Author Archives: michaelnjohns

About michaelnjohns

I'm a writer of fiction and occasional non-fiction, a social commentator, a poet, a humorist and a dreamer. Occasionally I rant like a 3 year old, must apologize to the readers in advance for that. But hey, fix the world and I won't have to. In spite of my strongly held belief in God, I frequently question Him, and I'd guess that would be the least of my sins. Doubt in sharp conflict with my faith would be another, or perhaps that's just the human condition creeping in. I enjoy creating characters and exploring their thoughts and sensations and experiences. Some would probably say I'm just listening to the voices in my head.

“There’s No Such Thing as Monsters?”

“There’s No Such Thing as Monsters?”, Michael N. Johns, 4/28/2016

If there weren’t wars and man-made hate,
Could scientists eliminate
Diseases, famines, and create
Utopia?  We could all live
In harmony, and we could give
Attention, then,  preemptive,
To nature’s uncontrolled horrors.

By consequence, we’d intervene
When earthquakes shake and make a scene,
When tidal waves, floods unforeseen,
Or drought disrupt, or volcano
Erupt, or crops refuse to grow-
We’d share with people we don’t know,
Like foster family sponsors.

Alas, there’s war, hate, selfishness,
Rape, murder, robbery, it’s a mess!
Adding to pains and natural stress
Add greed’s victims held in the sway
Of life-crippling debt to pay
And then you still would try to say
“There’s no such thing as monsters?”

If You Decide

I’ve been following for so long, wandering in my wilderness,
Every day I take for granted Your provisions for my stress,
Turning blindly from Your presence, I am buried by my cares,
I’m a dead man with no coffin, facing people’s frightened stares,

I can’t navigate myself, can’t see the signs through all these tears,
Got a better map than most, trying to follow all these years
But some days when I’m travelling, North looks South and East looks down,
I’m supposed to show the way up. No one listens to a clown.

If You decide to lead me, in spite of all the times I stray,
I’ll do my best to do Your will.

There’s no fire in my night sky, but the clouds choke me all day,
And without any real guidance, how can I find my own way?
I’m afraid we’ll all be lost If they’re dumb enough to follow
Sometimes it’s just not enough, me not knowing what I don’t know.

Can You help me see my own way clear if I’m supposed to lead?
This smold’ring wick’s about to go out, this tiny mustard seed,
I’m under grinding heels of self doubt, I just want to be healed,
The scars are permanent, still painful, nevertheless, I’ll yield.

If You decide to use me, in spite of all the times I fail,
I’ll do my best to do Your will.

Someone Loves Me

These things tell me someone loves me:
A pretty present under a tree,
A conversation and a cup of tea
A gentle hug, an encouraging word,
A dog that warms my feet, or a cat that’s purred,
Because I’m as insignificant as a bird,
But I matter
I am noticed
Someone cares.

These things tell me someone loves me:
Food, laughter, friends and family,
Lights, ornaments, songs and cookies,
Celebrating a moment in history:
God, Emmanuel has come, a baby
It’s more than just a nice children’s story
He is The Truth.
He came for us.

These things tell me Someone loves me:
Bethlehem’s child decorating a tree,
To pay the price of my penalty,
This is the best news that I’ve ever heard,
His gift means my eternity is secured
This cup, my redemption, He endured
Child, ornament,
His life for mine,
What a gift!


Loved, 12/15/2015, Michael N. Johns
The crayons and the coloring books
Were inexpensive gifts, to remind me
Every Christmas, and every time I looked
At pages done, and pages yet unseen
I was loved.

I colored outside the lines sometimes
It didn’t matter to mom and dad,
Although as a perfectionist I
Felt quite frequently sad
I was loved.

Every year the books were given,
With crayons in an ever larger box
Until I thought I outgrew them
Like my toes outgrew the socks
I was loved.

I miss the coloring books and crayons,
I got while I was growing up
Striving to break my dependence on
My mom and my pop
They taught love.

I bought crayons and coloring books,
And wrapped them with care for mine,
To remind them whenever they look,
Though they might color outside my lines,
They are loved.

I think, without disparaging the gifts,
We should tell each other, me and you.
Adults should get reminders like this
I bought some for me, too.


13, 12/11/2015, Michael N. Johns
(For Caleb)

Happy Birthday, quickly teen
The babies, so soon grown
I reminisce, and love my own
Forget, remember all I’ve seen,

The time has ticked, it’s gone now
My treasures, dreams at play
I love who you’ve become today
Though I don’t know, I know somehow

Happy Birthday, boy turned man
How short these long years feel
I taught love, “strong as death,*” and real,
I “booped” your nose, now shake your hand.

I cry with pride, you are mine
And independent too
I see the good, rooted in you
Trust God, not me, you’ll be just fine.

