Volume III (Summer 2008)
ISSN 1934-4324

Michael Lee Johnson

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.


A Poem Of The Night

a poem

is a thought

of flowers

near frost,

dangling stiff

bitten by

the vampire of

late fall,

hanging desolate

near dusk

from a pot

on a patio porch-

with a yellow bulb

light beaming

conspicuously outward

over chilled

yellow green

glazed grass.

While my cat Nikki

hunches over a coffee,

table, toasty & warm,

nose pressed

super glue

to the window

on guard for

passing birds,


utility vans

with large bubble eyes.

In This Place,

Poverty Falls

In this place

night falls

with Linda.

Wrinkled life, wrinkled wishes

race across her face.

Torment bristles with each morning.

Nailed to a cross within her house,

Linda lives.

Everything is a cycle,

a charity or gift.

Poverty is an odor,

it is a smell her

nose is lose with.

In the yard, poverty grass,

Near the old car, poverty grass.

Poverty tastes like metal on her tongue.

On this journey with no applause,

no gas, Nicor shut that off.

No money, laziness shut that off.

House full of bills & debris.

With no relief dollars shrink

in her hand harmlessly.

Rest & wait in welfare lines,

manipulate the coins.

Electric heaters keep the old house warm

and the multiple pets alive.

The microwave heats the plastic salad bowl

filled with water for sponge baths.

The left over water mixes with

hydrogen peroxide brushes her teeth.

Her body pale & spirits bail

out with pills.

Groceries are checks

nourished by food stamps.

Walls come closer in at night.

The wind outside roars

with stolen property inside.

Dreary days, step

into depression;

a slice of her mourning

pronounces her dead.

Being held accountable

in God’s attic she smiles.

Induced my the blue sky,

the night falls.