© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

THE NEW MAN
By Carl Martin Johnson

His new uniform was clean,
Except for all the blood.
His wounds not the worst I’ve seen,
Yet they killed him where he stood.

We laid him straight and cleaned his face
When the firing stopped.
I looked for his tags, but not a trace.
When we moved him guess they dropped.

His glazed eyes were open wide,
Disbelieving of his fate.
Amazed he’d so soon died.
Should have prayed, but now too late.

He was dropped in just that morning.
His luck was such a traitor.
Suddenly, and without warning,
The bad guys hit us seconds later.

I could not read his name.
Too much damage to his shirt.
I felt a sense of blame
That he lay nameless in the dirt.

So I memorized his features,
Made sure I’d not forget,
He’d been one of God’s best creatures.
Who’d paid his honor’s debt.

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HOLD ME UP, MY BROTHER
By Carl Martin Johnson

Hold me up, my brother.
Help me to survive.
Let us lean on one another,
And make it back alive.

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SEARCHING FOR THE KNOWING
By Carl Martin Johnson

Last night I looked up to the sky,
Searching for the Knowing.
But I saw only lights up high,
Though beautiful and glowing.

Then I closed my eyes to sleep
And fell into my mind.
One night I will fall so deep
The Truth of God I’ll find.

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SCRIBBLING SILLY VERSES
By Carl Martin Johnson

I am a shallow, stupid man
Scribbling silly verses.
I’ll do better if I can
Escape my ego’s curses.

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TO SEE YOU
By Carl Martin Johnson

I close my eyes to see you.
Discover the you that’s real.
Only then does my mind free you
Finding the beauty you conceal.

Eyes wide I lack the power
To look past your lovely skin,
Unfold the petals of the flower
That holds the grace within.

I must use my soul’s senses.
My body’s are too weak
To breach crude matter’s fences
And find the you I seek.

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DID YOU MAKE ME JUST TO DIE
By Carl Martin Johnson

Did you make me just to die, O Lord?
Is that all I am worth?
Sometimes this life is so damned hard
I curse my very birth.

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I SAW THE ENEMY CRYING
By Carl Martin Johnson

I saw that he was crying
As I aimed and fired.
I don’t think he minded dying.
I think he was too tired.

I had so many killed.
My soul was cold and hardened.
Its emptiness could not be filled.
I knew I’d not be pardoned.

My enemy looked into me,
He felt my longing for the grave.
It was as if he knew me,
And his murder he forgave.

He smiled, then jerked and fell.
For him the war was done.
I’d keep living in this hell.
It was he who’d really won.

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DANGER CALLED
By Carl Martin Johnson

Danger called me to her side
To tell me we would wed.
She was a willing bride,
But warned my blood she’d shed.

In return she would excite,
Give me thrills beyond compare,
If only I would fight
When called to that hard dare.

I am not her only spouse.
She has chosen others.
We all share honor’s house.
All of us are brothers.

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I AM ONLY ONE
By Carl Martin Johnson

I am only one.
But one can be enough,
If it’s a man who will not run,
And is made of the right stuff.

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HIDDEN SUNSHINE
By Carl Martin Johnson

Deep in my winter mind,
Shines bright the summer sun.
Should it find gloom to hide behind,
I will blow the cloud undone.

I steal some golden rays
When I have the winter blues.
They cheer up my days
And my heart with joy infuse.

But it is not only mine.
I was blessed with it to share.
Its merry beams will shine
Through melancholy everywhere.

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WILD ROSES
By Carl Martin Johnson

Roses in wild places grow,
Bringing beauty to hard land.
Soft petals in barren spaces show
The fine work of God’s hand.

Love can bloom in hearts of stone,
Bursting through unfeeling crust.
Humans cannot live alone.
We love because we must.

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GOD’S WONDER
By Carl Martin Johnson

You are there in the storm’s dark cloud.
I can sense your mighty power.
Your strength shows great and proud,
More imposing by the hour.

Awe explodes within me.
You make me pause in wonder,
As your lightning swords I see,
And am struck deaf by your deep thunder.

O, God! It makes me humble
To be your beloved creation.
When I hear your great storms rumble
It fills me with elation.

But I will not bow,
Rather raise my eyes to you,
And remind You how
I am your wonder, too.

 

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LORD, WAKE ME SOON
By Carl Martin Johnson

Lord, wake me soon from this life’s dream.
Show me what is real.
Reveal to me your Divine scheme,
So Your love I may feel.

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SOAR
By Carl Martin Johnson

Soar up into the sky.
Leave the killing fields behind you.
Go where nothing makes you cry,
Where no bad memories can find you.

Where there is no more dying.
Where there is no more pain.
Where angels stop your crying
At the door of their domain.

Soldier go there now.
Your battle here is won
Your soul will show you how.
Close your eyes and it is done.

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WILL I OVERCOME DESPAIR
By Carl Martin Johnson

Will I overcome despair?
Can I swim against the current?
Is it really so unfair
To wish things were that weren’t?

 

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TRADE AS FRIENDS
By Carl Martin Johnson

I will trade you a kind word
For a friendly smile.
I’ll say the sweetest words you’ve heard,
At least for a little while.

It is true that we are strangers,
But we share this time and place,
This moment with its dangers,
And the happiness we chase.

We’ll not likely meet again
In this life’s frenzied dance.
So our friendship let us win,
While now we have the chance.

