blackmail press 23
Michael Lee Johnson

Enigmatic blue on a weekly basis Andy Leleisi'uao
Enigmatic blue on a weekly basis - Andy Leleisi'uao
Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, Illinois.
His brand new poetry chapbook with pictures, From Which Place the Morning Rises and his new photo version
of The Lost American:  From Exile to Freedom is now available at:  He also has 2 previously published chapbooks available at:   The original version of The Lost American:  from Exile to Freedom, can be found at:

He has been published in USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, Turkey, Fiji, Nigeria, Algeria, Africa, India, United Kingdom, Republic of Sierra Leone, Israel, Nepal, Thailand, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Finland, and Poland internet radio.  Michael Lee Johnson has been published in more than 280 different publications worldwide.  Audio MP3 of poems are available on request.

He is also publisher and editor of four poetry flash fiction sites--all presently open for submission:

Author website:

Rose Pedals in a Dark Room.

I walk in a mastery of the night and light
my money changers walk behind me
they are fools like clowns in a shadow of sin,
they're busy as bees as drunken lovers,
Sodom and Gomorrah before the salt pillar falls.

In a shadow of red rose pedals
drunken lovers walk changing Greek and Roman
currency to Jewish or Tyrian money--
they are fools, all fools, at what they do.

Everyone's life is a conflict.

They are my lovers and my sinners
I can't sleep at night without them
by my bed or the sea of Galilee.
Fish in cloth nets are my friends and my converts.
I pray in my garden alone; while all the rest
who love beside me sleep behind their innocence.
The rose is a tender thorn compared to my arrest.
and  soon crucifixion.

It is here the morning and the night come together,
where the sea and the land part;
where the building crumbles
and I trust not myself to them.

I am but a poet of the ministry,
rose pedals in a dark room fall.
Everyone's life is a conflict.
But mine is mastery of light and night
and I walk behind the footsteps of no one.

Phil and Betsy:  Illinois Farmers

Illinois writer in the land of Lincoln
new harvest without words
plenty of sugar pie plum, peach cobbler pie,
buried in grandma sugar;
factory sweets and low flowing river nearby--
transports of soy bean, corn, and cattle feed
into the wide bass mouth of the Kishwakee River.
It is the moment of reunion,
when friends and economy come together--
hotdogs, marshmallows, tents scattered,
playing kick ball with that black farm dog.

It's a simple act, a farmer gone blind with the night pink sky,
desolate farmer, simple flat land, DeKalb, Illinois.

Betsy and Phil, invite us all to the camp and fireside.

But Phil is still in the field, pushing sunset to dusk.
He is raking dry the farm soil of salvation, moisture has its own religious quirks,
dead seed from weed hurls up to the metal lips of the cultivator pitting.

The full moon is undressing, pink florescent hints of blue, pajamas, turned
inward near midnight sky against the moon naked and embarrassed.

Hayrides for strangers go down dark squared off roads with lights hanging, dangling,
children humming school tunes, long farmhouse lights lost in the near distance.

Hums till dawn, Christian songs repeat, over God's earth, till dead sounds the tractor
pulls itself down, down to the dusk, and off the road edge.

It is the moment of reunion.