Monday 1 March 2021

Five Fabulous Poems by Michael Lee Johnson


Virus in the Air, Spasms in my Back

By Michael Lee Johnson


There's a virus in the air, but I can't see it.

People are dying around me, but I can't save them.

There are spikes pierced in my back,

spasms, but I can't touch them.

Heartbeats, hell pulsating, my back muscles,

I covet in my prayers.

I turn right to the left, in my bed, then hang still.

Nails impaled, I bleed hourly,

Jesus on that cross.

Now 73 years of age, my half-sister 92,

told me, "getting old isn't for sissies."

I didn't believe her—

until the first mimic words

out of "Kipper" my new parakeet's mouth,

sitting in his cage alone were 

"Daddy, it's not easy being green."

Leaves in December

By Michael Lee Johnson


Leaves, a few stragglers in

December, just before Christmas,

some nailed down crabby

to ground frost,

some crackled by the bite

of nasty wind tones.


Some saved from the matchstick

that failed to light.

Some saved from the rake

by a forgetful gardener.


For these few freedom dancers

left to struggle with the bitterness:

wind dancers

wind dancers

move you are frigid

bodies shaking like icicles 

hovering but a jiffy in the sky,

kind of sympathetic to the seasons,

reluctant to permanently go, rustic,

not much time more to play.

Group Therapy

By Michael Lee Johnson


Wind chimes.

It’s going to rain tonight, thunder.

I’m going to lead the group tonight talking

about Rational Emotive Therapy,

belief challenges thought change,

Dr. Albert Ellis.

I’m a hero in my self-worship,

self-infused patient of my pain,

thoughtful, probabilistic atheism

with a slant toward Jesus in private.

Rules roll gently creeping

through my body with arthritis 

a hint of mental pain.

Sitting in my 2001 Chevy S-10 truck,

writing this poem, late as usual.

It’s going to rain, thunder

heavy tonight.

Fiction Girl


By Michael Lee Johnson


Drawings, then poems flip over to fiction; 

the flash girl rides this ghost of the invention.

Insecure in youth, switch girl from drawing

to poetry, extension flight, outer fiction space,

yours is a manner of words at work. 

Mercury is a god of movement.

A new skill set, brain twister, releases 100 free plays.

Life is a version of old times, fresh starts, torn yellow pages.

I focused on you last night; I watched your head spin

in sleep, a new playhouse of tree dreams, high shifting.

Changes are leaves; I lift your spirits to the gods of fire,

offer you thunderbolts practice your shooting in heaven

or hell, or toss back to earth.

Change is a choice where your energy flows.

No computer gods will help this poetic journey.

May you cry out loud on route to fairy tale creations.

You are the chemist, the mixer girl shifting gears.

Creativity is how the gallery of galaxies cement.

Flash fiction lines cross stars.

Cold Grey (V2)

Below the clouds

forming in my eyes,

your soft eyes,

delicate as warm silk words,

used to support the love I held for you.


Cold, now grey, the sea tide

inside turns to poignant foam

upside down separates-

only ghosts now live between us.


Yet, dreamlike, fortune-teller,

bearing no relation to reality-

my heart is beyond the sea now.

A relaxing breeze sweeps

across the flat surface of me.

I write this poem to you,

neglectfully sacrificing our love.

I leave big impressions

with a terrible hush inside.

Grey bones now bleach with memories,

I’m a solitary figure standing

here, alone, along the shoreline.



Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, DuPage County, Illinois. Mr. Johnson published in more than 2,013 new publications, and his poems have appeared in 40 countries, he edits, publishes ten poetry sites. Michael Lee Johnson has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, 2 Best of the Net 2018.  Two hundred twenty-four poetry videos are now on YouTube Editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze:; editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available here

Editor-in-chief Warriors with Wings:  The Best in Contemporary Poetry,  Member Illinois State Poetry Society:  


  1. Awesome verse and loved the bio Wow allot of credits to your name. Impressive.

  2. Thank you Eva, you are not too bad yourself.


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