Three poems by Michael Lee Johnson


Watching doves
peck away,
all day long at
a full bowl
of mixed seeds,
out on the balcony –
the cat curls
up on the sofa,
after a meager
meal of house flies –
and dreams of
sparrows with
wide soaring

– – – – – – – – –

Hazy Arizona Sky

7:00 am
Sonoran desert,
sleep dust covering my eyelids.
Morning fireball
hurls into Arizona sky,
baking down on cracked,
& crusted earth –
makes Saguaro cactus
split its rubbery skull
flood dry & open
valley with one cup
of cool, clear,

– – – – – – – – –

Graying In My Life

Graying in
my life
growing old
like stagnant
bucket of
rain water with moss
floating on the top –
oh, it's now such
a bad deal,
except when
catches you
chilled in the
middle of a sentence
by yourself.
ticking away
like an old grandfather clock,
hands stretched straight in the air
striking midnight
like a final

• Michael Lee Johnson lives in Chicago, after spending 10 years Canada during the Vietnam era. He is a freelance writer and poet and says he is heavy influenced by Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams and Leonard Cohen. He is presently self-employed, with a previous background in social service areas, he has a degree in sociology, worked on a masters programme in correctional administration, and took a creative writing course at university on a pass/fail basis – he failed. He has a huge box of “unfinished” poems dating back to 1965 – yellowed papers, wrinkled napkins and all, they await the hand of revival. Until recently he had not submitted any poems since the early 70's.

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