top of page

Poetry of Michael Lee Johnson


Outside, summer is dying into fall,
and blue daddy petunias sprout ears -
hear the beginning of night chills.
In their yellow window box,
they cuddle up and fear death together.
The balcony sliding door
is poorly insulated, and a cold draft
creeps into all the spare rooms.

© Michael Lee Johnson


If you must leave me, please
leave me for something special,
like a beautiful bowl of black petunias -
for when the memories leak
and cracks appear
and old memories fade,
flowers rebuff bloom,
sidewalks fester weeds
and we both lie down
separately from each other
for the very last time.

© Michael Lee Johnson

(Hillbilly Daddy)

I settle into my thoughts
zigzagging between tears
my fathers' grave -
Tippecanoe River
Indiana 1982.
Over now,
a hillbilly country
like the flow
catfish memories
raccoons in trees
coon dogs tracking
on the river bank,
the hunt.
Snapping turtles
in the boat
offline -
river flakes
to ice -
now covered
thick snow.

© Michael Lee Johnson


Now that I desire to be close to you
like two occupants sharing a twin bed
sensing the warmth of sweating shoulders,
hungering for your flesh like a wild wolf
leaning over an empty carcass,
you're off searching unexplored cliffs,
climbing dangerous mountain tops,
capturing bumblebees in broken beer bottles for
biology class,
pleasing plants, parachuting from clouds for fun.
In shadows, you're closer to life, nonsense,
a princess of absurdity, a collector
of dreams and silent sounds.
In clouds, you build your own fantasy.
Share it with select celebrities.
But till this captive discovers cure for caring,
a way of rescuing insatiable insanity,
or lives long enough to be patient in longing for
you -
you must be vigilant,
for with time, snow will surely
blanket this warm desire.

© Michael Lee Johnson

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet in the greater Chicagoland area, IL. He has 293 YouTube poetry videos. Michael Lee Johnson is an internationally published poet in 44 countries, a song lyricist, and has several published poetry books, has been nominated for 6 Pushcart Prize awards, and 6 Best of the Net nominations. He is the editor-in-chief of 3 poetry anthologies, all available on Amazon, and has several poetry books and chapbooks. He has over 473 published poems. Michael is the administrator of 6 Facebook Poetry groups.
More of his books can be found on Amazon:

Dandelion in a Vase of Roses: A Poetry Anthology of Diverse Poets and Countries

Warriors With Wings: The Best Contemporary Poetry: Poetry Anthology

Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze

Michael Lee Johnson is a member of the Illinois State Poetry Society

Poetry of Michael Lee Johnson
bottom of page