© Carl Martin Johnson, All rights reserved

 
 
BELLS
By Carl Martin Johnson

One bell rings to wake us,
Two to greet the dawn.
The third bell tolls to make us
Take up arms and carry on.

The fight will never end,
If free people we would be.
And the warning the bells send
Is a call to you and me.

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FEEL THE HEARTBEAT OF THE EARTH
By Carl Martin Johnson

Feel the heartbeat of the earth.
Make it be your own.
It will give your soul new birth.
You’ll no more be alone.

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COME WITH ME INTO MY DREAMS
By Carl Martin Johnson

Come with me now into my dreams.
Hold your body close to mine.
I will wash you with moonbeams.
I will worship at your shrine.

Two into one we’ll melt,
Our hearts and souls as one.
Greater love than ever felt
Will be what we’ve begun.

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THE CHILD’S HAND
(To the Murdered Children of Manchester)
By Carl Martin Johnson

Graceful beauty in the fingers,
A bit of dirt in tiny nails.
Joyous play yet lingers.
He who tries composure fails.

The hand once stroked a kitten,
Cupped a butterfly in its palm,
Kissed by Mommy when once bitten,
Held by Daddy ‘til it grew calm.

Snuck a cookie from the jar
When no one was around.
Pointed at a shooting star,
As the child gave a wondering sound.

Wrapped tight in a brother’s fist,
Feeling protected and secure.
Minutes ago it had been kissed,
With a sister’s love so pure.

Now it lay in rubble at my feet,
While I reached down with a prayer,
But the delicate hand was incomplete.
There was no body there.

Scattered ‘round were others,
Young bodies ripped and torn.
Someone’s sisters, someone’s brothers,
Giving too much shock to mourn.

Now hard vengeance do I swear
On they who did this sin.
Their lives I will not spare,
Nor let their evil win.

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THAT STAR UP THERE
By Carl Martin Johnson

That star up there is mine.
You can have one, too.
Even more is fine,
Take one of every hue.

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I BELIEVE IN MAGIC
By Carl Martin Johnson

I believe in magic.
I think wishes can come true.
If you don’t, dear child, how tragic,
Because magic believes in you.

Close your eyes and take my hand.
We will fly up to a star.
The world’s at our command.
Magic is what we are.

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MIX YOUR WORDS WITH MINE
By Carl Martin Johnson

Mix your words with mine.
There is poetry in your heart.
Our verse will be divine,
Better united than apart.

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THE REASONS
By Carl Martin Johnson

Ask me not the reasons
For that which my soul holds dear,
Nor question the mystic seasons
Angels whisper in my ear.

I lie still beneath the sky
And let my body go.
One day, if long I try,
I pray I’ll fully Know.

I am Man, and for small things,
I have a human mind.
But to hear the Song God Sings,
I need a higher kind.

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I GLIMPSED THE SPECIAL WORD
By Carl Martin Johnson

I glimpsed the special Word fly past,
The one I’ve sought for years.
It lit my mind but did not last.
Now I am in tears.

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NEW DAY SUN
By Carl Martin Johnson

Move, dark cloud, you block the sun.
Let its glow shine through.
Our fresh life has now begun.
The earth sparkles bright with dew.

This crisp morning is unique.
A time unlike before.
We may find the life we seek
Just through dawn’s opening door.

But we need newborn sunbeams
To guide us on the way.
To lead us, joyous, to our dreams
On this most new wondrous day.

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THE OLD LION
By Carl Martin Johnson

He was a sleepy, patient beast
Whose roar was seldom loud.
As the lion’s age increased,
He grew gentle, but unbowed.

He slept in peace on the African veldt
In the shade of a long-limbed tree.
He yawned the contentment that he felt
While he watched his pride play free.

One hot day a young male came
To challenge the lion’s throne.
The cub would win both wives and fame,
And the tree would be his own.

Slowly rose the old one,
Flames shooting from ancient eyes.
The young, the very bold one
Held fast in his surprise.

The great aging cat could beat him.
He sensed it in the air.
He let the hoary one defeat him,
By his silent, deadly stare.

The shamed cub slunk into the grass,
Leaving the venerable one to reign.
A great many more years would pass
Before he surrendered his domain.

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IN THIS DESERT I DRINK MY TEARS
By Carl Martin Johnson

In this desert I drink my tears.
Only they can slake my thirst.
I believe that Heaven nears,
But I must cross Hades first.
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SEE, POET
By Carl Martin Johnson

Poet, see the soul of things.
Unlock the spirit in a stone.
You must find the whole of things:
Truths more than your own.

Rhymes only waste your ink
If mankind is all you know.
Be open when you think,
So your words can help us grow.

You are no more than a fool,
Whom life sometimes inspires.
Let God use you as His tool
To kindle wisdom’s fires.

So, should your mortal eyes
Glimpse briefly the divine,
Think not that you are wise,
Rather a voyeur at God’s shrine.

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BLUE SKIES IN MY MIND
By Carl Martin Johnson

I have blue skies in my mind.
Only blue skies do I see.
Only happiness I find,
Now I know that you love me.

You have driven out dark storm.
You let in the golden sun.
Because of you, I fear no harm.
My battle has been won.

And if to paradise I rise,
If God permits me there,
The bliss will come as no surprise,
After knowing love so fair.

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PRAYER TO MY ANGEL
By Carl Martin Johnson

Dear Angel, light my way.
Show me the path that’s right.
Tell me when I stray.
Be my ally in Life’s fight.

Give me courage when I war,
Wisdom to know when it is just,
Let not my violence rage too far
When unsheathe my sword I must.

