Thursday, January 15, 2015

Michael Lee Johnson - Possum Slim / Poem of Sinners and Saints

Possum Slim (V2)

105 years old today
Possum Slim finally
gets his GED,
drinks gin,
talks with the dead.
“Strange kind of folks
come around here,
strange ghosts”
he says, “come
creeping pretty regular.
Just 2 ghosts,
the only woman I ever loved,
the only woman I ever shot dead.”






Poem of Sinners and Saints (V2)

Sinners hurt.
Moonlight cracks open
like a walnut, spreads soft light across open sky.
Sinners hurt.
They dart to alleyways, bury themselves behind
their own trails shaking fists at the sky;
hiding their nasty nonsense in shame,
city buildings rattle their bricks, mortar loose at their rib cage.
Where do sinners break out from when their deeds exposed?
All men think they are sword men daggers in darkness.
All women think they are entry points leaning against brick walls,
slender on sidewalks past midnight,
nothing but shadows, twitching of lips.
Women look for drawing cards in their makeup kits.
No one cares jackals, scavengers, men tempted by night.
Thunder dreams hammer at their ears,
rain urinate sins on street corners,
mice crawl away to small places shamed.
Footsteps scatter directions as sunlight sprouts.
Misdeeds carry no names with them
they trip blind, racing to morning jobs.

Early morning crows fly.
Sin hurts staples in women's lungs, staples dagger in men's ribs.






Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era:  now known as the Illinois poet, from Itasca, IL.  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 875 small press magazines in 27 countries, he edits 9 poetry sites.  Michael is the author of The Lost American:  "From Exile to Freedom", several chapbooks of poetry, including "From Which Place the Morning Rises" and "Challenge of Night and Day", and "Chicago Poems".  He also has over 71 poetry videos on YouTube.

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