Robert K. Johnson
Born in New York City (in Elmhurst), I lived in several different places there but have memories only of The Bronx (off Fordham Road). Then my family moved out "on The Island"—to Lynbrook, where we stayed till I graduated from Hofstra (then a College). Several years after my wife, Pat, and I married, we, plus our two children, settled in the Boston area and have remained there (except for my daughter, Kate, who has lived in Manhattan for quite a while). I have been writing poetry since I was twelve (many moons ago).
summer's last fly, protests
the year's first snow that covers
the trash can lid—won't settle there
but lifts its wisp of body
and circles in the darkening air.
And though, unlike the fly,
I have a mind and it tells me
"in vain," I—too—protest: despite
the chills of age, I keep
circling—in these straight lines I write.
(previously published in ICONOCLAST)
First It Is the Dawn-Lit Air,
still yet intense, that stirs sadness—
then, too, the pale leaves
strewn on the silent lawns—
then the branches' leaves
falling with such slow thoughtfulness—
until the whole landscape
is like a heavy hurt,
and you understand the sadness
is your yearning to feel again
the warmth of a love
so strong it swirls in your throat
and makes the day beautiful
the beauty of the day.
(previously published in REACH POETRY)
Starting to read a good novel
is like opening the door of a pub
on a chilling winter night
and being embraced by warm air.
Turning the next pages is like
hearing the clamor of conversations
that inform you the tables are filled
with the village's regular imbibers.
One or two look up and wave hello.
You turn still more pages
and your favorite waitress walks by
carrying a tray of glasses
brimming with beer and says,
"Well, look who's here."
You take a few more steps
and the bartender is already
pouring what you always order
while your best drinking companion shoves
a stool your way and announces
he's got a grand story to tell you.
(previously published in MUDDY RIVER POETRY REVIEW)
©2016 Robert K. Johnson