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Poems by Richard A. Johnson


Brick Walls

These are the block walls made of brick
We build for protection from the stench of
stinky Fathers, and belching fat women that are not gone
and hang around like
cheap furniture that is old
and to functional to be thrown out.
and hang around forever

The walls are very well built
We see to it that
feelings can't get out or in

it doesn't matter the stench is within
and nothing else gets out,
or in

The end is not far away
but much longer
than forever

It must be a perfect day
I'm not feeling anything.

I only dream nightmares of
the old Mexican smoking grass
across the street as a friend
walks up and asks why not something
better, like this
he is weeping as he says

This is all I can get.
No change,
as the friend takes a drag
and says

What is this
from your lawn
and starts to weep.

You need something better than that
here try this

I can't change
this'll have to do.

raj



I Saw You this Morning

At around five
In my dreams

You were walking
A slow tired walk

Your legs were pink
Your arms were pink
Your face was pink

You were wearing jeans
and a loose fitting
beige T-shirt
and had sandals on

As you walked beside this man
pushing a shopping cart
full of food

Your long hair was pulled back
off your face

you had sweat
running down the side of your face
making tracks through
the dust on the side of your face

your T-shirt was wet
under your arms

you looked so damn tired
carrying that baby
that squashed down your tits
so much

You still looked beautiful

I couldn't tell
if it was me
pushing the cart
or someone else.

But I wanted to cry.

raj




March 30, 1999 2pm

It's seventy here in Minneapolis
The first warm day of Spring
So, I went down and bought a box
of Frangos to celebrate

I offered her one and she said
NothankyouI'drathernot

She knew I bought them for her

I said to Mike,
It's OK take one, you can now
I wanted to offer one to her first

It was Nadria's last day

She's going back home
gonna take care of her mother
She says it'll be fine
Amman's a nice place

you know quiet and nice
we're between two strong countries
You've got Israel over on the right and Iraq
on the left

It's OK I'm in a suburb of Amman.

Passed out the Frangos

It was quite nice.

She said we got E-mail every
one write, we all know no one does
This will be the last time we see her.

Later we all kidded a bit
I told her she had a call
from Tom

He accepted her request to change
her weekend shift hours
to 6pm Saturday nite till 10am
Sunday morning

She got angry at me because
the phone told me I needed to change the password
earlier, which I did but I forgot to tell her

After the call Mike was dancing
in the hall

I said I didn't know what that was
but I know this

Oh! The Charleston
I know that it goes like this
as he started to sing and dance

Mike's Irish, plays a guitar
and can hold a beat
So! I started to dance
and we danced a few minutes or so
and she started to laugh.



March 30, 1999 2pm

It's seventy here in Minneapolis
The first warm day of Spring
So, I went down and bought a box
of Frangos to celebrate

I offered her one and she said
NothankyouI'drathernot

She knew I bought them for her

I said to Mike,
It's OK take one, you can now
I wanted to offer one to her first

It was Nadria's last day

She's going back home
gonna take care of her mother
She says it'll be fine
Amman's a nice place

you know quiet and nice
we're between two strong countries
You've got Israel over on the right and Iraq
on the left

It's OK I'm in a suburb of Amman.

Passed out the Frangos

It was quite nice.

She said we got E-mail every
one write, we all know no one does
This will be the last time we see her.

Later we all kidded a bit
I told her she had a call
from Tom

He accepted her request to change
her weekend shift hours
to 6pm Saturday nite till 10am
Sunday morning

She got angry at me because
the phone told me I needed to change the password
earlier, which I did but I forgot to tell her

After the call Mike was dancing
in the hall

I said I didn't know what that was
but I know this

Oh! The Charleston
I know that it goes like this
as he started to sing and dance

Mike's Irish, plays a guitar
and can hold a beat
So! I started to dance
and we danced a few minutes or so
and she started to laugh.



Sunny

It`s Christmas time, and I`m thinking about Sunny again.
I remember Sunny, I saw her at my sister`s place,
when we went there for Christmas.

I remember her Smile and cheerful face.
She laughed a lot.
She would walk with us after we ate dinner.
We`d go down to the park and walk around.

Sunny had to stay in the house, at her parents house,
and she was required to do all the chores, like cleaning, makeup the beds,
do the dishes, and laundry at their house.

She wasn`t the number one daughter or son, so she didn`t count,
and she wasn`t getting an education.

My sister talked her husband, into taking Sunny, his niece, in.
And providing her the opportunity, for an education.
This was all accepted, and Sunny moved in, a dozen or so years ago.

I first saw her when she was around fourteen.
I remember her kidding around.
she was a joyful young lady.
I remember the bright off white dress, with the green leaves, orange,
and off pink flowers she wore

I remember when she graduated from High School.
I remember when she went to LA City College.
I remember how happy she was there.
She wanted to go into Graphic Design,
and get a job later as a graphic designer.

I remember those happy times.

I remember she was shot to death.
At her parents convenience store.
On some fucking street, during a robbery, in some fucking town,
in East fucking LA.
The city of Angles.

Of course I remember Sunny, She was an artist.



Send feedback

Biographical sketch: I'm a novice at writing poetry. Been writing some for the past six
or seven years now, but too much lately. Maybe I can get back into it.

Richard A. Johnson recommends:

Discriminating Evidence by Mary Logue
Reason: It's about the truth in her life and how she sees it

Recommendations for writers:

Honesty, and the emotions

 


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