P M F Johnson

 
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Poetry

My book of love poems is available for pre-order on Amazon at: Against The Night.

An intimate look into a passionate love affair, sometimes wry and sometimes sweet, these eighty-eight poems trace the history of a long marriage. Many have been published, in The North American Review, Nimrod International Journal, The Atlanta Review, Midwest Quarterly, Portland Review, and elsewhere.

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Examples of my haiku:

the war
on the tv
in the background

a fish in the tree in the floating leaf water

city of old stones --
men in the rain
roasting chestnuts

(all from Modern Haiku)

Other poems:

The Finch's Family Niche

The finch will start to build his wife a niche
Of twigs as winter's anguish fades. A splash
Of rain bestirs the lilies in the ditch.

Amid the slush, wise spring begins to stitch
Her dress, the lushest green in nature's stash.
The finch works hard to build his wife a niche.

The early hush yields to a rising pitch
Of whistles. Flushed out sparrows dash
Away past lilies spreading through the ditch

Where waters gush; embarrassed ears may twitch,
But cats don't blush. New grass conceals old trash.
The finch works hard to guard his family's niche.

The plushest daffodils bloom sideways, eldritch
Suns. The crush of irises seems rash.
The lilies flourish proudly in the ditch.

We all know moments so immensely rich
But satisfaction lasts for just a flash.
The tattered lilies droop along the ditch.
The finch has finished with his family's niche.

(from Threepenny Review)

The Kiss

Remember, that first twist in the stomach
like rubber bands scrunched between fists
when you're avoiding some duty
any normal person would dodge:
that might be God telling you,
"Me, I'd want to be a little nicer than that."
'Cause emotions are messages from God, right?
See, blowback goes on forever.
Take for instance the prickle
of disgust as Aunt Eustacia insists
on her smelly-old-people hello-kiss.
We're supposed to be nice to relatives
no matter how hairy,
but our rebellious children selves
want no part of considering the night
far in the future when we're alone,
two days after the dog has died,
Social Security has cramped us
into a Section Eight life
of compartment apartments
and waxy government cheese,
and we have only the rare release
of our niece retrieving us for the holiday,
presenting with embarrassment
her should-be-sweet children, each one
wriggling like hell to escape
the kiss.

(from Evansville Review)

I have published in The Threepenny Review, Nimrod, The Evansville Review, The North American Review, Measure, The Atlanta Review, The New York Quarterly, Blue Unicorn, Blue Collar Review, Portland Review, and others. My poem "Lord of Dust" was semi-finalist in the Pablo Neruda Award Contest, my poem "Needling Knowledge" won a Plainsongs Award, while other poems have appeared in "Best Of..." anthologies.

My haiku appear in Modern Haiku; Mayfly; Frogpond; Acorn; The Heron's Nest, Wisteria; and others.

My speculative poetry may be found in Asimov's, Strange Horizons, Magazine of Speculative Poetry, The Leading Edge, Tales of the Unanticipated, and Arsenic Lobster.

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