Archive for the ‘Secular poetry’ Category

Announcing; Winter in Colorado


Thick frosted branches

Coated with fresh fallen snow:

Winter is now here.

_____________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2013

MIDNIGHT QUEEN (Part 2)


Midnight Queen


It was the eve of Halloween

when all but the moon

went dark and unseen,

except for the glow

of lanterns lit

along the street

on Madison Row.

When down the walk

came Midnight Queen

looking for food,

or mice to stalk.

A pumpkin like torch,

with a smiling face 

sat perched on a porch

when a door opened wide, 

and a quaint, old woman

welcomed her inside.

Dressed all in black,

she had light-colored eyes

 that glowed and twinkled  

like the stars in the skies.

Could this be fate, 

for Midnight Queen to

a find a home on

Halloween?

______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2013)

A seed planted…

HPIM1931_thumb.jpg

A seed planted, hides

In soil watered till blossomed

Kissed by the sun, grows

___________________

Joyce E. Johnson

Where are the nuts?


Hey! Where are the nuts?

This is not acceptable!

And birds eat this stuff?

_______________

Joyce E. Johnson

Spring Roses


Garden fresh bright red

Roses fill my crystal vase

Bringing spring indoors

________________

Joyce E. Johnson, 2013

Show me…

Show me that you care

To be the friend I can trust

With no strings attached.

______________

Joyce E. Johnson

Sunny Days


I can hardly wait

For bright sunny days to come

To plant my spring blooms

_____________________

Joyce E. Johnson

THROUGH THE NAKED EYE

3-15-2013, mountains, RMNP 0013-15-2013, mountains, RMNP 0033-15-2013, mountains, RMNP 006

3-15-2013, mountains, RMNP 0073-15-2013, mountains, RMNP 0083-15-2013, mountains, RMNP 009

3-15-2013, mountains, RMNP 0113-15-2013, mountains, RMNP 0133-15-2013, mountains, RMNP 014

3-15-2013, mountains, RMNP 015

THROUGH THE NAKED EYE

With careful steps I place my feet

between large boulders that hug the ground

and rocky mounds of prickly scrub,

and listen with earnest ears the sound

of raptors large that soar in flight

to peaks: their summits reach the  skies

 far beyond my naked sight.

Where is one greater, a scene to view

a mountain sought, on land or sea

where one’s eyes can travel to

 these lofty, high majestic heights

for the traveler passing through?

_____________

Poem by: Joyce E. Johnson – 2013

THE RETURNING SAILOR

The below story poem is a narrative ballad I wrote many years ago. I posted this last June on my blog, but am re-posting it for this week’s word prompt on Geraldine’s Woven Dreams: A Creative Prompt Blog. This week’s word prompt is alive. I hope you enjoy the story and comments are always welcomed.

__________________

THE RETURNING SAILOR

Down the coast and out to sea,

a voice, a whisper beckons me.

It is the sound of her calling my name.

Would she still love me, a man with my shame?

Will she remember the hands that caressed

her face and body, and how I confessed

of the love and tenderness for her in my heart,

wrenched and torn, when we had to part?

Now, I’m returning and will look for her,

alive with the burning desire to stir

the love we shared when I left for the sea.

I pray she’s still there, waiting for me.

There was a fight. Oh, God! What a mess.

It was late that night. I drank to excess.

I did not know, but did not care

that her husband knew of our love affair.

Coming alive with a fist to my jaw

intent on surviving once the knife I saw

I sprang with shifting feet in dread,

landing a blow with my right to his head,

then felt the piercing pain and might

of flashing silver turned crimson bright.

With his knife to my flesh, and muscle it tore.

Bleeding and enraged I came down and bore

the knife I captured, to his chest then came

in self-defense went at him the same.

His breathing stilled, and he lay dead.

Was justice served this way instead?

I went away broken, feeling despair

leaving her behind, her grief to bear.

Like an anchor weighed down

with heavy remorse

wherever I sailed, wherever my course

I could not forget how she once loved me.

Now I’m returning from a dark, cold sea.

_________________

Poem by: Joyce E. Johnson

THE PROMISE OF SPRING



When I look out my window

And I see fresh snow

I wonder when, and where is spring.

But, to every season

And for all, I know

There is a right time

For all that blooms has yet to open.

Maybe not now: they are but buds,

But nurtured they will grow,

And with that they promise

That spring is here,

The season will blossom,

And the time is right

For my lilies to bloom.

