April, I’ve Been Fooled Before by Michael Lee Johnson

I blink, the electricity is off.
The day has brought
night to an end on top of me.
Lamp oil and flashlights save me
from myself.
I walk in darkness.
In this darkness I don’t
see my shadow.
When the wind goes still
cold chills down my spine
don’t feel anymore.
I walk in darkness like this
but I’ve been fooled myself before
at Halloween, fears of April thunderstorms.
April thunderstorms have knocked
the lighting out of me;
pulled the electricity out of my sockets, pulled plugs from my condo.
I lie in bed with only this conversation to keep me company.
I feel like an ice cube insulated
around in my words, looking for images
in shadows, quiet corners.
I creep myself out alone.
Here I lie on my back in bed, think, then try sleep-with ghosts, witches, spiders, devils,
all kinds of nasty things.
Nothing brings Christ out of closed wilderness faster than darkness being alone.
I blink, and electricity is back on.
April, I’ve been fooled like this before.

See Michael’s other entry and bio here.

*Competition entry*


Rainbow in April by Michael Lee Johnson

April again,
the wind
falls in love with itself
skipping across asphalt
and concrete bare
with the breaking weather.
A rainbow
is half arched,
broken off deep
into the aorta
of the sky.
It hangs
from elastic
rubber bands
of mixed colors
dipped in God’s
by the fingertips
of Michelangelo.
April again,
the wind steps high.

Michael Lee Johnson is a poet, freelance writer and small business owner from Itasca, Illinois. He is heavily influenced by Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen, and Allen Ginsberg. He has recently published an illustrated poetry chapbook, From Which Place the Morning Rises, and a new photo version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom, both available here. He has written several other chapbooks, and has been published in over 25 countries. He is also the editor/publisher of five poetry sites, all open for submission.

*Competition entry*

Bowl of Petunias by Michael Lee Johnson


If you must leave me please
leave me for something special,
like a beautiful bowl of petunias ˆ’
for when the memories leak
and cracks appear
and old memories fade,
flowers rebuff bloom,
sidewalks fester weeds
and we both lie down
separately from each other
for the very last time.


Michael Lee Johnson is a poet from Itasca, Illinois. He’s also a freelance writer and small business owner of custom imprinted promotional products and apparel: www.promoman.us. He lived in Canada for 10 years during the Vietnam era. His writing has been published in 23 countries. Michael is also the editor/publisher of five poetry sites that can be accessed through his Web site: http://poetryman.mysite.com. All five sites are open to submissions. His published works are available through his Web site above and through Amazon.com, Borders Books, iUniverse and Lulu.com.

For more information about Michael and his other poems on WIZ click here and here.   Also look here and here.

Kansas by Michael Lee Johnson


House bashed in grays, homespun
surrounding yellows and pinks
on a Kansas prairie appears lonely tonight.
The theater, the lives once lived alive
inside are gone now,
buried in the back dark trail
behind the old outhouse.
Old wood chipper in the back, rustic, worn, no gas to thunder.
Old coal bin open to wind but no one to shovel the coal in.
Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hayrides all gone.
Deserted ghostly children swing abandoned in prairie wind.
All the unheated rooms no longer have children
to fret about, cheerleaders long gone,
the banal house chills
once again for winter-
while three lone skinny crows perched out of sight
on barren branched trees silhouetted
in pink wait with hunger strikes as winter
snow start to settle in against moonlight skies.
Kansas becomes a quiet place
when the first snow falls.
The dance of the crows.
The lonely wind.
The creaking of doors, no oil in the joints.


For more information about Michael and more of his poetry on WIZ, click here, here, and here.