Saturday, May 15, 2010

New Poetry by Michael Lee Johnson











Charley Plays a Tune


Crippled, in Chicago,
with arthritis
and Alzheimer's,
in a dark rented room,
Charley plays
melancholic melodies
on a dust filled
harmonica he
found  abandoned
on a playground of sand
years ago by a handful of children
playing on monkey bars.
He hears bedlam when he buys fish at the local market
and the skeleton bones of the fish show through.
He lies on his back riddled with pain,
pine cones fill his pillows and mattress;
praying to Jesus and rubbing his rosary beads
Charley blows tunes out his
celestial instrument
notes float through the open window
touch the nose of summer clouds.
Charley overtakes himself with grief
and is ecstatically alone.
Charley plays a solo tune.

- Michael Lee Johnson 2010


Harvest Time

A M├ętis Indian lady, drunk --
hands blanketed as in prayer,
over a large brown fruit basket
naked of fruit, no vine, no vineyard
inside -- approaches the Edmonton,
Alberta adoption agency.
There are only spirit gods
inside her empty purse.

Inside the basket, an infant,
restrained from life,
with a fruity winesap apple
wedged like a teaspoon
of autumn sun
inside its mouth.
A shallow pool of tears
mounts in native blue eyes.
Snuffling, the mother offers
a slim smile, turns away.
She slithers voyeuristically
through near slum streets
and alleyways,
looking for drinking buddies
to share a hefty pint
of applejack wine.

- Michael Lee Johnson 2007



Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, Illinois.  He is heavy influenced by:  Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen, and Allen Ginsberg.  His new poetry chapbook with pictures, titled From Which Place the Morning Rises, and his new photo version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom are available at: http://stores.lulu.com/promomanusa. The original version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom, can be found at: http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-46091-7.   He also has 2 previous chapbooks available at: http://stores.lulu.com/poetryboy.

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