_______________

Joyce E. Johnson – 2013


COMING TOGETHER

 COMING TOGETHER

Like a word, or a sentence, a phrase or verse

it is but a piece, yet a necessary part;

But to the reader, must impact, or connect

and weave it must, down into their soul,

each word a necessary part of the piece,

like threads or strands fit to the form

they weave in and out, perfectly placed,

side by side, and through the grain,

all coming together like one as a whole

 the story made stronger till unified;

But, if one word weaves not to shape,

hold the story, mold or create,

it must be pulled out, for it will weaken

 the piece of work or art just made;

then the finished whole of a project completed

will stand alone, and be made strong.

Often times it’s much like life

trying to fit together as one

like the phrases or words

created and shaped:

 its become  the lesson for

the weaver in me.

_________

Joyce E. Johnson, 2013

The Night The Lights Came On At The Plaza

The below story is fiction. Formatted to be read like a poetic prose. It is my submission for this week’s Friday Fictioneers writing group based on a photo prompt, hosted and led by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Comments and feedback are welcomed.

*************

I’d not been back in years, but the memories still fresh.

All that happened out on the square.

The night the lights came on at the Plaza.

The years passed slowly. I had no news

where to look, or if he’d married.

Then I get a call and he wants to meet.

At the sidewalk café where we sipped our wine, and

I lost myself in his aqua blue eyes.

He left suddenly, with no explanation.

A man too mysterious, with too little to give back.

There he is, waiting and watching,

like a spy coming out of the cold.

Joyce E. Johnson

*******************

WAY BACK WHEN I COULDN’T COMPUTE

WAY BACK WHEN I COULDN’T COMPUTE

Way back when I was young, and in school there was once

A time when I couldn’t ‘download’ or ‘install’.

My brain would not ‘process’, and I felt like a dunce.

I needed a tutor, but who could I call?

I suffered through ‘overload’, a ‘surge’, and a ‘crash’,

Didn’t ‘click’, or ‘hook’ on to every ‘program’ taught.

There was always the ‘geek’ who caught on in a flash

They could ‘update’ and ‘process’ every ‘dot’ and ‘dash’.

To be like him, or her I needed to ‘upgrade’.

But how to get my brain to ‘compute’,

‘Protect and secure,’ every ‘password’ and ‘name’,

And ‘send’ and ‘mail’ it all back to my brain

Where it would stay ‘saved’, ‘backed up’, and remain

Forever in ‘memory’ with no loss, stress or strain.

Joyce E. Johnson

The above poem was submitted to Reason 2 Rhyme using a Monday word prompt

*****************


Posted August 27, 2012 by Joyce in Poems, Secular poetry, Writing

Tagged with ,

Poem – THE RETURNING SAILOR

THE RETURNING SAILOR

Down the coast and out to sea,

a voice, a whisper beckons me.

It is the sound of her calling my name.

Would she still love me, a man with my shame?

Will she remember the hands that caressed

her face and body, and how I confessed

of the love and tenderness for her in my heart,

wrenched and torn, when we had to part?

Now, I’m returning and will look for her,

alive with the burning desire to stir

the love we shared when I left for the sea.

I pray she’s still there, waiting for me.

There was a fight. Oh, God! What a mess.

It was late that night. I drank to excess.

I did not know, but did not care

that her husband knew of our love affair.

Coming alive with a fist to my jaw

intent on surviving once the knife I saw

I sprang with shifting feet in dread,

landing a blow with my right to his head,

then felt the piercing pain and might

of flashing silver turned crimson bright.

With his knife to my flesh, and muscle it tore.

Bleeding and enraged I came down and bore

the knife I captured, to his chest then came

in self-defense went at him the same.

His breathing stilled, and he lay dead.

Was justice served this way instead?

I went away broken, feeling despair

leaving her behind, her grief to bear.

Like an anchor weighed down

with heavy remorse

wherever I sailed, wherever my course

I could not forget how she once loved me.

Now I’m returning from a dark, cold sea.

*************

Poem by: Joyce E. Johnson

Poem – THE DUEL

THE DUEL

Poem by: Joyce E. Johnson © 2009

 

A blushing face under a bonnet one day

Stopped my heart and roving eyes that May.

With swishing skirt she coyly walked,

  Her voice, a soft whisper when she talked.

Could she have known? Did she see?

Could she tell from my look how she affected me?

She was like sweet nectar on a flower to be

  Planted beneath the old withered tree.

 Some will say that love is blind,

  That eyes cannot see what the heart doth find;

 A moment of pleasure, a moment in time,

 No word spoken and no thought of mind.

 Like a love that is destined from the start

 Like a bud in bloom from out of the heart.

 Pledging her love that day to me

We embraced beneath the old withered tree.

But there came another. Bold was he

intent on stealing my sweetheart from me.

“Too experienced in love,” they say,

he charmed his way to her heart that May.

His reputation followed. Stories told

 of “a man who broke hearts, was callous and cold.”

