Brian Johnston

Brian Johnston Poems

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I love you because
The mystery of your being
Fascinates me.

- - - - - - -THE FEB 2015 WINNER - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - IS DARLENE WALSH - - - - - - - -


Choose the poem you like best and if you would be so kind give all the gladiators who entered the arena some feedback as to why you either liked or did not like their entry. The reasons why you chose your winning title would also be appreciated. Enjoy!

Pausing on a late trip to South Dakota
I pulled off of the highway
Somewhere in Kansas
And shut off the lights


If you appreciate this contest, please vote 1-10 as you
would for a poem to let PH Staff know that you would

- - Chapter 2: Adult Responsibility (With Some Breaks) - -

By ten years old, no weekends off,
Or Saturday cartoons,

Have you ever noticed this trend?
It might be a drought or a war,
Blows quick to strike and slow to mend,
And even if I have a friend,

What if a dream should actually come true?
Can you imagine how that really might feel?
One day you are laying down flat on your face,
The next day you are dancing a 'Scottish reel.'

Like an excited smear of photo luminescent bacteria,
Trembling with a beauty so fearfully short lived,
On a dark globe, 'mother earth, ' that is itself stardust,
Mankind's cities gleam feebly, tremulous, at night

Are poems lovely as night's stars?
Aren't all more fireflies viewed in jars?


Check out the new Challenge Title for September as well!

Though morning comes to those who wait,
There are no guarantees that light
Will lessen load or gladden heart.
With access barred to heaven's gate,

Here I sit once again,
I'm dreaming of you,
Even though I'm told
(Frequently) you don't exist.

- - - - - TITLE FOR MAY 2015 - - - - -

When I Give You My Heart…

The love I give to you dear one,
Is love I know belongs to me,

Let me show you your own death,
Night can fall in many ways,
Every time a friend betrays,
Love has one foot in the grave,

There must be a place, like an elephant bone-yard,
Where lost loves go to wait for a dance,
A place where perhaps they might not feel so lonely,
And can dream that they still have a chance.

Part I.

