Saturday, May 19, 2007

Michael Lee Johnson

Michael Lee Johnson lives in Chicago, IL. after spending 10 years in Edmonton, Alberta Canada during the Viet Nam era. He is a freelance writer and poet heavily influenced by Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, & Leonard Cohen. Currently self-employed, with a previous background in social service areas, he has a B.A. degree in sociology, worked on a Masters Program in Correctional Administration, started a pre-Phd program & quit. He took a creative writing course in university on a pass/fail basis...he failed. A prolific writer, he has had many poems published and has many more pending publication. He is a member of Poets & Writers, Inc; Directory of American Poets & Fictions Writers. For more information go to:
  • You can contact the poet by e-mailing

    (Edmonton, Alberta Canada)

    He is a gardener
    with a spyglass.
    With an ice pick
    cavities are chopped
    out of the earths torpid
    mouth, dry seeds are packed
    in with frostbitten fingertips.
    He rakes his yard clear
    of all snow in winter
    so green blades of grass
    will pop through frozen

    He will weed, thin his garden early.
    He is a realist; he writes poetry also.


    Dec. 23rd,
    40 below zero,
    he died a cold
    winter death
    on 105th St.
    near North
    Saskatchewan River.
    In his steel casket
    buried beneath
    rooted, frozen earth,
    squirms the
    lifeless breathing
    of winter.


    I warned you darts with advise
    strong words tripping over emotions
    like an imbecile -
    so you think you’re Leonard Cohen
    loving some naked Nancy in a cluttered
    matchbox apartment overlooking
    European culture simulated,
    above some obscure, narrow
    Montreal street?
    For your information,
    straight poetics from insanities Almanac,
    Leonard Cohen died years ago
    in a twisted pickle poem he
    entitled “Narcissism.”
    Do you & your welfare lover
    desire to be the 2nd generation,
    deceased , unnoticed, unheard of,
    unwarranted for failure artists
    inside this thin, onion skinned wall
    dingy with your dreams?
    I warned you darts with advise,
    tapering off with your impotence.


    Poem dancer,
    Russian yellow in revolutionary white snow.
    Am I really Yuri Zhivago
    Hidden in this funeral procession
    Held high by paw bearers, looking at my dead father?
    Lifting him up stairs into the Russian Orthodox Church?
    Only for the sake of snowflakes & the pouring
    of aged Vodka on the casket?
    Only for the growth of rebellious youth,
    the sweet aging of wrath?
    Does a somber poet lose his flavor
    Of word and dance & turn to medicine-
    like children finding meaning
    in racing around rooms and mazes
    holding hands and losing direction
    before their breath stops, the punctuation dies?

    Poem dancer Russian yellow in white snow-
    50/50 the poet dies alone.


    twisted branches of thought.
    One character linked to the
    insane personality of the other.
    Bipolar in a universe of singles.
    The fear of aloneness hearing
    cracks in your walls; the joy
    jumbling into the municipal pool
    in Hillside, Illinois at 3 am.
    Bipolar, witched, and alone.
    Late to work staring at your
    employer dart split eyes.
    Tattered with memories dancing
    on the tablecloth with glee
    slapped on the face with a teaspoon
    just to feel the sadness leave.
    Bipolar, witched, and alone.
    Seldom ever hear happiness
    that doesn’t sound like a fire
    siren camping in your eardrums.
    Meds crank up & crank down;
    moods follow the meds
    or do meds follow the moods?
    Personal wars echo words in my ears.
    Even during silent times the night
    roars like street jungles.
    Bipolar, witched, and alone.


    Blogger Phillip A. Ellis said...

    Thanks for the poems, Michael. I enjoy reading and rereading them, and I enjoy also the rhythmical qualities of your line.

    I hope to see more of your work in the future.


    11:49 PM  

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