will celebrate you.
None can say we’ve sinned.

And we’ll oft our cup refill
With the vintage of our passion.
We will never use it up.
There is no need to ration.

It will flow freely through our veins
Into our body and our soul.
Making pleasure of our pains,
Letting ardor take control.

Lustful loving taste
There is no better flavor
No drop will we waste.
Come now, let us savor.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Kiss me beneath the autumn moon,
Round butter in the sky.
Winter will be coming soon.
The days are slipping by.

You and I are growing old,
Yet young when we two kiss,
In Spring’s fresh breeze or Winter’s cold,
Or on an Autumn night like this.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I am Father’s wayward child,
Far less than He expected.
My spirit is too wild.
That cannot be corrected.

I’d be different if I could.
More to Father’s liking.
Be the angel that I should,
Rather than a modern Viking.

But I will do the best I can
With what the Father gave.
I’m not angel; I’m a man,
And that’s how I’ll behave.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I see best with my eyes closed.
Then my soul’s vision’s clear
To my fellows’ hearts exposed
As they at best appear.

With love I watch the beauty there,
What humans truly are.
Each heartbeat just a gentle prayer,
Offered up to a heavenly star.

At times the hearts return my gaze.
They grace me with a smile,
Adorned with sunny glowing rays
That I bask in for a while.


By Carl Martin Johnson

There’s a ghost in the wishing well.
I hear him call to me.
What he wants I cannot tell.
Perhaps to set him free.

But I think I will leave him there.
I can’t be sure he would be good.
He could be a ghost who likes to scare
Folks in my neighborhood.



By Carl Martin Johnson

Why did you make me, Lord?
Am I servant, or your friend?
If you wish to be adored,
You’ve made me better than that end.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Come, ye war gods all!
There’s a man stands here.
You will not see me fall.
None of you I fear.

Wield your storm and lightning
Against my sword and shield.
I do not find you frightening.
You will not make me yield.

When this battle’s done,
It will not be I who ran.
You gods will not have won,
But I, this Viking Man.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Fear the Devil’s breath!
Cry Havoc ‘cross the earth!
No one is spared its death,
Or the pain that gave it birth.

Bend low to the harsh blowing.
Either bend, or surely break.
Feel the power growing.
All Hell is thrown awake.

You cannot hide or run.
Its vicious gusts will find you.
There is nothing to be done,
But put sweet hope behind you.

Fall to your knees and pray
That Heaven’s angels aid you
To swiftly find your way
Back to the God Who made you.


By Carl Martin Johnson

That moon I have seen before,
Ten thousand years ago.
I thought it could be Heaven’s door,
Or a goddess’ eye aglow.

I’ve been born many times since then,
My soul from sleep to wake.
I’ve been the best and worst of men.
Lived most for living’s sake.

Much magic now from life has gone,
Many mysteries been solved.
Childlike wonder has moved on,
As price paid for Man evolved.

But that moon still pulls my soul.
I yet find wonderment there.
The soft white magic makes me whole.
That moon is still a prayer.




By Carl Martin Johnson

We are united, you and I,
Though we’re not even strangers.
We won’t hear each other cry
As we face this life’s dangers.

But we’ll feel each other there,
Not knowing name or face.
Both in our Father’s care.
Both seeking His embrace.

So I greet you, unknown friend.
On the Other Side we’ll meet.
There life will have no end.
You and I will be complete.




By Carl Martin Johnson

Drop me from your arms, O Lord.
You’ve carried me too long.
No need to forever be my guard.
I must now grow strong.

I am ready, Lord, to stand.
Your child’s become a man.
Let me my fate command.
Being made from you, I can.




By Carl Martin Johnson

When did I awaken
From unknown pre-being?
With my first breath taken,
Did I know what I was seeing?

I have glimpsed before the womb,
Far back to my soul’s spark.
Must I wait until the tomb
To emerge fully from the dark?

I am part of something great,
Mysterious and glowing.
But I will have to wait
For Death to have the Knowing.



By Carl Martin Johnson

I just felt Life smile.
Its warmth has filled my heart.
I’d been blue for quite a while.
Now I can re-start.

Life’s golden rays I’ll swallow.
I’ll store them deep inside.
The place that once was hollow
I’ll fill with Living’s pride.

I feel Life’s joy growing.
I will spread it all around.
I want to share the knowing
Of the happiness I’ve found.

By Carl Martin Johnson

The poet speaks in rhymes
Because he has nothing to say.
But he stumbles on truth at times
When words don’t get in the way.

By Carl Martin Johnson

Was that Life flew by?
I’d have grabbed it had I known.
Goes quick, and then we die.
Time so swiftly flown.