Harvest time was winding down,
I was taking lunch in town,

Brian Johnston Biography

READ THIS! SOME OF IT IS ACTUALLY FUNNY! 10/24/14 NAVIGATING MY POEMS-A USERS GUIDE The titles of my poems all begin with the category they fall into from my perspective. For example any poem that begins with PH for is a poem that I've written since early November of 2013 when I first joined Poemhunter. There are only 44 poems that do not have the PH in their titles. My earliest poems all are preceded by the category BEFORE COLLEGE, the next time grouping are poems written while I was still in college called COLLEGE, and the next two groups cover FARM poetry and poems about various love interests called GF for girlfriends. All the rest, (with PH in the title) are poems written after I joined On 10/02/14 other members of this site helped me move into the group of 10 most popular poets on Poemhunter for the first time (and on 10/10/14, I was #7 also for the first time) . Wow! On 10/20/14 I have reached #6 for the first time and #5 seems to be a possibility? Although joining this group of poets clearly is not just a measure of the quality of one's poetry, still it is special and I thank Poemhunter's poet members for so honoring me. Today I have 233 points on PH's Popularity Poll which virtually guarantees me historically a place in the top ten group! Popularity on poemhunter is also a measure of how active a poet is, commenting on other's poems for example being a major factor. I personally salute members who serve the community in any way and promise to continue to serve PH in any way I can, into the future. Thank you so much PH members for this recognition of my growth as a poet on your site. BIOGRAPHY I started writing poetry my Senior year in High School and the Muse still strikes on occasion. I also wrote some short stories in college but poetry is my ongoing interest. I enjoy tennis, swimming and backpacking and have become a YMCA member in recent years. My short term memory has taken a hit but I'm physically stronger than I have ever been! It's nice to be able to see improvement in at least one area of my life. I was in the US Peace Corps twice. The first time was from 1964 to 1966 in Tanzania, East Africa where I supervised the installation of small bridges and culverts on feeder roads in an attempt to encourage local farmers to produce more. I also did some survey work and was lucky enough to spend nearly a month surveying future roads for tourists on the floor of Ngorongoro Crater, an extinct volcano whose rim exceeds 10,000 ft in places and is over ten miles in diameter. The crater floor is a natural game park nearly 2,000 ft. below the rim. The poem 'Venice' was written on my trip home from East Africa. A 2nd Peace Corps stint was in Malaysia where I taught a two year Physics syllabus to very gifted students in Kuantan, on the east coast of Malaysia from 1970 to 1972. I don't think I ever worked so hard in my life as I did teaching those kids. It was a very rewarding experience. I wrote a number of poems while I was at the University of Oklahoma and wound up getting a Master's in Physics before I left for Malaysia in 1970. The poems 'Venice' and 'California Montage' both won 'Honorable Mentions' in state poetry contests while I was at OU. My Masters in Physics specialized in Superconductivity. I was again very fortunate in working on devices used by USGS to do a study of how the earth's magnetic field has changed through time. This study revealed that the earth's magnetic field has reversed itself many times through history and now the magnetic field found in the rock enclosing fossils can actually be used to help determine a fossils age. I also the wrote the computer program that USGS used to analyze their core sample data. When money dried up for for scientific research under Nixon, my next job was working as one of the first video game designers using microprocessor logic. My first game, a copy of a game done completely in hardware called 'Bi-Plane' was perhaps the first commercially sold video game using a microcomputer chip, the Intel 8080, as it's heart and an Altair Home Computer Kit that a friend and I built as a development station. I wound up spending nearly 12 years designing games for companies like Extensys, Ramtek, Atari and Warner Brothers. My last programming job was designing a micro-computer driven KSU for TIE Communications which was my most successful programming job. The final phone system sold over a million units and its program contained over 40,000 computer instructions. This assembly language program took me almost 4 years to write before the last of several versions was completed. The remainder of my career has been in both farming and in real estate management. My father worked largely in farming related businesses and when he became ill I got heavily involved with our farms in South Dakota and Oklahoma, which gave birth to the poems 'A Walk Near Blunt, ' 'Driving Alone Through the Sand Hills of Nebraska, ' and 'Like a Farmer.' I am retired now and live in Silicon Valley which I have called home since moving here in 1973. A PERSONAL NOTE! My poems can be for fun, but mostly I write to communicate, to learn about how others perceive me and my thoughts. When I think about the negative aspects of my personality or how people view me, the qualities I think might give me some negative votes are (not in any special order) : 1. Take myself too seriously (With all due humility, I am perfectly serious!) 2. Am too egotistical, not humble enough, make absolute statements! (That couldn't possibly be true!) 3. Argue too forcefully (I just enjoy debate, any debate really, tell me what side you want to take, I'll take the other!) 4. Have had too good a life (Yes, I have had a wonderful life, though not without pain. All my pain has made me a better person though, so my ex-wives say anyway!) 5. Am too prosperous! (I have been very fortunate in my career and investments as well. There was 'Rite Aid' of course) News flash! Even Rite Aid is coming back (from $70/share to under $0.50/ share and now rocketing back toward $10/share) . Buy and hold actually works sometimes! I am so blessed. 6. Always sure I am right. (Not true but I understand how casual acquaintances might think that) 7. Am too good looking (Hey that's genetics if it's even true. Sorry not my fault) 8. Am shamelessly Christian (True, but that does not mean I am not ashamed of Christianity as it is practiced by almost everyone except me! That's a joke of course!) 9. Confuse sharing feelings with talking about myself (True but perhaps still an honest mistake) 10. A poor listener (Maybe but not sure that's fair. If you volunteer nothing, does that make me a poor listener?) 11. Crave other's good opinion of me (Perhaps, but working on that one at least) ? HEY UP YOURS ANONYMOUS CRITICS! I wonder if that's better? Please like me please? Oh, I can't help myself! 12. OK, Brier Edwards complained that I'm a whiny K*** A** when people say they are going to put one of my poems in the 'My Favorite Poems List' category and then don't do it. To that one I plead guilty as charged. Hey a 10.0 is nothing compared to one of those! This does prove though that I respond to reader input! 13. Suggested by Lora Colon: 'If you don't know you have faults then that is really a problem! ' Guilty as charged! My faults don't exist because of God's Grace. Yes, you and I know I still sin every day (and I care what you think, I do) , but the Big Guy and I are just fine. I just love Christian Paradox! 14. Am truly addicted to Dr. Pepper! I am so ashamed. (But does that really cause people to vote negatively on my picture? Hard to imagine) Keep me in your prayers on this one. Two weeks are coming up of (almost) no Dr. Peppers. (Just slipped twice!) 15. Called to mind by Daniel Brick. Tendency to focus so completely on something that I avoid responsibilities to friends, paying taxes, even eating (but not Dr. Pepper of course) ! Again guilty as charged I'm afraid! Anything else missing that you would like to add to my list Bri, Lora, Daniel, anyone? Go on take your best shot! : -) I really am curious! In any case, thanks for your interest in my biography and for visiting my collection of poems! If you think this list is embarrassing, you should see the list that both of my ex-wives had on me!)

