“Willow Tree Poem” & More Plus Recordings by Michael Lee Johnson

I Age (V2)

Arthritis and aging make it hard,
I walk gingerly, with a cane, and walk
slow, bent forward, fear threats,
falls, fear denouement─
I turn pages, my family albums
become a task.
But I can still bake and shake,
sugar cookies, sweet potato,
lemon meringue pies.
Alone, most of my time,
but never on Sundays,
friends and communion,
United Church of Canada.
I chug a few down,
love my Blonde Canadian Pale Ale,
Copenhagen long cut a pinch of snuff.
I can still dance the Boogie-woogie,
Lindy Hop in my living room,
with my nursing care home partner.
Aging has left me with youthful dimples,
but few long-term promises.

 

Crypt in the Sky (V2)

Order me up,
no one knows
where this crypt in the sky
like a condo on the 5th floor
suite don’t sell me out
over the years;
please don’t bury me beneath
this ground, don’t let me decay
inside my time pine casket.
Don’t let me burn to cremate
skull last to turn to ashes.
Treasure me high where no one goes,
no arms reach, stretch.
Building for the Centuries
then just let it fall.
These few precious dry bones
preserved for you, sealed in the cloud
no relocation is necessary,
no flowers need to be planted,
no dusting off that dust each year,
no sinners can reach this high.
Jesus’ heaven, Jesus’ sky.

 

Note:  Dedicated to the passing of beloved Katie Balaskas.

 

A black and white image of a woman in a black dress with one hand on a piano and her head encased in a bubble. From MLJ.

Priscilla, Let’s Dance (V2)

Priscilla, Puerto Rican songbird,
an island jungle dancer, Cuban heritage,
rare parrot, a singer survivor near extinction.
She sounds off on notes, music her
vocals hearing background bongos,
piano keys, Cuban horns.
Quote the verse patterns,
quilt the pieces skirt bleeds,
then blend colors to light a tropical prism.
Steamy Salsa, a little twist, cha-cha-cha
dancing rhythms of passions, sacred these islands.
Everything she has is movement
tucked nice and tight but explosive.
She mimics these ancient sounds
showing her ribs, her naked body.
Her ex-lovers remain nightmares
pointed daggers, so criminal, so stereotyped.
Priscilla purifies her dreams with repentance.
She pours her heart out, everything
condensed to the bone, petite boobies,
cheap bras, flamboyant Gi strings.
Her vocabulary is that of sin and Catholicism.
Island hurricanes form her own Jesus
slants of hail, detonate thunder,
the collapse of hell in her hands after midnight.
Priscilla remains a background rabble-rouser,
almost remorseful, no apologies
to the counsel of Judas
wherever he hangs.

 

Willow Tree Poem (V2)

Wind dancers
dancing to the
willow wind,
lance-shaped leaves
swaying right to left
all day long.
I’m depressed.
Birds hanging on-
bleaching feathers
out into
the sun.

 

—About the Author—

A black and white image of Michael Lee Johnson looking slightly off camera with a small, mischievous grin.Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet in the greater Chicagoland area, IL.  He has 275 YouTube poetry videos. Michael Lee Johnson is an internationally published poet in 44 countries, has several published poetry books, has been nominated for 6 Pushcart Prize awards, and 6 Best of the Net nominations. He is editor-in-chief of 3 poetry anthologies, all available on Amazon, and has several poetry books and chapbooks. He has over 453 published poems. Michael is the administrator of 6 Facebook Poetry groups. Member of Illinois State Poetry Society.

Check out more poems by Michael HERE!