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The Lost American: "The Christians Arrived"
by Michael Lee Johnson
2008-07-23 09:10:37
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Salvation Army and

the Christians arrived today,

Christmas, like every other Sunday morning

feed the homeless, chasing the rats from the bathroom,

basement, kicking the dead flies out of the corner spots

where the cat used to lounge-

clean the toilet bowl, a form of revival and resurrection.

I privately pastor to these desires though I myself am homeless.

I forgot what it's like to be a poet of the cloth,

savior in street clothing with a warm home to blend into.

I watch them clamp the New Testament in one hand,

And pull a cancer stick out of the pocket with the other.

It's all a matter of praising the Lord.

Everything is nonsense when you're in a place where you don't belong.

Even praying to Jesus from a dirty dusted pillow seems strange and bewildering.

Someday I will walk from this place and offer spare meals by myself to others;

feed the party in between the theology, the bingo of sins and salvation.

I forgot the taste of a Stromboli Sandwich with a 6 pack of Budweiser

with or without the Chicago Bears--it would make every Sunday a Salvation

Army holiday.

Today is a fairy creating miracles from the dust of the floor

multiplying fish and chips, baked ham, ribs with sauce Chi-Town type,

dark color of greens and veggies tip me to the Christian

clock on the wall peeking down on lost and unsaved.

I feel like a fragment.

A birth date the way again to begin, fragmented.

Pinto beans mixed with graffiti fingers,

Christians arrived on Christmas day-

they always do every Sunday morning.

I pastor to these desires.

It's all a matter of praising the Lord.

The Christians arrived today.




* * * * * *

Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer.  He is self-employed in advertising, and selling custom promotional products.  He is the author of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom. He was nominated for the James B. Baker Award in poetry, Sam's Dot Publishing.  He is a contributor in the Silver Boomers poetry anthology about aging baby boomers, by Silver Boomer Books. 


Special Note:  Michael Lee Johnson, United States, and Phillip Ellis, an Australian poet, are looking for a chapbook publisher for a joint venture merging free verse with more traditional verse.  Mr. Johnson has two chapbooks ready for publishing review.  Manuscripts are available on request.

Michael Lee Johnson
E-mail: promomanusa@gmail.com

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Sand2008-07-23 09:54:07
Great poem.

Emanuel Paparella2008-07-23 10:53:36
Indeed, the Christians arrived and saved the day.God is dead proclaimed Nietzsche’s madman ringing his bell in the middle of the night and announcing a bold new world at the turn of the 20th century, but it was Nietzsche who eventually died after twelve years of insanity. The Ubermensch will inherit the earth via Schopenhauer’s Machiavellian “will to power” degrading Aristotle’s “will to truth,” he will overcome the bankruptcy of Christianity by vanquishing the meek and Christian charity, announcing that only the strong have a right to survive, “transvaluating values” and ushering a new secular humanism full of light, the light of the Enlightenment and of the enlightened. What followed instead was the darkness of two world wars, the Holocaust and the Gulags fueled by fanatical murderous ideologies, abetted by the dehumanizing trends of rationalist science and secular philosophy.

The darkness failed however to fully extinguish the old values, for the Christian humanists came and saved the day and what was the best of the old values: C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, R. R. Tolkien, T.S. Eliot, Evelyn Vaugh, just to mention a few of the English Christian writers. They lit bold flames against the century’s darkness and, drawing on the vast resources of the timeless teaching of the Church, forged a new “Christian myth.” Tolkien's torch is lit from classical and Norse mythology; in his mythical world, Nietzsche's shadow emerges in the "will to power" of the Enemy, most specifically in the designs of Sauron and Saruman but also in the ambitions of Boromir and Gollum. Indeed, the Christians came and saved the day. They extracted victory out of the jaws of death and defeat.

Emanuel Paparella2008-07-23 14:58:31
P.S. Here is another great poem:

Mock on, mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau;
Mock on, mock on; 'tis all in vain!
You throw the sand against the wind,
And the wind blows it back again.
And every sand becomes a gem
Reflected in the beams divine;
Blown back they blind the mocking eye,
But still in Israel's paths they shine.

The Atoms of Democritus
And Newton's Particles of Light
Are sands upon the Red Sea shore,
Where Israel's tents do shine so bright.

--William Blake

Linda Paul Merit2008-08-10 00:33:48
This could controversial but it is handle in a strange way that it is just to be read.Great work, Mr Johnson

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