The Best Poem Of Brian Johnston

A C T C - 2014/09 Entries - Poem Hunter Winners

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BRI EDWARDS (The Ex-Postman Who Keeps Delivering)


VALSA GEORGE (A Future Poet Laureate of India)


My personal congratulations to the winners. Which really includes every poet that entered. The diversity of interpretations of a single title is truly a wonder to behold and and a testimony to human imagination and experience as well. Job well done ALL!


Kanav Justa Votes: 1
Bri Edwards 1

Bri Edwards Votes: 4
Noreen Carden 1
Eugene Levich 1
Achill Lad 1
Darlene Walsh

Valsa George Votes: 4
Akhtar Jawad 1
Dinesh Nair 1
James B Johnston 1
Ramesh Rai

Tolu Ogundare Votes: 1
Diane Hine 1

Non-Voteing (Neutral) Possibles - So Far:
Kevin Patrick
Valsa George
Abekah Emannuel (Vote disqualified for not meeting deadline.)
Tolu Ogundare
Kanav Justa
Mr. Nobody
Savita Tyagi

>>>>>>>> GOD'S KIND OF POETRY? ' <<<<<<<<<<<

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Contest Master's Note: Two additional poems were also submitted that were too long to qualify. Both poems are quite deserving of your attention as well however and are posted as [Challenge] Poems September (Disqualified but Noteworthy) . And a 3rd poem that arrived after the closing bell is also listed on this page. All are worthy reads. Please feel free to Rate all of these poems in comments on their joint page. The Authors thank you!

-Ubiquitous is He who holds our breath in His hands-
by Mandolyn 9/14/14

Does the moon talk back to the night
when it says to stop walking around in boxers?
And when the moon is fully dressed
does it mess with the stars? Do the hands of our Creator
spank that disco ball and tell it to sit in the corner?
The ever present Spirit of God moves swiftly through
all things- when we sneeze we believe it comes from
allergies, but no
it is His gentle way of saying hello, come smell the
breeze y'all.
He's a cowboy too when He wants to be.
The trees He has lasso'd and given free will
to be still,

but let's keep this real
fun and formative, F the rules of pretty prose...

