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  • Old Men Walk Funny


    Old men walk funny with shadows and time eating at their heels.

    Pediatric walkers, bent over, prostate exams, then most die.

    They grow poor, leave their grocery list at home,

    and forget their social security checks, bank account numbers,

    dwell on whether to wear dentures, uppers or lowers;

    Did I put my underwear on?

    They can’t remember where they put down their glasses,

    did they drop them on memory lane U.S. Route 66?

    Was it watermelon wine or drive-in movies where they forgot their virginity?

    Hammered late evenings alone, bottled up Mogen David wine madness

    mixed with diet 7-Up, all moving parts squeak and crack in unison.

    At night, they scream in silent dreams no one hears,

    flapping jaws in sexual exchange illusions with monarch butterfly wings.

    Old men walk funny to the barbershop with gray hair, no hair;

    sagging pants to physical therapy.

    They pray for sunflowers above their graves,

    a plot bears their name with a poem.

    They purchase their burial plots: pennies in a jar for years,

    beggar’s price for a deceased wife.

    Proverb:  in the end, everything that was long at one time is now cut short.

    Ignore us old moonshiners, poets that walk funny,

    They aren’t hurting anyone anymore.



    Canadian Seasons

    Exiled Poet


    Walking across the seasons in exile

    in worn out house slippers, summer in Alberta prairies-

    snowshoes, cross-country skiing through winter in Edmonton.

    I’m a man captured in Canadian wilderness, North Saskatchewan River.

    I embrace winters of this north, call them mercy killers.

    Exiled now 10 years here, I turn rain into thunder,

    days into loneliness, recuperate lost relationships into memories.

    I’m a warrior in the trade of isolation, a crucifier of seasons

    who hangs torment on their limbs.

    Ever changing words shift pain to palette, fall colors and art.

    I’m tiring of Gestalt therapy, being In and Out the Garbage Pail.

    No longer an Aristotelian philosopher seeking catharsis,

    my Jesus is in a vodka bottle soaked with lime, lemon juice and disco dancing.

    Pardon amnesty, I’m heading south, beneath the border, back to USA-

    to revise the old poems and the new, to create the last anthology,

    open then close the last chapter.

    My collected works before the big black box.

    I’m no longer peripatetic, as in seasons past.


    About The Author

    Michael Lee Johnson

    Michael Lee Johnson lived ten 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, Illinois.  Mr. Johnson is published in more than 1072 new publications; his poems have appeared in 38 countries, and he edits and publishes ten poetry sites.  Mr. Johnson, has been nominated for two Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015, one Best of the Net 2016, two Best of the Net 2017, and two Best of the Net for 2018.  One hundred ninety poetry videos are now on YouTube via Mr. Johnson’s channel, poetrymanusa.  He is editor-in-chief of the poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Hazehttp://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762; editor-in-chief of the poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available here   https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545352089, as well as editor-in-chief of Warriors with Wings: The Best in Contemporary Poetry, http://www.amazon.com/dp/1722130717.