“Rose Petals in a Dark Room” by Michael Lee Johnson

I walk through this poem one step at a time.
I walk in a mastery of this night and light
my money changers walk behind me
they’re fools like clowns in a shadow of sin,
they’re busy as bees as drunken lovers,
Sodom and Gomorrah before this salt pillar falls.

In a shadow of red rose pedals
drunken lovers walk changing Greek and Roman
currency to Jewish money or Tyrian shekels-
they’re fools, all fools, at what they do.
Everyone’s life is a conflict.
They’re my lovers and my sinners
I can’t sleep at night without them
by my bed grass near that sea of Galilee.
Fish in my cloth nets beget my friends, my converts.
I pray in this garden alone sweat
while my disciples whitewash their dreams.

The rose has a tender thorn compared to my arrest,
and soon crucifixion.

It’s here this morning and this night come together,
where this sea and this land depart,
where these villages stone and mortar crumble.

I’m but a poet of this ministry,
rose petals in a dark room fall.
Everyone’s life is a conflict.
But mine is mastery of light and neon night
and I walk behind these footsteps of no one.

 

 

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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