Night Flight -credit T.S. Eliot poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

With great abandon, here go I,

with wings a-beating in the sky

I crafted them upon my table;

now drying them in windy streets,

when laughed at, my visage here retreats

 

Sometimes find me in hotels

after collecting stones and shells:

till erupts an argument

twas not my original intent

When then they ask a vague question …

“What is it?”

 

I respond, you must go visit

and when you finally actually go

you’ll hear me think ‘bout Michelangelo.

 

Within the oil stained window-panes,

inventions brew, and so do pains,

I work until the late evening,

making things that look like drains,

as smoke puffs from warm chimneys,

 

Now testing, I take a fearless leap,

and deep, I fly into the night,

while all my friends are fast asleep.

 

Then quickly, not heeding time

over the mountain, past the street,

reflecting wings on window-panes;

there will be time, there will be time

to prepare a flight to faces meet;

 

And then more wings I will create,

for all the other idle hands

who love adventure on their plate;

but then will be no time for me,

with feathers plucked and indecisions,

and for a hundred visions and revisions

till I can rest with morning tea.

 

Till then will people come and go

Talking of Michelangelo. 

 

And then soon will come a time

to dream, to even dare?”

time to appear upon the stair,

and with a flutter of my hair —

but now the air is growing thin!

my harness cradling waist and chin,

if I left out a single pin

my wings they do look awfully thin!

Do I dare 

Disturb the universe

 

I do this all the time

make snap revisions which a second shall reverse.

 

And now go feathers one and all:

not in evening but afternoon,

I have created new wings with spoons;

I hear the screams as I fall

as if already they see the emergency room.

             What do they presume?

 

Those eyes who witnessed my fall all—

mutter a horrifying phrase,

then when I feel as needles and pins,

I view that hole of light in wall,

this is how shall my end begin

in heaven with its winged ways?

               And what do they presume?

 

-Sandra Johnson, 6/23/19

Magik Boy

He’s a little magik boy

known to fiction and real world joy

millions love his special gift

many enrobe themselves and lift

their wands in unison, a rift

and instantly the world’s adrift

 

Uttering lyrical rhythmic words

swish and flick may sound absurd

but we adore the learned mimes

and pretending in medieval times

 

Bravery and brains alike

Potter and friends they take a hike

but at their heels shall always be

whose name must not be uttered, he

 

That wizard casts a glowering cloud

‘cross every non-death eater around

man and woman, boy and girl

shudder from his gloomy swirl

 

But we, at Disney can pretend

to vanquish Riddle in the end

with scar across our muggle pates

we raise our wands

and dream our fates.

 

– 6/22/19, Sandra Johnson

Never Lost

If blue bonnets I happen to see

or armadillos, lizards in trees

and country music moves the knees

I know in Texas I must be.

 

And now upon a triangular tower

surrounded by art for the eyes to devour

and mourning our lady – blackened, dour

I’m in France’s Paris flower.

 

Then, I spy an old cracked bell

the place of independence, as well

I’d in Philly’s brotherly love dwell.

 

North a bit, and there’s a rock

it’s smaller now with time’s tick tock

the seafood’s great, and Fenway’s grand

when e’er I visit Boston’s land.

 

Out west, looking down afar

the rivers cut rock walls under stars

below the donkeys carefully ride

thru Colorado’s Canyon and survive.

 

South now, and the Cajuns speak,

“who dat?” is what the sports fans tweet

beignets and frog legs are cuisine

and brightly-shining Mardi Gras beads

New Orleans is this flashy scene.

 

East again, and all I see

are vegetables, corn, carrots, peas

one gambler’s famous city be

Surely I’m home, in New Jersey.

 

Where e’er I go, the land tells me

any place I happen to be

from Florida below to Paris above

not lost, but found in the lands I love.

 

-Sandra Johnson, 6/22/19

Pot-valor

The timid man, he comes alive

when alcohol he does imbibe

 

he acts in haste and quickly mocks

becomes a growling, yelling cock

 

whatever is bugging him

bursts out like bees from hive within

 

if you’re his enemy, beware

the spit-stained words you’ll surely bear

 

if once, he ever bought a lemon

those skids be clearly seen from Heaven

 

and if a job he clearly hated

the boss evermore be under rated

 

the girls who nixed him hastily

will wish they called him back, times three

 

but then, when this guy sober is

he thanks the Lord he didn’t fizz.

