November 5, 2015

Three Poems By Michael Lee Johnson: "Jesus Knelt in Grief Over the Death of Children", "The Christians Arrived", "Children in the Sky"

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.

Facebook Group:  Contemporary Poets      

Jesus Knelt in Grief
Over the Death of Children (V2)

Breaking out of silence,
Jesus knelt to his knees
in moist desert sand,
wrote messages
with his fingertips
to children-
“water is water, toys are toys,
but by my fingers burn with life,
although I toil over tombs with grief and tears-
I am the living and I am the dead.
I was born to life to bring
new hope into the death of children.
I am the messenger of the morning sun
the prayer book between the morning dew,
the play fields of your daily adventures.
When I kneel here again,
the end will be the end.
Fire willed into my words.
Driftwood and sand will turn to stone.
I drag my fingers across hot sand once more
morning will come without daybreak.
Birds will no longer sing, and crickets
lose their songs.”

The Christians Arrived

Salvation Army and
the Christians arrived today,
Christmas, like every other Sunday morning
feed the homeless, chasing the rats from the bathroom,
basement, kicking the dead flies out of the corner spots
where the cat used to lounge-
clean the toilet bowl, a form of revival and resurrection.
I privately pastor to these desires though I myself am homeless.
I forgot what it’s like to be a poet of the cloth,
savior in street clothing with a warm home to blend into.
I watch them clamp the New Testament in one hand,
And pull a cancer stick out of the pocket with the other.
It’s all a matter of praising the Lord.
Everything is nonsense when you’re in a place where you don’t belong.
Even praying to Jesus from a dirty dusted pillow seems strange and bewildering.
Someday I will walk from this place and offer spare meals by myself to others;
feed the party in between the theology, the bingo of sins and salvation.
I forgot the taste of a Stromboli Sandwich with a six pack of Budweiser
with or without the Chicago Bears-it would make every Sunday a Salvation
Army holiday.
Today is a fairy creating miracles from the dust of the floor
multiplying fish and chips, baked ham, ribs with sauce Chi-Town type,
dark color of greens and veggies tip me to the Christian
clock on the wall peeking down on lost and unsaved.
I feel like a fragment.
A birth date the way again to begin, fragmented.
Pinto beans mixed with graffiti fingers,
Christians arrived on Christmas day-
they always do every Sunday morning.
I pastor to these desires.
It’s all a matter of praising the Lord.
The Christians arrived today.

Children in the Sky (V2)

There is a full moon,
distant in this sky tonight,

Gray planets planted
on an aging white, face.

Children, living and dead,
love the moon with small hearts.

Those in heaven already take gold thread,
drop the moon down for us all to see.

Those alive with us, look out their
bedroom windows tonight,
we smile, then prayers, then sleep.

~Michael Lee Johnson 

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