Rising Star In The Illinois World Of Poetry
Official Poetry Site of Michael Lee Johnson, Poet, Itasca, Illinois
About the Poet
MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. 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 885 small press magazines in 27 countries, he edits 11 poetry sites. Michael is the author of The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom (136 page book), 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.
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Michael Lee Johnson is publisher, editor of 11 poetry, flash fiction sites, all presently open for submission:
If You Find No Poem (V3)
By Michael Lee Johnson
If you find
no poem on
in the morning,
no paper, no knock on your door,
your life poorly edited
but no broken dashes
or injured meter-
if you do not wear white
satin dresses late in life
embroidered with violet
flowers on the collar;
nor do you have
across main street-
if no one whispers
in your ear, Emily Dickinson-
you feel alone-
but not reclusive-
the sand child
still sleeping in your eyes-
wiping your tears away-
if you find
no poem on
you are not from New England.
Harvest Time (V8)
A Métis lady, drunk-
hands folded, blanketed as in prayer
over a large brown fruit basket
naked of fruit, no vine, no vineyard
inside-approaches the Edmonton,
Alberta adoption agency.
There are only spirit gods
inside her empty purse.
Inside the basket, an infant,
restrained from life,
with a fruity winesap apple
wedged like a teaspoon
of autumn sun
inside its mouth.
A shallow pool of tears mountsin his native baby blue eyes.
Snuffling, the mother offers
a slim smile, turns away.
She slithers voyeuristically
through near slum streets
looking for drinking buddies
to share a hefty pint
of applejack wine. -2007-
Charley Plays a Tune (V4)
By Michael Lee Johnson
Crippled, in Chicago,
in a dark rented room,
on a dust-filled
on a playground of sand
years ago by a handful of children
playing on monkey bars.
He hears bedlam when he buys fish at the local market
and the skeleton bones of the fish show through.
He lies on his back, riddled with pain,
pine cones fill his pillows and mattress;
praying to Jesus and rubbing his rosary beads
Charley blows tunes out his
notes float through the open window
touch the nose of summer clouds.
Charley overtakes himself with grief
and is ecstatically alone.
Charley plays a solo tune.
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