 

-Sandra Johnson, 6/22/2019

From Les Mis – Nightmare

She, seated on the bed

might it have been half-past five? she said

separated from what was to be

arteries, body ticking like a watch’s plea.

 

A double march going

crime on one side, justice knowing

tho’ not afraid, shuddered she

of what was surely soon to be.

 

Assailed by adventure unforeseen

the day produced a hazy dream,

to persuade it was a nightmare, so

moon disengaged from foggy bow

and light, mingled with fallen snow

 

Now twas light thru chamber hinge

a hole shining with reddish tinge

bloody, but not by a candle

not a sound, not a soul was moving, able.

 

No speaking, not a single breath

silence glacial, profound, and death

were it not for light in there

now next to a sepulchre, where

she seemed to say a little prayer.

 

A lower door on hinges turned

a heavy step on staircase, hastened

the hovel’s eerie latch had lifted

something on the table shifted

and at once the horrid dream,

like flour sifted.

 

-Sandra Johnson, 6/22/19

Just As You Are

Dear Sandi, as a teenage dreamer

the first man you love is not a keeper

 

the art school path was just passé

instead a four year college may

win a better job today

 

You need not look like models fair

a thousand calorie diets beware

you’re imperfect, but never fear

weight is not the problem, dear

 

How you look it matters not

back then you’ll see what you now ought

that diets don’t work, no matter what

just three meals a day

and overeat, do NOT.

 

Learn from errors, love carefully

be the kindest you can be

linger not in past or future

wasted time is all a blur.

 

Just live for today, and may

you always pray and stay

reminded always of this tome

so when someday wrongs go then

just start anew, begin again. 

 

-Sandra Johnson, 6/22/19

Day off – hour 10

Moonbeams dance across the pond

rippling coffee, nearing dawn

 

a hush arose within the din

of crickets, birds and mice and then

 

a silent fog enshrouds our land

around folks driving, uttering “Damn!”

 

the concrete highways, quiet streets

enclosed by firs and cedars neat

 

along a dock no whisper heard

I sip my canteen undeterred

 

and pray the haze keep me from work

to rest in nature’s soupy murk

 

from a shelf, a book I snuck

and disappeared in dreams and rucks.

 

-Sandra Johnson, 6/22/19

Betwixt the two

I love all things Parisienne and French

Eiffel Tower and flowered park bench

sculpture gardens and oil paints drench.

 

I dislike snakes and spiders hairy

rainy days and drunkards merry

mostly workdays with splash days flee.

 

And teacher in London now I be.

 

-Sandra Johnson, 6/22/19

Day off – different day

A moonbeam twinkles in my eye

my coffee the day’s starting high

 

Hush, the quiet garden sighs

the fog rolls in and drifts my eyes

 

Sipping on a wine canteen

later, damn this music machine

plays a song to cause a dream

 

In concrete jungle tomorrow see

shelf and book, diapers wee

 

Till then shrouded in firs clipped

near a dock feet water dipped

 

-Sandra Johnson, 6/23/19

Blizzard

Outside my running car

freezing, from home far

left early to beat a storm

only now my key is safe and warm

 

In 96 it tortured me

frantically trying to get in, you see

a blizzard brewing high and low

a manager helping but no-go

 

Angry, finally getting in

driving home, no snow within

and now I fear I’ll be trapped again

inside a frozen drift – no-win

 

Scared now, road barely seen

ice caking on my windshield thin

on the ground, no trace of green

I ponder, amidst the motor’s din

 

When finally I make it home

another trap assaults my bones

within abode I’m caught, dear me

without those staples I need to BE

and days it stayed that way … three!

 

The blizzard of 96 it was

but not so free of slush because

now snowplows push street-snow in

both car and me are stuck again.

 

-Sandra Johnson, 6/22/19