December 10, 2017

Two Poems by Michael Lee Johnson: "Painted Cat" and "Alexandra David-Neel"

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois. Mr. Johnson published in more than 989 publications, his poems have appeared in 34 countries, he edits, publishes 10 different poetry sites. Michael Lee Johnson, Itasca, IL, nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards for poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/and 2 Best of the Net 2017. He also has 138 poetry videos on YouTube: He is the Editor-in-chief of the anthology,Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze: and Editor-in-chief of a second poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses which is now available here:

Painted Cat (V2)

This painted cat
on my balcony
hangs in this sun,
bleaches out
it's wooden
survival kit,
cut short-
then rots
widen in joints,
no infant sparrow wings
nestled in this hole
beneath its neck-
then falls down.
No longer a swinger
in latter days, August wind.

Neel Photo by Michael Lee Johnson

Alexandra David-Neel (V2)

She edits her life from a room made dark
against a desert dropping summer sun.
A daring traveling Parisian adventurer,
ultimate princess turning toad with age--
snow drops of white in her hair, tiny fingers
thumb joints osteoarthritis
she corrects proofs at 100, pours whiskey,
pours over what she wrote
scribbles notes directed to the future,
applies for a new passport.
With this amount of macular degeneration,
near, monster of writers' approaches,
she wears no spectacles.
Her mind teeters between Himalayas,
distant Gobi Desert.
Running reason through her head for a living,
yet dancing with the youthful world of Cinderella,
she plunges deeper near death into Tibetan mysticism,
trekking across snow-covered mountains to Lhasa, Tibet.
Nighttime rest, sleepy face, peeking out that window crack
into the nest, those quiet villages below
tasting a reality beyond her years.

Michael Lee Johnson


  1. Congrats Michael. good read to say the least. (Gigi Lee)

  2. Great work, as always Michael!

  3. Thank you Indiana Voice Journal.

  4. It's too dreamy for me. I can't deal with the line 'tasting a reality beyond her years' ... reality, where? Your 'Parisian Adventurer' is going somewhere after death I take it; but this woman is articulate. Even though a mystic she has no secrets! ... She would tell us. This is a one gutsy broad. You'll have to forgive me. I've an amateur when it comes to poems. Lyrics have been my thing. philip brown

  5. Thank you for your opinion this poem is based on 60-70% fact and research the rest is poetic imagination the heart of poetry, yes you are an amateur but thank you for you limited thoughts.


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