Friday, October 31, 2008

My Unsettled Uncle

It was the last time I saw my friend alive.
She lay her petite clothed body
along the full length of his lanky one,
machines and tubing his newly-hatched limbs.

It is an elemental moment.
Also a sensual one.
She caressed him, cooed at him,
she even stroked his chest.

Why was that?
To show his arousal
at her barest touch
even while in coma?

To hold on just a bit longer?

I found it shocking. All of it --
his hardening nipple
her lavishment upon him
my witness of it all

I have shared these poems
with my adoring, aging uncle.
He too found himself uncomfortable voyeur,
party to something he shouldn’t be.
perhaps this intimacy is not totally
for me to know about.

(cc) Karen G. Johnston

Monday, October 27, 2008

First Impression

Candles at the altar
Await long strides
To bring your flame
To their wick.

You speak of long dead mother
Gratitude and longing
The ache in your heart.

In the center pew, five rows back,
A friend with long hair whispers in my ear
Now there’s a decent soul.

(cc) Karen G. Johnston

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October Prayer

for eem

Each steadily darker morning
offers sure evidence of autumn.
Sometimes whole, sometimes eviscerated:
proud trophies of hunter cat.

There was a time I elected to join palms
to these once sentient beings.
Perhaps I should begin again.

Ravenous chaos permeates the air.
Wall Street disemboweling Main Street?
Illusory election with extreme right
playing for centrist, centrist for liberal left?

Scrappy rudebekia & spidery cosmos
still campaign from garden soapbox.
Sharp blade to those with beauty left to offer.
Whisper of gratitude before metal snip.

Hard to know whether the nation will persist
with this course of heady cruelty, greedy death.
Don't wish too hard -- it might hurt too much afterwards.

Is this so-called hopemonger any true friend of the Poor?
The last president from Hope enacted welfare reform
that had nothing to do at all with the Poor faring well.

My friend says a nation will always
elect the leaders they deserve.

I join these hands now and pray it is not so.

(cc) Karen G. Johnston