Michael Lee Johnson :: Halloween Poems ::


Not sure what a Southern Legitimacy Statement is but – in fact I lived in Titusville, Florida and worked at Cape Canaveral between 1966-1969.  I also returned after 10 yrs. in exile in Canada the Vietnam War & lived in Sebring, Florida for a time.

Halloween Poems

Fall Thunder

There is power in the thunder tonight, kettledrums.

There is thunder in this power.

The powder blends white lightning,

flour sifters in masks toss it around.

Rain plunges October night, and dancers

crisscross the night sky in white gowns.

Tumble, turn, swirl the night away, around,

leaves tape-record over, over, pound,

pound repeat falling to the ground.

Halloween falls on the children’s

knees and imaginations.


Witchy Halloween

Inside this late October 31st night,

this poem turns into a pumpkin.

Animation, something has gone

devilishly wrong with my imagery.

I take the lid off the pumpkin’s headlight

and the pink candles inside.

Demons cry, crawl, split, fly outsides —

escape through the pumpkin’s eyes.

I’m mixed in fear with this scary, strange creation.

Outside, quietly tapping Hazel the witch,

her broomstick against my windowpane rattles.

She says, “nothing seems to rhyme anymore,

nothing seems to make any sense,

but the night is young.

Give me back my magical bag of tricks.

As Robert Frost said:

  “But I have promises to keep,  

  And miles to go before I sleep.”

Resurrection Mary 

I learned years ago about true stories versus myths.

I learned early in hustle times to distinguish single cashback rewards

from whores-dime store dancers from proper dates, believers in white party dresses

I never worried about the lingo of my sentence structure in my life.

Until the resurrection, Resurrection Mary came along.

Life is a melody breather, philosopher of ghosts, past, pink pillow talk, and dreams.

Resurrection Mary was a factory worker always dressed in white satin on weekends.

Single life is a hollow road. A narrow highway passes with a cemetery nearby.

I was then a writer, a poet of screams, dementia, limited skills, and open skulls thoughts.

I hampered history into craniums, criminal minds, images of release, and sexual climax.

She kissed my breath and dreamed of fog, new beginnings when she was conscious.

I was a drifter of singles dances; she was a drifter in time, shadow maker.

I often breathed on her forehead, kissed fleeting lips, and left the body for legends

to toss carcass into the south wind those south gate storms.

Jesus is a perfume seller of night scent when midnight arrives.  

Jesus is aroused by an iron bar cemetery bender, stretcher of the nights into years.

Mary clutches her small purse, talks of injustice, and hitchhikes back and forth in time.

She posted her stamp on me, fooled my desires, her stopwatch clicked in time, then stopped.

Resurrection Mary still holds a French 75 cocktail at the end of the barstool in time.

Shake it off. No shame put those dancing shoes on one more time.

Anecdote:  Resurrection Mary is a well-known Chicago area ghost story. Of the “vanishing hitchhiker” type, the story takes place outside Resurrection Cemetery in Justice, Illinois, a few miles southwest of Chicago.  Wikipedia

Thunder, Witches, and Queen

I love this walk lightening on this isle

slide into your brain cells, I park.

I’m rolling heartache

in your love daggered night.

Your imaginary lover departs.

I stand on solid ground.

You tremble, pastor me, and preach,

I ping millions of fibers 

inside your blue hornet eyes,

tormented, dark visions-

black haunted night,

you scream out of pitch

“You bitch,

you’re nothing but thunder,

witches and queen.”

Manic is the Dark Night

Deep into the forest

the trees have turned

black, and the sun

has disappeared in

the distance beneath

the earth line, leaving

the sky a palette of grays

sheltering the pine trees

with pitch-tar shadows.

It is here in this black

and sky gray the mind

turns psycho

tosses norms and pathos

into a ground cellar of hell,

tosses words out through the teeth.

“Don’t smile or act funny,

try to be cute with me;

how can I help you today

out of your depression?”

I feel jubilant. I feel over the moon

with euphoric gaiety.