Joel F. Johnson
I'm a businessman and chronic English major who began writing poetry about ten years ago. Sometimes, I find myself switching back and forth between a spreadsheet and an unfinished poem. My first book of poems, Where Inches Seem Miles, was published by Antrim House at the end of 2013. In 2014, Kirkus Reviews selected it as one of the best books of the year in the Indie category. I've benefited from workshops at the Concord Poetry Center and from the journals which have published my work, including Rattle, Blackbird, and Salamander. My website, joelfjohnson.com, includes a few videos of my readings with images.
We all saw the same still figure
standing where the evergreens parted,
the pale spoon of her lifted face,
her neck and arms bare as moonlight.
Not a track on the snow nearby.
Though across a ravine,
her voice carried in the alpine air,
bringing her close to us, among us even, a voice
to each unique. This man’s mother.
That man’s sister who had died.
Hours later, when we were all so cold, so bitterly exhausted,
and the men wanted to quit, to lie down
in the snow and sleep themselves to death,
I had only to say Listen for her.
One more hour. One more climb. One more step.
©2016 Joel Johnson