by Michael Lee Johnson
Heaven is My Horse Fly (V2)
A common horse fly
vacationing in my world
into my bathroom,
(ride me cowboy, fly)
it’s summer time-
lands on my toilet seat
pit stops at Nikki’s Bar & Grill,
kitty litter box, refuels.
Thirteen round trips
buzzing my skin and skull-
he calls them “short runs.”
Steady pilot, good mileage,
frequent flier credits.
I swat his war journey,
splat, downed, then, an abrupt end.
She edits her life from a room made dark
against a desert dropping summer sun.
A daring travelling Parisian adventurer
ultimate princess turning toad with age-
snow drops of white in her hair, tiny fingers
thumb joints osteoarthritis
corrects proofs at 100, pours whiskey,
pours over what she wrote
scribbles notes directed to the future,
applies for a new passport.
With this mount of macular degeneration,
near, monster of writers’ approach.
She wears no spectacles.
Her mind teeters between Himalayas,
distant Gobi Desert, but subjectively warm.
Running reason through her head for living,
yet dancing with the youthful word of Cinderella,
she plunges deeper near death into Tibetan mysticism,
trekking across snow covered mountains to Lhasa, Tibet.
Nighttime rest, sleepy face, peeking out that window crack
into the nest, those quiet villages below
tasting that reality beyond all her years’
vastness of dreams.
Painted Cat (V2)
This painted cat
on my balcony
hangs in this sun,
widen in joints,
no infant sparrow wings
nestled in this hole
beneath its neck-
then falls down.
No longer a swinger
in latter days, August wind.
Oh Carol, Poem
You treat me like soiled underwear.
I work my way through.
I gave up jitterbug dancing, that cha-cha-chá,
all my eccentric moves, theatric acting, poetry slams.
I seek refuge away old films, nightmares
you jumping from my raspberry Geo Chevy Tracker
repeat you stunt from my black 2002 S-10 Chevy truck, Schaumburg, IL.
I toss tarnished photographs out windows of hell
seek new selfies, myself.
I’m a rock-in-roll Jesus, a damn good poetry man,
talent alone is not enough storage space to strip
you away from my skin, distant myself from your
ridicule, those harsh words you can’t take back
once they are out like Gorilla Glue, as Carl Sandburg spoke about.
I’m no John Lennon want to be;
body sculptured David Garrett, German violin masterpiece,
nor Ace Hardware, Midwest, CEO.
All I want to be respected in heart of my bright sun,
engaging these shadows endorsing these gray spots in my life.
Send me away from these drum beats that break me in half,
jungle thunder jolts dislodging my heart
popping my earlobes over the years,
scream out goodbye.
No more stepping on me cockroach style,
swatting me, a captured fly.
Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois. Mr. Johnson published in more than 989 publications, his poems have appeared in 34 countries, he edits, publishes 10 different poetry sites. He has been nominated 2 Pushcart Prize awards for poetry 2015 and 2 nominations Best of the Net 2016 and 2017. He also has 134 poetry videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos. He is the Editor-in-chief of the anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762
and Editor-in-chief of a second poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses which is now available here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545352089