Out of this poem grows a little desert flower. it is blue sorrow it waits for your return. You escape so you must from me refuge, folded, wrapped in cool spring rain leaves- avoiding July, August heat. South wind hellfire burns memories within you, branded I tattoo you, leave my mark, in rose barren fields fueled with burned and desert stubble. Yet I wait here, a loyal believer throat raw in thirst. I wrest thunder gods gathering ritual-prayer rain. It is lonely here grit, tears rub my eyes without relief. Yet I catch myself loafing away in the wind waiting fate to whisper those tiny messages writer of this storm welded wings, I go unnoticed but the burned eyes of red-tailed hawk pinch of hope, sheltered by the doves. I tip a toast to quench your thirst, one shot of Tequila my little, purple, desert flower.
I own a gate to this prairie that ends facing the Rocky Mountains. They call it Alberta trail of endless blue sky asylum of endless winters, hermitage of indolent retracted sun. Deep freeze drips haphazardly into spring. Drumheller, dinosaur badlands, dried bones, ancient hoodoos sculpt high, prairie toadstools. Alberta highway 2 opens the gateway of endless miles. Travel weary I stop by roadsides, ears open to whispering pines. In harmony North to South Gordon Lightfoot pitches out a tone "Alberta Bound." With independence in my veins, I am long way from my home.
Hazy Arizona Sky
Midnight, Sonoran Desert, sleep, baby talk, dust covering my eyelids. No need for covers, blankets, sunscreen, sand is my pillow. Adaptations morning fireball hurls into Arizona sky, survival shifts gears, momentum becomes a racecar driver baking down on cracked, crusted earth- makes Prickly Pear cactus open to visitors just a mirage, cactus naked spit and slice rubbery skull, glut open dreams, flood dry. Western cowboy wishes, whistles, and movies valley one cup of cool, clear, fool's desert gold dust refreshing poison of the valley. Bring desert sunflowers, sand dunes, bandanas, leave your cell phone at home.
Bio: Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. He is a Canadian and USA citizen. Today he is a poet, editor, publisher, freelance writer, amateur photographer, small business owner in Itasca, Illinois. He has been published in more than 915 small press magazines in 27 countries, and he edits 10 poetry sites. Author's website http://poetryman.mysite.com/. Michael is the author of The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom (136 page book) ISBN: 978-0-595-46091-5, several chapbooks of poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems. He also has over 103 poetry videos on YouTube as of 2015: https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videosMichael Lee Johnson, Itasca, IL. nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards for poetry 2015 & Best of the Net 2016. Visit his Facebook Poetry Group and join https://www.facebook.com/groups/807679459328998/