If the chance ever comes again,
I will treat it as a treasure.
From the moment I begin,
I will cherish every pleasure.

But for now it is “Goodbye”.
I have let my life slip past.
Next time I will try
To make the moments last.


By Carl Martin Johnson

In my arms you breathed your last,
I held you like a son.
This life would soon be past,
Your mortal race be run.

You looked at me and smiled,
Though it was I who killed you.
We fought hard and wild,
But now God’s peace has filled you.

I wish I knew your name.
I would say it if I could.
Our combat had no shame,
Still, war is no damned good.

You lie here ‘gainst my chest
Midst all the dead and dying.
Both sides lose their best.
The truth is in the crying.

Your pain is over now.
Soon I will also fall.
Then I’ll find you I vow
In Valhalla’s warriors’ hall.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Taste the lovely morning.
Savor the clear bright air.
Smell the new sun dawning.
God’s waiting behind there.


By Carl Martin Johnson

A single sunrise glowing
Can make a life worthwhile,
Make the day worth knowing,
Make a sad soul smile.

An exhilarating soft Spring breeze
Brings peace to the troubled heart,
Sets a worried mind at ease,
Sees gray clouds depart.

A rippling stream over naked feet
Is angels’ hands caressing.
What touch could be half so sweet
As such a flowing blessing.

The twilight concert of the birds,
God’s music to human ears.
Divine song, no need of words,
That overcomes all fears.

The luscious taste of a lover’s kiss
Lifts low spirits to the skies,
Reminding all the world of this:
No true love ever dies.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I saw the Word zip by again,
Speeding through my mind.
But just as I took up my pen,
My soul’s eyes went blind.

I think it is too swift for me.
Too elusive for me to hold.
But I’ll keep trying desperately,
‘Til I’m dead or just too old.

By Carl Martin Johnson

Am I here alone,
Surrounded by illusion?
Is the life I’m shown,
No more than a delusion?

By Carl Martin Johnson

God, You cannot hide from me.
I am he whom You created.
It was You who set me free,
With my destiny unfated.

Now, I need to see Your face,
Only that will give life worth.
I must feel Divine embrace
To give reason to my birth.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Words bleed from my pen,
Life flowing out in red.
Memories of what has been.
Scenes captured in my head.

In crimson lines they spill,
Shining scarlet verses.
Forming as they will.
Full of praise and curses.

Perhaps they will run dry
When all my story’s done.
If so, I’ll not cry
For there’s life beyond this one.


By Carl Martin Johnson

I see Tomorrow up ahead.
He’s fast, but I am gaining.
Throughout my life he’s always led,
In spite of my complaining.

I’ve never seen Tomorrow’s face.
I’ve always been behind.
It is he who always leads the race.
Yet I do not really mind.

Because I know he is my friend.
He gives hope when I sorrow.
With him there truly is no end.
There will always be Tomorrow.
By Carl Martin Johnson

This moment I am here.
The next I may be gone.
Not me, but Life that I hold dear.
Many more will carry on.


By Carl Martin Johnson

Remember, I’m your brother.
I will help you if I can.
We are here for one another.
Part of God’s Great Plan.

Your troubles are mine, too.
Your burdens I will bear.
I am a rock for you.
Every wound I share.

You will never be alone.
I will guide you through the cloud.
Your heart is my own.
I sing our lovesong loud.

Now we go arm in arm.
No evil do we fear.
Nothing can do us harm
If we keep each other near.
By Carl Martin Johnson

That white cloud belongs to me,
The one that’s all alone,
I’ve always wanted one you see,
For my very own.

Upon it I’ll rest my head,
When I pass up to the sky.
I’ll lie soft among the dead,
With this cloud my prayers will buy.

By Carl Martin Johnson

Hello, Life, my trusted friend.
I feel you deep inside.
We’ll be together ‘til the end,
And cross together to the other side.
By Carl Martin Johnson

Look at me, passing stranger.
Look into my eyes.
You’ll see that I’m no danger.
My soul wears no disguise.

If you need me, only say.
I am on this earth for you.
All your dragons I will slay.
I will help your dreams come true.
The Poet Speaks In Rhymes
Life Flew By
Come Drink My Wine
Dear Dying Enemy
Kiss Me Beneath The Autumn Moon
Taste The Morning
Wayward Child
A Single Sunrise
With My Eyes Closed
The Elusive Word
Ghost In The Well
Am I Here Alone
Why Did You Make Me, Lord?
God, You Cannot Hide
My Ancestor's Taunt
My Bleeding Pen
The Devil's Breath
That Moon
I See Tomorrow
Drop Me, Lord
My Cloud
Stranger Souls
I Will Help You
This Moment
Hello Life
When Did I Awaken
Angel Passing
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