The universe is His trebuchet- he launches love
from all corners of the cosmos- watches with delight
as hearts are hit
and eyes are met
while the land beneath our feet
arches, moving with each breath~

Webmaster's Notes: Always flirting with danger, well flirting at least, Mandolyn is one of my favorite Immortals on PH. Well if she is not an immortal she should be. I have heard rumors going round that for 97 she is remarkably well preserved. Some say she could even pass for 54 on a good day, still under the speed limit! It's not always clear what her images mean or even how relevant they are, but one has to admit they are mean images. As for God's Kind of Poetry being mentioned in the title or the body of the poem, well she is really on thin ice here but she does mention God in first and last stanzas and it is true that prose is a form of poetry so God and poetry are both mentioned as well. Once again her poem qualifies by the skin of her teeth even if they are all implants. It seems pretty clear to me though that she has been reading Hemingway again. Such a naughty octogenarian she is! Sorry to blow your cover Mandolin, but no 97 year old likes sex that much. You must be at least 10 years younger! As an engineer though I struggle with images like 'the universe is His trebuchet' (but love that you used the word) as the reverse seems more true, that the universe is the output of God's trebuchet, i.e. the Big Bang perhaps? Seems more like a skeet shooting match with God's shotgun blasting love at passing galaxies before they get out of range? Shoot, I guess I am in the wrong poem! Silly me! The moon in boxers? Why would the night care what the moon was wearing? I know I wouldn't. Even if her light was always passive. (That is a Physics' joke people.)
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God's Kind of Poetry
By Darlene Walsh

I was peeking from my cave one day
And I saw a man coming this way
I've known for long his name is Moses
I heard it once as he gave his wife roses

As he walked in a daze I saw him staring
His steps never wavered in their bearing
I turned to see where he was looking
And I saw a bright bush that was cooking

As Moses got near I heard the bush call
A noise from a bush? I thought I would fall
'Take off your shoes' I heard it say
Off came my shoes and they flew away

Great words I heard from a burning bush
At the force of them I fell on my tush
'I Am that I Am' He named Himself
At that sound I became a frightened elf

What right have I, a simple small creature
To hear the words from such a great speaker
I was sure in a moment I would turn to dust
Or with pounding in my chest my heart would bust

But while the words I heard had great power
They flowed over me like the fragrance of a flower
They flowed like a cool spring calming me totally
And rang in my ears like some great poetry

I don't remember the commands that he gave with care
On Moses head shining white changed all his hair
But I was blessed as He calmed all my fears
To hear God's kind of poetry with my own ears

Webmaster's Notes: Darlene on the other hand is so out of this world cute, that I suspect she must be a leprechaun in disguise (anyone besides me catch that elf reference? Now how would she know what a frightened elf was like?) . Anyone figured out yet what planet that might be in her Bio picture? Where are my bifocals anyway? Now there seems to be some kind of quarrel between Mandolyn's and Darlene's visions to me. Mandolyn seems to suggest that God's kind of poetry is all prose, no rhythms or rhymes for sure and Darlene hears God's poetry in the words of a burning bush no less, sound suggesting both rhythm and rhyme, though both of course might be lost in translation, maybe you kind of had to be there you know? The voice of the bush/God suggesting a kind of music! Feelings are in the poetry that Darlene hears as well, coolness, and smells too, 'like the fragrance of a flower.' And Moses' hair turning instantly white as though great fear had seized him, but the afterglow being an incredible peace. Surely the sign of an incredible reading if there is any sign that exemplifies poetry's presence at all!
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By Tolu Ogundare

on this Teacher divine
stake I my dearest will-
upon Him who wrote
my frame with His
pen of Light;

and on the tiny fibres
of my heart
wrote He the equation
that sets in motion -
the wheels of life.

I, on scrambled Letters
that bore my unbalanced
weight, tottered -
till promises
like horses became...

and on this cart of life
I ride back and forth to earth
from Eden - garden of my birth,
whose verdure drinks of the wellness
drawn from living wells.

