Salt and Pepper

A Poem

by Michael Lee Johnson


Cut Through Thickness (V2)


I angle at your youth and cross my eyes

to see reality of time passed.

I cut through thickness of your retina,

thin splinters, raw oak from the North,

Cypress trees, bending, rebel in Southern ways.

My present and past tenses are confused with feelings.

I cross the border of knowing you and forced to retreat.

I am seasoning of salt, pepper, and sugar in your veins.

I am daddy tenderness long time gone memories,

graveyard, and suppressed images.

I squeeze scars, raw pimples, Clearasil,

alcohol masking, blend in hate cosmetics.

Jesus is a forgiving halo symbol hanging over a cross.

I hang alligator skins on the shells of Saturn and Apollo.

I lift the Vertical Assembly Building over a trailer sky.

I launch pad of love, a missile, old time arrow direct to hearts.

Every time I feel like crying, Bob Dylan, ages,

angels with a handful of tears.



Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. He is a Canadian and USA citizen. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois.  He has been published in more than 880 small press magazines in 27 countries, and he edits 10 poetry sites.  Author’s website:

Michael is the author of The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom (136 page book) ISBN:  978-0-595-46091-5, several chapbooks of poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems.  He also has over 85 poetry videos on YouTube as of 2015:

Michael Lee Johnson, Itasca, IL. nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards for poetry 2015.  Visit my Facebook Poetry Group and join:

He is also the editor/publisher of anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze:



Published by


Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, and books can be found. He is a Best of the Net and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Scott's poetry books include: Songs of a Dissident (Transcendent Zero Press, 2015), Chaos Songs (Weasel Press, 2016), Happy Hour Hallelujah (CTU Publishing, 2016), and Poison in Paradise (Alien Buddha Press, 2017). Scott serves as an editor for The Peregrine Muse, Happy Hour Hallelujah, and Novelmasters.

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