Michael Lee Johnson

Michael Lee Johnson lived 10 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 1072 new publications, his poems have appeared in 38 countries, he edits, publishes 10 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 2018.199 poetry videos are now on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos.  Editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762; editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available here   https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545352089.  Editor-in-chief Warriors with Wings:  the Best in Contemporary Poetryhttp://www.amazon.com/dp/1722130717.

Dance of Tears, Chief Nobody

I’m old Indian chief story
plastered on white scattered sheets,
Caucasian paper blowing in yesterday’s winds.

I feel white man’s presence
in my blindness-
cross over my ego my borders
urinates over my pride, my boundaries-
I cooperated with him until
death, my blindness.

I’m Blackfoot proud, mountain Chief.
 
I roam southern Alberta,
toenails stretch to Montana,
born on Old Man River−
prairie horse’s leftover
buffalo meat in my dreams.
Eighty-seven I lived in a cardboard shack.
My native dress lost, autistic babbling.
I pile up worthless treaties, paper burn 
white man.

 Now 94, I prepare myself an ancient pilgrimage,
back to papoose, landscapes turned over.

 I walk through this death baby steps,
no rush, no fire, nor wind, hair tangled−
earth possessions strapped to my back rawhide−
sun going down, moon going up,
witch hour moonlight.

 I’m old man slow dying, Chief nobody.

 An empty bottle of fire-water whiskey
lies on homespun rug,
cut excess from life,
partially smoked homemade cigar-
barely burning,
that dance of tears.

Missing Feeding of the Birds

Keeping my daily journal diary short
these sweet bird sounds lost-
reviews January through March.
Joy a dig deep snow on top of my sorrows.
Skinny naked bones sparrows these doves
beneath my balcony window,
lie lifeless without tweet
no melody lost their sounds.

 These few survivors huddle in scruffy bushes.
Gone that plastic outdoor kitchen bowl that held the seeds.

 I drink dated milk, distraught rehearse nightmares of childhood.
Sip Mogen David Concord Wine with diet 7Up.
Down sweet molasses and pancake butter.
I miss the feeding of the birds, these condominiums regulations,
callous neighbors below me, Polish complaints.
Their parties, foul language, Polish songs late at night,
these Vodka mornings-no one likes my feeding of birds.

 I feel weak and Jesus poor, starving, I can’t feed the birds.
I dry thoughts merge day with night, ZzzQuil, seldom sleep.

 Guilt I cover my thoughts of empty shell spotted snow
these fragments, bone parts and my prayers-
Jesus dwelling in my brain cells, dead birds outside.
I miss feeding of the birds.

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