Keep my honor true.
With God’s love fill my heart.
Each day bless me anew.
Nor from my side depart.

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YESTERDAY ONCE WAS TOMORROW
By Carl Martin Johnson

Yesterday once was tomorrow.
Today will soon be past.
Neither joy nor sorrow
In the human heart can last.

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I DANCED WITH THE WIND
By Carl Martin Johnson

I’ve danced with the wind,
Let her spin me ‘round and ‘round.
Our music had no end.
Life’s pure notes we had found.

She wrapped me in her breezes,
Made love in thunderstorm.
I followed as she pleases.
From her I feared no harm.

There is ardor in her gust,
Seduction in her gale.
I match her loving thrust,
Echo her passion’s wail.

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LIFE BLOWING PAST
By Carl Martin Johnson

I heard life past me whirring
Like a bullet not aimed well.
I felt existence stirring
In my every cell.

Now I pray it strikes my heart.
Wound me with its cheer.
Makes me feel a part
Of the world that I hold dear.

Then I will turn and face it.
Raise my head and breathe in deep.
It’s my life and I’ll embrace it.
I’ll live in joy until I sleep.

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WE ARE DANCING IN THE DARK
By Carl Martin Johnson -

We are dancing in the dark.
We must go much higher.
Yes, we have the spark.
Now let’s light the fire.

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THE STORM’S LOVE
By Carl Martin Johnson

The storm roiled darkly in the sky,
Then came to me with love,
Thunder not a demon’s cry,
But a serenade from above.

Lightning ripped the clouds asunder,
Though it illumined soft my heart.
I looked up in wonder,
Feeling sad we were apart.

I feared violent embrace,
In the great storm’s passion.
Though it could have been God’s face
Seen in another fashion.

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MAKE ME BRAVE
By Carl Martin Johnson

Great God, make me brave.
This day I fight for You.
If night finds me in my grave,
Let my valor have been true.

Your Son died for me,
Suffered more than I could bear.
Weak sinner that I be,
Tell Him today I did my share.

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MY INSTANT
By Carl Martin Johnson

This instant only do I own,
Not those ahead or past.
The future is unknown.
For days before, the die is cast.

I will do all I can
To give this moment worth.
Let Life know I’m a Man,
And give value to my birth.

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ON MY WAY TO WAR
By Carl Martin Johnson

I passed this way some time ago,
When on my way to war.
There was much I did not know.
I’d never traveled far.

Some boys were hard at baseball then,
Their parents cheering on.
I’d have loved to see them play again,
But the baseball fields were gone.

And all those fine kids would have grown.
Like me, maybe fought and died
In a distant, bloody war of their own.
Mankind could stop that if we tried.

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STOP AND LOOK AT ME
By Carl Martin Johnson

Stop and look at me.
I am human just like you.
Take a moment and you’ll see
What I am and who.

We pass every day
At the corner of this street,
With not a single word to say,
Nor a nod to greet.

Tomorrow I will pause,
A cordial hand extend.
I’ll say hello because
I want to be your friend.

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SMALL PLEASURES
By Carl Martin Johnson

Small pleasures are the best:
The sparkling dew at dawn
A brief moment’s rest
From the forced march you are on.

The smile in your lover’s eye
When she greets you in the night,
A baby’s happy cry,
A soaring eagle high in flight.

The caress of a summer breeze
In the shade of a willow tree.
Modest blessings such as these
God sends to set our spirits free.
 
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NOW I AM AWAKE
By Carl Martin Johnson

Now I am awake.
Before this life I slept.
Was waking a mistake?
Should I’ve my dreaming kept?

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MY SELF-EVALUATION
By Carl Martin Johnson

Last night I looked inside me
To evaluate my being.
My conscience tried to hide me
From the sinner I was seeing.

My vices they abounded.
Far outweighed the good.
I was left astounded,
Vowed to change me, if I could.

My character is weak.
My discipline not strong.
It is virtue that I seek,
But I don’t know right from wrong.

I try but just can’t tell.
No damned use to cry.
If my poor soul is bound for Hell,
Well, then, I JUST WON’T DIE!

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WIND SINGING
By Carl Martin Johnson

The wind sings softly through the grass,
Like our lives through time.
Quickly here then quickly pass,
So very brief our prime.

Just for a moment do we wake,
No instant should we waste.
If a mark on Life we’d make,
We must surely act with haste.

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WHAT AM I
By Carl Martin Johnson

Tell me please, what am I, Lord?
Am I your spirit spawn?
Am I your child, or just your ward?
When I die, am I just gone?

Or do I reenter You,
Absorbed into your Whole?
That which I prefer be true
Is I remain a separate soul.

Though I may risk Hell’s hot fire
The doing will be me.
A free-willed being is to what I aspire
For all eternity.

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LET MY SOUL FIGHT
By Carl Martin Johnson

Because of You, God, I exist.
You know my every thought.
Held in Your mighty fist,
Like a prisoner I am caught.

Free me, Lord, to seek my fate
Let my choices make You proud.
My own will we’ll celebrate,
While I sing Your praises loud.

‘Tween sin and virtue I’ll decide.
Each day I’ll prove my worth.
You will have a loving Father’s pride.
You’ll not regret my birth.

In Your image I was created,
I have strength to do what’s right.
My life need not be fated.
Let me bear the fight.

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THE HIDING VERSE
By Carl Martin Johnson

I feel a verse inside.
Buried way down deep.
From my knowing it would hide.
Its secret it would keep.

I will coax it from its lair.
Bring it forth into the light.
Perhaps there’s beauty there
To discover when I write.
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