Poetry

August 6, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Stephen Percival photo

 

By

Michael Lee Johnson

 

 

 

Old Men Walk Funny

 

 

Old men walk funny with shadows and time eating at their heels.

Pediatric walkers, prostate exams, bend over, then most die.

They grow poor, leave their grocery list at home,

and forget their social security checks bank account numbers,

dwell on whether they wear dentures, uppers or lowers;

did they put their underwear on?

They can’t remember where they put down their glasses,

did they drop them on memory lane U.S. Route 66?

Was it watermelon wine or drive in movies they forgot their virginity in?

Hammered late evenings alone bottle up Mogen David wine madness

mixed with diet 7-Up, all moving parts squeak and crack in unison.

At night, they scream in silent dreams no one else hears,

they are flapping jaws sexual exchange with monarch butterfly wings.

Old men walk funny to the barbershop with gray hair, no hair;

sagging pants to physical therapy.

They pray for sunflowers above their graves,

a plot that bears their name with a poem.

They purchase their burial plots, pennies in a jar for years,

beggar’s price for a deceased wife.

Proverb:  in this end, everything that was long at one time is now passive,

or cut short. Ignore us old moonshiners, or poets that walk funny,

“they aren’t hurting anyone anymore.”

 

 

 

 

 

Just Because, Bad Heart

 

 

Just because I am old

do not tumble me dry.

Toss me away with those unused

Wheat pennies, Buffalo nickels, and Mercury dimes

in those pickle jars in the basement.

Do not bleach my dark memories

Salvation Army my clothes

to the poor because I died.

Do not retire me leave me a factory pension

in dust to history alone.

Save my unfinished poems refuse to toss them

into the unpolished alleyways of exile rusty trash barrows

just outside my window, just because I am old.

Do not create more spare images, adverbs

or adjectives than you need to bury me with.

Do not stand over my grave, weep,

pouring a bottle of Old Crow

bourbon whiskey without asking permission

if it can go through your kidney’s first.

When under stone sod I shall rise and go out

in my soft slippers in cold rain

dread no danger, pick yellow daffodils,

learn to spit up echoes of words

bow fiddle me up a northern Spring storm.

Do you bad heart, see in pine box of wood,

just because I got old.

 

 

 

 

 

Canadian Seasons – Exiled Poet

 

 

Walking across the seasons in exile

in worn out house slippers, summer in Alberta prairies-

snowshoes, cross-country skiing winter in Edmonton, Alberta.

I’m man captured in Canadian wilderness, North Saskatchewan River.

I embrace winters of this north call them mercy killers.

Exiled now 10 years here I turn rain into thunder,

days into loneliness, recuperate loss relationships into memories.

I’m warrior of the trade of isolation, crucifier of seasons

hang torment on their limbs.

Ever changing words shifting pain to palette fall colors and art.

I’m tiring of Gestalt therapy, being In and Out the Garbage Pail.

I’m no longer an Aristotelian philosopher seeking catharsis.

My Jesus is in a vodka bottle soaked with lime, lemon juice and disco dancing.

Pardon amnesty I’m heading south beneath border back to USA-

to revise the old poems and the new, create the last anthology,

open then close the last chapter,

collected works before the big black box.

I’m no longer peripatetic, seasons past.

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Lee Johnson

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 167 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.

Editor review

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.