width=61 height=87> Voracious Verses
Winter / Spring 2012


Michael Lee Johnson


Moon Sleep

I stick
my hand
out toward
the sea,
roll out my palm.
I offer a plank,
a trail for you.
Follow out into the water
and the salty stars.
When you stretch out
and give your heart
to the final moment
of the glass night sky,
draw me in?
sketch my face
on the edge
of our moon-
sad and lonely
over ages of celestial
moon sleep and dust.
© 2012 Michael Lee Johnson


Jesse's Homeless Face

Someday Jesse wants to go home.
I see his world,
all itís hidden concepts
embedded in Jesseís aging face-
life has whispered by leaving 
memory trails?
wrinkled forehead,
deep as river bed ruts
dried with years, weather-beaten,
just above his bushy eyebrows
that are gray and twisted?
much like life drawing memories
across his empty face.
Jesse has a long oblique
Jewish nose with dark
blue opal eyes,
that would pierce 
even the pain 
of his own crucifixion. 
Life tears flow though
a whole new ghoulish
apparition, a vision
of homelessness plastered
east of Dearborn Bridge,
near Lower Wacker Drive,
downtown Chicago? 
where affluent citizens
seldom go unless inebriated;
puke-stained, or in a taxicab. 
Jesseís hair sprouts skyward,
groomed like an abandoned
dove nest in wild Chicago
meandering winds. 
Puffed eye bags of weariness
sag likes sandbags, 
one slightly heavier than the other.
Weeks of breaded growth 
contour his chin in color blends
of white and black. 
Over one shoulder drapes 
a grungy gray blanket found 
in Lilly Maeís garbage can,
the other shoulder,
naked, but tanned,
bears itself to the elements. 
Jesse panhandles during the day.
At night and early Sunday mornings,
you can find him behind
a local McDonalds,
near Cracker Creek,
sharing leftover burgers
and sugar candy
with river rats?
Jesse considers it an act of religious charity;
age 69, someday soon,
Jesse wants to go home.

© 2012 Michael Lee Johnson


Dancer of the Shoe Poem

Dancer of the shoe poem,
I trip over your shoe string
dress or gown
and keep walking with a beat
but, you're missing a step,
let me take you there,
or did the ghost of the night
take your slippers away-
move right, slightly left,
back one half step.
Dancer of the shoe poem.
It's my duty 
to take you away
in a love feast.
Thank you for this dance.

© 2012 Michael Lee Johnson


Around My World

Iím a thin, tall, black lady
living in a small pink cottage
my body barely fits inside
the frame, and Iím sitting
on my buttocks with my knees
bent and my head
scraps the inside wall
at the crease where       
the roof starts leaning in
on one side against my brain.
A red flower pot balances
on my kneecap and gracious
black stems and black
flower leafs sprout skyward
through the chimney top
ascending into blue
winter sky like
Jack the Bean Stalk.  
Small words are written
in black all over my pink 
walls, inside and out,
and I canít remember
any of them or how they
join together right to left.
Around my world of
pink and black are
blue skies with snow
frames around all four
My pink palm of my hand
holds my chin up.
I reflect on why Iím
cramped up inside
of myself and the
black framed window
near my eyes
keeps most of the blues
and sunshine out.
© 2012 Michael Lee Johnson


Michael Lee Johnson is a poet, freelance writer and small business owner of custom imprinted promotional products and apparel: (www.promoman.us), from Itasca, Illinois. He is heavily influenced by: Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen, and Allen Ginsberg. His new poetry chapbook with pictures, titled From Which Place the Morning Rises, and his new photo version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom are available at: www.lulu.com/spotlight/promomanusa. The original version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom, can be found here. He also has a new chapbook: Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems . Michael has been published in over 25 countries. He is also editor/publisher of five poetry sites, all open for submission, which can be found at his Web site: poetryman.mysite.com. All of his books are now available on Amazon.com, Borders, or Barnes & Noble

Now on You-Tube:

E-mail: promomanusa@gmail.com. Audio Mp3 poems available; open to interviews.

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