Happy Birthday, strong, brave boy,
You’ve done well, where I’ve failed
And as you navigate your trail,
You should know you bring me such joy.
*SOS 8:6

Invisible Inside

Invisible Inside, 11/19/2015, Michael N. Johns

I wish I were half what others think,
They don’t realize,
I’m nothing good, and daily, sink,
By just opening my eyes.

Tea in a cracked cup, time escapes.
My light is darkness,
My doubt is doubtless,
My words are worthless,
A file in an outage, to be erased.

I wish I could do what I want to do,
Instead of what I want
The horror movie repeating, new,
Will failure always haunt?

Steam in a kettle, left on fire
Forgotten water
Couldn’t God bother
(As He’s the Potter)
To make me better, to take me higher?

I wish I were good as I dream of being,
It would be enough,
To be who I want, to not be bleeding,
To win when life is rough.

Cut by my soul’s pain, abandoned,
Alone and crying,
Tick, tock, I’m dying,
Living, I’m lying,
Wish lies were truth, deceiving companions.


Verse 1
You can never know in full, the way
That you’ve sincerely touched my heart,
The words I see as works of art,
Brushed and tinted, gently passing summer days,
The feelings I wish I could say
So that you would truly understand
Are truly inexpressible with words

Chorus 1
This is how I know you,
Through all that you do
I can clearly see your soul,
And though the world seems harsh
And life may spin out of our control,
There is beauty in the music within you,
And this is why
Love you

Verse 2
The music floating in the air
A unique canvas all its’ own
An ordered chaos, gently thrown
Is made of notes that somehow you put there
They are the feelings I wish I could say
So that I’d be truly understood
And they can’t really be expressed in words

Chorus 2
This is how I know you,
Through all that you say,
I can clearly see your soul,
And though the world seems harsh
And life may spin out of our control,
There is beauty in the words the music plays,
And this is why
Love you

Verse 3
You may never really understand,
But I know I’ve heard your life sing
The words, emotions, coloring
Your palette, thoughts, like the tides and sand,
They are the feelings you can’t ever say,
But know that I do understand
Feelings we’ve tried to say with feeble words

And because of what I hear you sing,
There are novels in my heart,
There’s a studio full of art,
A library of love poetry,
All written for you, by me,
If I could only tell you everything…

Chorus 3
This is how I know you,
In the portrait I can’t paint
I can clearly see your soul,
And though the world seems harsh
And life may spin out of our control,
There is beauty to admire in every day,
(In you, it’s true)
And this is why
Love you

Harmonic Discord

Harmonic Discord, Michael N. Johns, 10/7/2015

You used to kiss with all your heart, whenever you kissed me,
The score of life seemed beautiful, and blessed with harmony,
Then there were times, and life’s events, I sometimes felt ignored,
But I loved you, we muddled through occasional discord,
Those kisses changed over time, you thought I wouldn’t notice,
Our music, despite busy notes, decrescendoed in its’ bliss,
I missed the fire and tried to kindle romance, but I failed,
Somewhere your expectations were impossibly detailed,
Now you’ve become mechanical, as we play the days’ score,
What can I do to win you back, the music to restore?
You say “yes,” but your kiss says “no,” I take a measured rest,
I want the symphony, but hear a triangle at best,
I’ve offered you my heart, and all I am, and I want more.
You say that we’re ok, but I hate harmonic discord.

I Don’t Want To Ask Why

Your favorite color was purple,
Because “there’s no rhyme for that.”
Your humor was a sure pull,
My heart stepped right into your trap,

You were the violet
Crushed by the heel,
I asked the universe,
Don’t make me feel
There was something to be done,
So you could be saved,
Any explanation,
Or something to say,
Don’t want to ask why.

I was caught watching your stormy life,
Hating it, waiting for the end of your ordeal,
Under his sick psychological knife,
Wishing for your freedom to be real,

But You were the violet
Crushed by the heel.
I asked the universe,
Don’t make me feel
There was something to be done,
So you could be saved,
Some explanation,
Or something to say,
Don’t want to ask why.

But I want to know
Why we couldn’t be free
Why we couldn’t escape
from our chained history
Why I loved you so
I want to know
Why my heart has a hole,
Why was the answer, “no?”

And why?


You were the violet
Crushed by the heel
I asked the universe,
Don’t make me feel
There was something to be done,
So you could be saved,
Some explanation,
Or something to say,
But I
Don’t want to ask why.

“Thy Adam, …The Fallen Angel”

“Thy Adam, …The Fallen Angel”

Desperate, I tried to put a stitch in time,
Polarized, charged, to resurrect
The picture I had of us, perfect.
Alas, I should have put in nine,
Or nine thousand, nine hundred ninety nine,
With jewels and amperage to restart
Your damned, dead, ungrateful, hateful heart.
Even if my own very life were forfeit,
It would be a gift deemed less than adequate.
Michael N. Johns, 10/5/2015

This piece was inspired by a quote from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: “I ought to be thy Adam; but I am rather the fallen angel, whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed.”