I hoped she’d come back and want only me

to be married beneath the old withered tree.

Her hair in the wind, her face from the sun

  trying to protect me, she started to run.

Wanting to shield me, she came to cover

my body from the bullet, the one from her lover.

She fell silent to the ground alongside me

 her skirt turning red against my knee.

I carried her back to the spot where we

  once sat beneath the old withered tree.

Yes, I was in love, and I was the fool

to challenge her lover to a duel:

the man who stole from me is now gone.

My remorse and regret adds more upon

 my guilt and the sound of the wind like a song

singing a sad refrain of what I did wrong:

it plays a eulogy for my sweetheart where she

   lies buried beneath the old withered tree.

***************

 

The Forest

The Forest

 

Poem by: Joyce E. Johnson

There is a knoll of land

Where the pines and fir still stand,

As if at attention answering the call

They receive the birds and game of small.

The winds carry their song

Through the nestled branches long.

It is to those that find

With solace to the mind

A place kept to retreat

Where the air still smells of sweet

Flowers growing wild,

 Pines that drop their fruit,

And leaves that follow suit.

For all the seasons to come,

And all the seasons of past

This knoll of land lies in wait

And beckons to be last

To join the host of trees that boast

To greatness lest they fall

To fate, succumbed, cut and quartered

They surrender to the saw.

**********

THE OAK and the STARLING

starling on a tree

starling on a tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

THE OAK AND THE STARLING

 

By Joyce E. Johnson © 2006

 

Like breezes that blow scattering leaves astray

So it was with the starling from the north that day.

Carried to earth some distance away

By the wind’s strong force, on the ground it lay.

Like a tiny glider it was off on its own,

Having traveled so far its venture unknown.

It was quick to land and needed rest

For it grew too late to build a nest.

Now like a tower there stood strong, but not still

A tree of might, of force, and will.

Its branches did sway with ease and grace,

And rooted so deeply down under its base

Was the largest trunk he had ever seen.

And so it was with this starling so keen

Who grew weary and afraid for the night had begun

To consume the light left behind from the sun.

Where can he take his refuge this night?

The leaves floated down, airy and slight.

He gathered them into a crunchy warm pile,

Then snuggled down in it to rest for a while.

The tree stood proud as a sentry in view,

And like a protector to the starling it knew

This would make a good place for the bird to nest,

For the Oak was the biggest, wisest and best.

The hours passed on and daylight broke.

Breaking the silence the starling spoke,

“What kind of tree must you surely be,

that you stand with greatness over others that I see?

That you speak with age and dignity,

Yet, share your covering, I will not forget;

Your strength and fortitude to me you let.”

Tree leaves rustled. The limbs would creak.

The staunch, old giant began to speak,

“The rings on my trunk tell my history be it told

that I am an Oak and a hundred years old.

I’ve sheltered many a wildlife and prey.

But they soon move on and cannot stay.”

The starling found twigs for his nest to assemble.

The tree fanned its breezes, a soft like tremble

Sending its whispering covers to rest

On the starling, his friend asleep in its nest.

 

**************

Posted April 21, 2012 by Joyce in Nature Walks, Photography, Poems, Seasons, Secular poetry, Spring, Writing

Tagged with , , ,

Redeeming the L…

Redeeming the Lost

 By: Joyce E. Johnson

The wandering lone man sat down by the track.

He could not hide nor change the fact

While watching people board the train,

That he smelled no better than the sewer drain.

His body sick, and tired in its shell,

Aching from the cold grew accustomed to the smell.

He could once pick from hats, and socks

When he stayed at the shelter down by the boat docks.

  But another man forced him outside on the stairs

 When it became crowded. Now his socks had tears.

He still had the marks from when he was beaten.

He lost count of the number of days he’d last eaten.

He could remember when he was young

Recalling the words from his mother that stung,

“I can’t keep you. Fend for yourself.”

Then left in a hurry with no food on the shelf

She packed and ran off with some strange man

Leaving him alone, saying, “I’m going with Stan.”

The experience turned his heart to stone.

He had no other place to live or call home.

He raised his head as if hearing a sound.

He’d fallen asleep on the damp, hard ground.

 Blinking with wonder what appeared was a vision

Stood a figure beside him; not scorn or derision

Helping him up from the ground where he lay

 His touch comforting, not a word did he say.

The sound of singing and joyful noise heard

From a candle lit hallway soft music spurred

Him to follow the angel into the light

Of a church that welcomed him to dinner this night.

A splintered old cross was raised on one wall,

       Loincloth and crown of thorns lay propped in the hall.

While seated and served in the banquet room,

He heard about a Savior, and an empty tomb.

From out of the clutches of despair and strife,

   Walked a wandering, lone man into redemption and life.

*******************

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