night is my storm lantern.
I carry it into this farmland
cutting into my harvest emotions
covered by snow
edge them in half
in front of me
see me open, bleeding.
I am seed like a small orange
pit me out and devour me
spit pulp and seed
I step on jagged edges
of my feelings, sense my pain
cut stretched skin with glass shavings
torture under toes hurt bad with pain.
Pitch that stuff with dark
black top tar if it makes
you feel relief.
Do not laugh at me, a circus clown down,
I am 66; my dimples show smiles, ripples, age.
This day is a lawn mower
even in Canadian December.
Machinery is shacked-up, covered.
I plow beneath the white surface
cut rotten leaves beneath settled snow.
The aggravation, this cultivation
of nonsense, and hell there is my runny nose.
In spring, the grass never pops up right.
All day, night is my storm lantern.
MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era: now known as the Itasca, IL poet. 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 750 small press magazines in 26 countries, he edits 7 poetry sites. Michael is the author of The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom (136 pages book), several chapbooks of poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems. He also has over 69 poetry videos on YouTube.