Michael Lee Johnson


I Am Old Frustrated Thought


I am old frustrated thought

I look into my once eagle eyes

and find them dim before my dead mother,

I see through clouded egg whites with days

passing by like fog feathers.

I trip over old experiences and expressions,

try hard to suppress them or revisit them;

I’m a fool in my damn recollections,

not knowing what to keep and what to toss out

but the dreams flow like white flour and deceive

me till they capture the nightmare of the past images

in a black blanket wrapped up

and wake me before my psychiatrist.

I only see this nut once every three months.

It is at times like these I know not where I walk

or venture.  I trip over my piety and spill my coffee cup.

I seek sanctuary in the common place of my nowhere life.

Solid footing is a struggle in the sock of depression

it is here the days pass and the years slip like ice cubes.


Rose Petals in a Dark Room


I walk in a mastery of the night and light

my money changers walk behind me

they are fools like clowns in a shadow of sin,

they’re busy as bees as drunken lovers,

Sodom and Gomorrah before the salt pillar falls.


In a shadow of red rose pedals

drunken lovers walk changing Greek and Roman

currency to Jewish or Tyrian money-

they are fools, all fools, at what they do.


Everyone’s life is a conflict.


They are my lovers and my sinners

I can’t sleep at night without them

by my bed or the sea of Galilee.

Fish in cloth nets are my friends and my converts.

I pray in my garden alone; while all the rest

who love beside me sleep behind their innocence.

The rose is a tender thorn compared to my arrest.

and  soon crucifixion.


It is here the morning and the night come together,

where the sea and the land part;

where the building crumbles

and I trust not myself to them.


I am but a poet of the ministry,

rose petals in a dark room fall.

Everyone’s life is a conflict.

But mine is mastery of light and night

and I walk behind the footsteps of no one.



Michael Lee Johnson © 2010