Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era: now known as the Illinois poet, from Itasca, IL. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, photographer who experiments with poetography (blending poetry with photography), and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, who has been published in more than 875 small press magazines in 27 countries, he edits 10 poetry sites. Michael is the author of The Lost American: "From Exile to Freedom", several chapbooks of poetry, including "From Which Place the Morning Rises" and "Challenge of Night and Day", and "Chicago Poems". He also has over 74 poetry videos on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/user/
Facebook Group: Contemporary Poets https://www.facebook.com/
Old Hens and Young Folks (V2)
Why do old hen's cry-
socialize in familiar doctor offices.
The smell and the scent of times unchanged.
Those medical lab tests, the slap on bandages;
those stale magazines, edges folded back, undeclared ownership.
Seek nuclei redemption in prayer books of the New Testament.
I find them there beside me in seated chairs-and wheelchairs that roll.
Why do old hen's cry?
Those berries and nuts buried beneath their dentures.
Bingo dancers, Wednesday bingo players,
the old hens read books, the young folks
handheld iPad wallet size,
space readers, internet of the universe unfolds.
Arctic Chill North
Arctic chill froze my life into exile.
North Saskatchewan River crystallize frozen thick.
My life entombed 10 years, prairie path thorns, a hundred threats US government, border checks run further north.
I stand still in exile, lived my life in mixture of color, tangerine moon, hangnail in the corner of my bachelor suite for years.
I close down curtain on this chapter with an amnesty agreement, a pledge.
I close down this sunspace, northern lights,
files I never burned draft card I never tossed way.
Thieves, dawn passion, pack, go home tonight.
This hell over my head passed now a hallo, child, dream, murder.
Let the flicker between notes and years die ignore spaces.
Radio sounds in my car ears on the way back home, Indiana, 1,728 miles.
Crossing the Border Divide
Crossing that Canadian line on a visitor pass,
that stretch across the border divide,
that makes a torn war wound, torn man free.
It made my feet new away from red cinder land on fresh grass.
Back home the sirens of war keep sounding off,
like common masturbation from one decade to another.
All us wearing new/old bloodstains,
poetry images of erections coming up, WW2, a real war.
My dirty hands, on your hands, our memories shared red, white and blue justified, hell.
Who does not have memories, bad cinder charcoal smoke screen in the dark flame?
September comes early in Canada-October in the USA.
Leaves fall early swirling in touchdowns both sides of the border.
September north, but at least the bullets cease.
Cast a poem South, you likely die in Vietnam or come back wounded.
Cast a poem North, you likely suffers mental illness but come back on pills.
Here comes again, thunder, in the rain, stroke by lightening,
war bore crossing a border divide.
~Michael Lee Johnson