By Michael Lee Johnson

Witchy Halloween

Inside this late October 31st night,
this poem turns into a pumpkin.
Animation, something has gone
devilishly wrong with my imagery.
I take the lid off the pumpkin’s head
light the pink candles inside.
Demons, cry, crawl, split, fly outsides —
escape, through the pumpkin’s eyes.
I’m mixed in fear with this scary, strange creation.
Outside, quietly tapping Hazel the witch,
her broomstick against my window pane rattles.
She says, “nothing seems to rhyme anymore,
nothing seems to make any sense,
but the night is young.
Give me back my magical bag of tricks.
As Robert Frost said:
   “But I have promises to keep,  
   And miles to go before I sleep.”

Deep in My Couch

Deep in my couch 
of magnetic dust,
I am a bearded old man.
I pull out my last bundle 
of memories beneath
my pillow for review.
What is left, old man,
cry solo in the dark.
Here is a small treasure chest
of crude diamonds, a glimpse 
of white gold, charcoal, 
fingers dipped in black tar.
I am a temple of worship with trinket dreams,
a tea kettle whistling ex-lovers boiling inside.
At dawn, shove them under, let me work.
We are all passengers traveling
on that train of the past—
senses, sins, errors, or omissions
deep in that couch.

Nightlife Jungle Beat, Bar Next Door

Like all thing’s life changes, its melodies fragment.
It breaks pieces apart, then they drift, then shatter.
The singers of songs love bars,
naked bodies, consistencies, and inconsistencies
that make it burn all turn outright night.
They like to drum repeat rhythms and sounds.
Poets like to retreat to dens
of pleasure just like these.
Sing poets sing off-key
free verse notes down by the bridge,
near the river as far as their voices
will carry them away.
It is the nature of difference,
indifference the vocabulary of us confused,
minds between insanity
and genius.
The hermit asks for
a public forum in shyness,
while treading to the bar
next door for a shot of tequila
no money, no life.

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, DuPage County, Illinois. Mr. Johnson is published in more than 2033 new publications. His poems have appeared in 42 countries; he edits and publishes ten poetry sites. He is the administrator of six Facebook poetry groups; he has several new poetry chapbooks coming out soon. He has over 533 published poems to date. Michael Lee Johnson is an internationally published poet 42 countries, nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards and 5 Best of the Net nominations.  234 poetry videos are now on YouTube

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