Skinny Indiana Boy
With a heart once as big as Texas
or Alberta where he came from,
the draft resister tries to erase
the memory of his sordid past;
coming out of the Rockies,
down over the slate, out of self-imposed exile,
he leaves the northland shaking his bandaged fists at the prairie sky.
He was robbed of his own conviction
by a war that ended, others forgot,
there was nothing left to die for, to wait for,
no more signs to carry in the dark -
only the chill of the northern winter left
to remind him of what he once felt,
once talked about.
The night looked long in his deep green eyes
robbing his faint life away.
The scream of loneliness has turned
his innards inside out to pity.
Non-religious accept for those
weakened moments, empty nights,
vacant lots, he leaves behind lightless
ten years of those silent wars
He no longer speaks with bullets bleeding
from his mouth, he no longer searches
the quiet whispers that echo in the pines.
Now he is at home near the land of Indiana lakes
where in his childhood he created the vision for his now dead dream,
content to say nothing radical anymore-
just glad to be alive.
Conformity Owns No Estate
I love adventure to toil with my mind,
the search of self, the bottle-necked life,
rolls violently on the shores.
Conformity rules the lives of men,
a dressed up world of dreams,
refusing to move from salt-soaked sands
to grasslands on higher plains.
People before me tread on the sands
sharing the beaches of numbers,
never forging forth to the front,
remaining content building castles
Stagnant conformity rules
their fates, a washed will surely come.
Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, Illinois. 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: http://stores.lulu.com/promomanusa. He also has 2 previous chapbooks available at: http://stores.lulu.com/poetryboy. Michael has been published in over 22 countries. He is also editor/publisher of four poetry sites, all open for submission, which can be found at his Web site: http://poetryman.mysite.com.