Michael Lee Johnson‘s quartet of poems

My Life
Jesus and How He Must Have Felt

My life began with a skeleton 

with a smile and bubbling eyes

in my garden of dandelions.

Everything else fell off the edge,

a jigsaw puzzle piece cut in half.

When young, I pressed

against my mother’s breast,

but youthful memories fell short.

I tried at 8 to kiss my father, 

but he was a welder, fox hunter,

coon hunter, and voyeuristic man.

My young life was a mixture

of black, white, dark dreams,

and mellow yellow sun bright hopes.

Rewind, sunshine was a stranger

in dandelion fields,

shadows in my eyes.

I grabbed my injured legs

leap forward into the future.

I’m now a vitamin C boy

it keeps me immured

from catching colds or Covid-19.

Everything now still leaks, in parts,

but I press forward.

Staggering out Wee-Willy’s

dumpy dive bar, drooped eyes,

my feelings desensitising,

confusing my avocado fart,

at 3:20 a.m., with last night

splash on of Brut aftershave.

Whispering to my outcast

self-sounding more like pending death.

My body detaching from myself,

numbed by winter’s fingers.

I creak up these outside stairs

to my apartment after an all-night drunk,

cheap Tesco’s Windsor Castle

London Dry Gin—on the rocks.

I thought of Jesus

how He must have felt

during His resurrection

dragging His holy body

up that endless stairwell

spiralling toward heaven.

Most Poems
Poets In The Rain

Most poems are pounded out

in emotional flesh, sometimes

physical skin scalped feelings.

It’s a Jesus hanging on a cross

a Mary kneeling at the bottom

not knotted in love but roped,

a blade of a Bowie knife


I look for the kicker line

the close at the bottom

seek a public poetry forum

to cheer my aspirations on.

I hear those far away voices

carrying my life away-

a retreat into insanity.

All poets are crazy. Listen to them soak

sponge in early rain medley notes sounding off.

Crazy, suicidal, we know who they are:

Edgar Allan Poe, Sylvia Plath, Dylan Thomas

the drunk, Anne Sexton, Teasdale

this group grows a Pinocchio nose.

At times I capture you here under control.

I want to inspect you.

All can be found in faith once

now gone in time.

With all your concerns, I see

your eyes layered in shades of green

confused within you about me.

Forgive me; I’m just a touch

of wild pepper, dry Screaming Eagle

Cabernet Sauvignon, and dying selfishly.  

We don’t know if it is all worth it.

I have refined my image, and my taste

continues to thrust inside your crevices.

Templates of hell break loose thunder, belches, and anomie.

Asteroid Ceres looks like you passing gas,

exposes her buttocks, and moves on just like ice

on a balmy rock just like yours.

I will wait centuries, like critics, to review

this fecund body of yours-

soiled, then poppies,

poetry in the rain.

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada, the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet in the greater Chicagoland area, IL.  He has 262 YouTube poetry videos. Michael Lee Johnson is an internationally published poet in 44 countries, several published poetry books, nominated for 4 Pushcart Prize awards and 5 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 443 published poems. Michael is the administrator of 6 Facebook Poetry groups.

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