“Michelangelo: Painter and Poet” by Michael Lee Johnson

with steel balls
and a wire brush
wishing he was
wearing motorcycle leathers,
going wild and crazy,
stares cross-eyed at the
Sistine Chapel ceiling–
nose touching moist paint,
body stretched out on a plank,
bones held by ropes from falling–
delirious, painting that face of Jesus
and the Prophets
with a camel-hair brush;
in such a position, transition
a genie emerges as a poet–
words not paint
start writing his sonnets,
a second career is born–
nails and thorns
digging at his words,
flashing red paint:
it’s finished.


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, Illinois.  Mr. Johnson has been published in more than 1072 publications. His poems have appeared in 38 countries, and he edits/publishes on 10 poetry sites.  Michael Lee Johnson has been twice-nominated for a Pushcart Prize and is a four-time nominee for Best of the Net.  There are 189 of his poetry videos now on YouTube.  He was Editor-in-Chief of the poetry anthology Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Editor-in-Chief of the poetry anthology Dandelion in a Vase of Roses, and Editor-in-Chief of Warriors with Wings: the Best in Contemporary Poetry.

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