Webmaster's Notes: Tolu sings a song of confession of faith, a music of oneness, that recognizes separation and discounts it ALMOST completely. His very will, the fullest expression of his being rests in the teachings of Christ, who he acknowledges to have written him into the book of life and he sees God's logic (would 'poetry' in fact be a better word Tolu?) in all that brings real movement. He acknowledges too that even Biblical truth, God's Law, is scrambled and unstable ground given human balance, until Grace appears to save him from himself and to pull the cart of his life. With Grace's power the poet imagines himself moving between earth and Eden, his true home, though 'garden of my birth' does not ring quite true for me and I would personally like 'man's birth' better, an Eden whose lush beauty is eternal, fed as it were by living water from living wells. As Christ said, 'he who drinks my water will never thirst again.' The last image, of moving between Earth and Eden seems a little weak to me because it is only in our imaginations, I believe, that we make this journey. God's Grace surely makes everything Eden. It is only the weakness of our faith that prevents us from seeing that this is true.
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God's Kind Of Poetry
By Kanav Justa

he paints the vaulted skies over the seas
he carves the golden shore
and the dunes of the deserts etched by his breath
that blows forevermore

he writes in a tiny grain by the fields
he scribbles in green of the leaves
he writes in the gloom of the mortal beings
and in joy a man receives

still there are things we will never know
with what brush or pen he writes
and how he makes those flakes of snow
and how he paints those nights

haikus he writes in a tiny rose
sonnets in a mountain tall
in the trees he writes his eternal prose
he is a master poet after all

furious, he paints a raging storm
when calm, the raining noon
when gay, he makes those seasons warm
when sad, the waning moon

not all can read the work of the gods
not always do we have to stare above
the poems that he writes are everywhere
that's deep like true hearts in love

Webmaster's Notes: I have read Kanav that without pollution of different types in the air it would never rain, and also a claim that every snowflake is different from every other one. Hidden truth in what seems simple and diversity (even ongoing evolution) are certainly a part of God's Poetry. I agree with Bri that your poem seems to honor the contest rules and take them seriously and your variation in rhyme scheme does pay tribute to diversity and I give you points for that as well. I like your comparison of a tiny rose to a haiku and a sonnet to a mountain but I smiled at your comparison of a tree to prose, remembering Joyce Kilmer's famous poem 'I think that I shall never see, A poem lovely as a tree...' After Joyce it does seem a weak link indeed! Ha! Linking God's anger to raging storms and calm to a gentle rain has always seemed a contrivance to me but then you are young still! : -) Maybe the collision of galaxies would seem to represent God's anger better, but again I have been told that there is so much space between stars that a galactic collision might pass completely without the physical collision of anything, God's anger seemingly reserved for even bigger things, like a parent abusing a child, or one friend lying to another. Your first and last stanzas do shine for me, stand out with fresh imagery. God's poems might be multi-layered though don't you think? This does not diminish the depth of God's poems however and anyone who compares God's poetry to the depth of true hearts in love, has clearly been blessed with divine wisdom, for God is love.

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God's Kind Of Poetry ….. [Sept.2014 CHALLENGE poem; GOD & MAN; serious; personal; a little long] by Bri Edwards


'In the church of my Youth there was a 'Triune God':
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.
The Holy Ghost a mystery was, but Father was the Creator; so was the buzz.
The Son/Jesus was crucified; at my church 'Communion', He was the 'host'.

Nowadays God's a big question mark for Bri Edwards; that's 'me'.
I believed in Him once, but now I feel He might OR might not be.
I'll write this, a little tongue-in-cheek, as though in Him I still believe.
He may be omni-this and omni-that, and for me I'm sure He will grieve.

GOD (the Father) :

'To my main man Moses I once gave ten rules for Man to follow.
Now (more than they were years ago) , to many Earthlings, my rules are hollow.
My idea to send my Son (by a virgin) was too theatrical, now I see,
but the biggest mistake I ever made was to let Mankind's 'will' be 'free'.

Please believe Me when I say 'I meant no harm in any way! '
I should have killed Satan when I could, rather than just say 'Take a hike.'
I meant well; long ago I truly did. I had such hope for Adam and Eve.
The mess their kids have made of Earth makes Me now wish to take My leave.

So many of you no longer, or never did, in God the Father trust.
I'd start over once again, but I'm too old; like an iron nail I've turned to rust.