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GET BACK TEMPTATION
By Carl Martin Johnson

Get back Temptation.
I’m too tired to fight
The sins of your creation
With these women of the night.

I’m just a lonely man
A long, long way from home,
Taking comfort where I can,
Like all of us who roam.

God knows I am weak.
My flesh overrules my soul.
Temptation knows what I seek.
Lord help me keep control.

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THE BIRD
By Carl Martin Johnson

He landed right in front of me
On the trail where I was walking.
I stood still to better see,
And softly began talking.

I would have seemed insane
To another passerby.
But they would have scoffed in vain.
I looked the robin in the eye.

He was a fellow living thing.
We shared a place in time.
He would God’s praises sing,
More lovely than my rhyme.

I looked into his eye,
And he became my friend.
We learned then, he and I,
We shared a soul that would not end.

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COME, DEAR NIGHT
By Carl Martin Johnson

Come, dear Night, surround me.
I am tired and I must sleep.
They who hunt me have not found me.
Pray my secret keep.

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TASTE THE SUN
By Carl Martin Johnson

Taste the morning sun.
Let it feed your ghost.
There is victory to be won.
Become boldness’ host.

Eat Life and swallow whole.
Let no crumb go to waste.
It will nourish well your soul.
But it’s passing , so make haste.

Feel your being glow
With angels’ nectar in your veins.
Breathe the world in deep.
Be free of mortality’s chains.

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I AM SIN
By Carl Martin Johnson

Running in the shadows deep,
Hiding behind the wall.
I can find you in my sleep.
You can’t see me at all.

I will tempt and then seduce you.
I will lead you to destruction.
My grasp will never loose you.
You will lust for my instruction.

Fight me if you will,
I’ll still know that you enjoy me.
You can’t resist my thrill.
You will not destroy me.

I will take you down to Hell,
Though you’ll enjoy the ride.
You may not be glad you fell,
But there’ll be no pleasure you’ve not tried.
 
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I AM PASSING HERE AND SCRIBBLING
By Carl Martin Johnson

I am passing here and scribbling.
My words have no real worth.
Silly sonnets dribbling,
Seeking value for my birth.
 
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DEATH IN THE CANTINA
By Carl Martin Johnson

Life’s scattered pieces on the floor.
He was dead no doubt.
He wished he’d died for something more,
But that’s not what life’s about.

The fight was fair, if fair’s the word.
There was no right or wrong.
His curses were the last thing heard
Before eternity’s song.

His blood flowed into a growing pool.
Yet the pain of the cut was gone.
He knew that he had been a fool,
Drinking mescal until dawn.

His killer he’d not blame.
He’d killed him to survive.
The dying man bore all the shame,
Not the man who’d stayed alive.

The killed man drew first blood,
He could not remember why.
He thought, lying in the cantina mud,
This was a stupid way to die.

A man of honor he’d once been,
A warrior brave and bold.
If he had only died back then,
There’d be a different story told.

He closed his eyes and saw a light.
It drew him with its beam.
Next time, he swore, he would do right.
This life was just a dream.

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IF I BLINK
By Carl Martin Johnson

If I blink, life will be done.
How swiftly it goes past.
Immortality is seldom won.
We dream but cannot last.

 
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TODAY IS ALL I OWN
By Carl Martin Johnson

Today is all I own.
Yesterday is gone.
The future is unknown.
I may not see the dawn.

So I’ll take joy in the minute,
Hold it close and fast,
Enjoy Life and all that’s in it
Before it has sped past.

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HEAVEN, WHEN YOU CALL ME
By Carl Martin Johnson

Heaven, when you call me,
Leave open wide the door.
This life may recall me.
I may be back for more.

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DID I CAUSE THAT TEAR
By Carl Martin Johnson

Did I cause that tear
By a careless word or deed,
You, whom I hold dear,
Whose sweet love I need?

If so, I beg your pardon.
Forgive me, if you can.
Don’t let your feelings harden.
After all, I’m just a man.

 
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WEST WIND BLOW
By Carl Martin Johnson

West Wind blow across my face.
Bring golden sunshine to me.
Of my sorrow leave no trace,
As if sadness never knew me.

I feel you loving on my skin,
Like angel fingers grazing.
Your fresh scents I am breathing in
Smells of the earth I’m praising.

I will part of my soul exhale
For you to carry on.
So, though my body one day fail,
I’ll not be completely gone.

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MAN AND THE MOUNTAIN
By Carl Martin Johnson

He spoke bravely to the mountain.
“Move aside and let me by.”
“I am searching for Life’s fountain.”
“I must find it or I’ll die.”

But the mountain stood his ground.
“I’ll stand fast,” the big hill said.
“You can either go around
“Or stay here and be dead.”

The man said “I ‘ve no time.”
“You are spread too wide.”
“Blocking my passage is a crime
Because of you I will have died.”

“Little man, I do not care.”
“Great mountains do not weep.”
“Walk away somewhere.”
“And I’ll go back to sleep.”

But the man begin to dig
A hole to let him through.
Only just so big,
Just large enough to do.

He dug hard and fast.
He prayed the Fountain waited.
He came to light at last,
And the beauty anticipated.

“You have caused me pain”
He heard the mountain moan.
“I beg you now refrain.”
“Leave this wounded mount alone.”

“I only sought to live,”
The little man replied.
“Now you must forgive,”
It is you, not I, that cried.

“To find the wondrous Fountain
I had to cause you hurt.”
“You are a Mighty Mountain”
“But I am Man and you are dirt.”


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