Saturday, 29 September 2007

If I Were Young Again by Michael Lee Johnson

Piecemeal summer dies.
The spread of long winter blanket again.
For ten years I have lived in exile,
Locked in this rickety cabin, shoulder
Pushed up against the open Alberta sky.
If I were young again I’d sing of the coolness of high
Mountain snow flowers, the sprinkle of night glow-blue
I would dream & stretch slim fingers into the distant nowhere,
Yawn slowly over the endless prairie miles.
Prairie & grassland where in summer silence grows
& spreads eagle wings out like warm honey.
If I were young again I’d eat pine cones, food of birds,
Share meals with wild animals; I’d have as much dessert as wanted,
Reach out into blue sky & lick the clouds off my fingers.
But I’m not young anymore & my thoughts torment,
Are raw & overworked, sharpened misery from torture
Of war & childhood.
For ten years now I have lived locked in this unstable cabin,
Inside the rush of summer winds,
Outside the air beaten dim with snow.

Michael Lee Johnson, Chicago, USA


Crafty Green Poet said...

Mr. Michael Lee Johnson lives in Chicago, IL. after spending 10 years in Edmonton, Alberta Canada
during the Viet Nam era. He is a freelance writer and poet. He is interested in social, religious topics, and the need for universal health care in the United States. He is presently self-employed, with a previous background in social service areas. He has a B.A. degree in sociology, worked on a Masters Program in Correctional Administration.

I like to publish poetry seasonally where I can, this poem mentions both summer and winter, so I'm publishing in autumn.

Linda said...

Michael, this poem is very well crafted. Your images are tight and vivid. I especially like "lick the clouds off my fingers." Also, the way the opposites rub against each other, reminds me of my own years of summer and winter. well done! ~Linda

Michael Lee Johnson said...

Thank you Linda for the kind comments. Michael Lee Johnson.

Tina Trivett said...

"lick the clouds off my fingers" is my favorite line as well. This is a very vivid piece. Very nice.

Rethabile said...

"Prairie & grassland where in summer silence grows
& spreads eagle wings out like warm honey."

That's an awesome image that says a lot. I've been to places like that (even if I haven't, that's the beauty of a strong image).