Four Poems by R.G. Johnson


A steel thought shatters into verbal shrapnel, expelled on an angry tsunami of liquid nitrogen. Taunts for attention thwart warm affection. Suddenly, I am a frightened kitten cowering beneath the descending black boot of the shadow clad goddess of agony. I attempt to strike back, but you’ve evaporated.
You watch your prey thrash for life from safe, touchless distances. Slit throats with the fluid strokes of calloused fingertips. Soulless clock faces vomit frigid figures into a dead meat world. Laughter flies from the spooky wood like a splash of frightened blackbirds.
I see the water in your eyes go still; stagnant as dammed bile. Lip corners curl the wicked smile. A trigger finger twitches from somewhere hidden and hopeless. The sniper blast is hollow; naked. The stars burn out. The world becomes an echo of a morgue.
I fall. I fail. Icy wings refuse to pull up from a missile dive into wormy dirt. The dead never rise; just lie in wait of rot.
Cubes in my whisky sculpt your blasphemous name. I am slain. Cold at every layer. I have become a bloodshot reflection of you. An agent of widespread contagion. A lie with a pulse.
You’ve healed me of my humanity, and loosed my rage upon the meek. I am wholly broken. I am a hole beneath the fallen leaves, waiting to swallow lost sheep by the herd.


210 cell types, all infused with throbbed lust. Wheeze as if dying, and slobber rapacious red thirst. Quivered pink apertures salivate, even in slumber, for candy behind glass, cash wads tucked into denim, and warm flesh calling silken siren songs from blue rayon cliffs. Strained jester scepters serpent moist caves like bullets projected through steely black chambers. Oh fire! Oh sinew! Ride on!
Hungry tongues that hang, warm and bodiless, in the cold evening air, beg and cajole to worm the tickly dermis, and light the sacred mental torches at all 4 corners of the bone helm altar. Prometheus krumps naked on a writhen meaty platform held by 400 tan Greek bodies; slithering, heat distorted serpents of Eden. Forbidden Pandora fruit drips with sugary sweat. Whole of the body shivers and moans. Weakness masquerades as power behind the spellbound eye, and the mouse falls over the lion to feast on its mighty girth. Oh pleasure! Oh pain! Ride sweet on waves of hot, wet blood.
Life laced with deathwish. Time trickled from erect pink nipples. Ice of civility melts away for an explosive moment, and the wolves take charge of the night. Howl with me upon nimbus sheets. Squirm with me upon this flawless imperfection. Touch the flame. We’ll let it lick us dry, and char our bones into glorious spirits; ash upon the breeze of a breathy forever. Oh fire! Oh soul! Ride on!
Ride hard!


Dust of my eyes; flecks of color that groan to dance on the wind. Salty tears like dreamy waves that lap the freckled white shores. Beach sand between toes and the laughter at momentarily unshelled hermit crabs sideling the shore of a mysterious universe.
An amalgamation of earth: red clay of Georgia, black mud of Louisiana, dirt from a bare Cherokee sole, white grains of South Florida in my gritty glare and the phosphorus glow of a starchy Irish grin. I come from the earth; she is a mother who nurses me when I’m weak, and, he, a father who corrects me when I’m wrong. They give me a place to stand while I long for the sea and the sky. Strong gravitational embrace never fails to hold me steadfast.
Roots of my soul run deep. I flower with her vibrant colors, bloom in her vast palms, give fruit flavored by the spice of his unfathomable understanding. My earthen family never fails me; I never stray too far from home.
From mud caked palms of a little boy at play that fidget and flex beneath the old marble surface, to that surface, itself, the cooked clay of old age setting in. When I finally return to the womb that birthed me, I will rise again, with the tall thin Georgia pines that dress the mountaintops, crawl to cool depths in the belly of a worm and wash myself clean in the spray of the ocean. Life on Earth never ends. We’re just like those hermit crabs we giggle at. We just change our clothes every now and then, and walk on to the next piece of dirt we’ll call home.


Night wind whispers the venial wisdom of glory in flight. Wings aflutter, beating hearts pump dreams into being; churn hyperbolic lies into modest gospel truths. A blue/green world sways in the breath of an endless song. A godly breath who majestically soars skyward, then dives into an open grave, and arises from the mouths of soul-stricken mortals with no less than life in its massive talons.
Lungs inflate, deflate and resonate though the pines in a bluesy sweet burst of pain and wonder. An eagle soars misty white caps of mountainous beauty. Eyelashes flutter from across a darkened chamber, and the gust nearly knocks my entire life into my nervous belly. Recharged cells wriggle and burn in their fleshy tomb. Beg to reach through the dank cell walls, and stroke the lightning charged gates of blessed Eternity.
Each time the body sucks in fuel, pathways to tomorrows open like the eyes of newborn children. Pale blue hope injected into stale brown stillness. Kings, paupers, beasts and plants drink the magic from one enormous trough, and ride its freeness to glories and glooms. Glue to hold together a cracked humanity.
All lives, all pieces of a shapeless puzzle. Birdsongs whistling through the cacophonous confusion and into a multifaceted harmony of souls. Winged flames on sure breezes headed wherever the tempest takes us. Headed homeward until Home exists.

Profile: R. G. Johnson

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