As for my other rules, which were ten, I don't even remember all of them.
Men AND women take My Name in vain. The Sabbath's not my wished-for gem.
Kids dishonor their parents and vice versa. You covet neighbor's wives, and worse.
You kill for greed and just for fun. You steal from private and public purse.

I've had better luck on other worlds. I guess I let humans' brains get too BIG.
I should have stopped Evolution's 'progress' ….. when the 'top dog' was a PIG.'


'I too, for God the Father, do grieve. He did His best; that I DO believe.
He was Kind, Mighty, Smart and Such, but He tried to handle just too damn much.'

Webmaster's Notes: I would love to find a spelling error in one of Bri's poems, but I would guess that my prospects for doing so are comparable to a snowball's chances in Hell. Fortunately Bri's fuzzy thinking more than makes up for his inerrant spelling (most of the time) . His formal announcement that he has been a closet Republican since salt water taffy was invented is pending and expected with the next postal rate hike! Like most of us Bri first forces God into a finite mold that he (Bri) has a chance of understanding, and then proclaims to the world, 'See, God is not so great! ' No SH** Sherlock! Ha! I'm no different from Bri or any one else in the world that tries to think about stuff like this. Our God is simply too small! So Bri you will be pleased to know that I too give you points for diversity in your rhyme scheme as well as Kanav. However it seems clear that you never found/read the rules and God's Kind of Poetry, in fact no poetry of any kind is mentioned or alluded to anywhere in the poem...... But this is National Be Kind To Ex-Postman week. In the hopes that doing so will dissuade any of them from going postal on us I will allow his poem stay in the contest. Now if Bri happened to find the poem he meant to email to me but forgot to, clearly he could clearly lean on his old buddy to come to his rescue once again and I would have an actual poem to review!

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God's Kind of Poetry
By Valsa George

‘Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt
and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen'

- Leonardo da Vinci

From my window I lazily watch
The phenomenal transition from dusk to night
The evening's brilliance giving way to twilight haze
And the reddened sky turning sallow as a sick patient
Darkness like downy feathers descending down
Wrapping the Earth in a gray woolen mantle
Light and darkness embracing in a breathless kiss
Like shocking colors blended on a wide canvas!

If painting is poetry that is seen than felt
What is this other than God's kind of Poetry?
With grandeur and beauty melded in rhyme
Oh, poetry is painting that is felt than seen

The night has now grown mysterious and enigmatic
Putting the weary Nature into indolent repose

Before my eyes stretch a vast plane
Whose boundaries have dimmed beyond all trace
Here and there, some monstrous shapes peek out
I see the dark silhouettes of trees supine
Brooding, sage like, in the thickening gloom
I watch the wide panorama lying still
And the clear star spangled sky above

The moon has begun her stately round
In flashing dress, she swaggers past the clouds
As if patrolling to guard the sleeping Earth
She has taken the place of the ousted king of the day
And countless stars are with her as entourage!
She comes down even to the fringy margin of the sky
To dole out blessings to all below her domain

All those who watch the beauty of a clear night sky
What else do they see other than God's kind of poetry

A calming breeze caresses my face and ruffles my hair
Though darkness envelops all around me
I hear the whispered promise of a day that shall soon unfold
As I hear this rhythm of Nature falling in my ears
In every beat, I hear God's kind of poetry recited

Looking at this night, God's art work of sheer beauty
I feel heaven has descended down to Earth
Never is a moment more glorious than this
When darkness has accentuated the heavenly lights!

I stand enraptured and stunningly awestruck
Turning every page of this wide note pad
Where God has scripted His consummate poetry
In wonderful images and such exquisite rhythm

Webmaster's Notes: No novice of the written word, Valsa knows clearly that she stands on the shoulders of Giants, and invokes the authority of da Vinci from the get go. But is it mere poetic license to insist that paintings are felt too as they in fact press themselves on our imaginations. And poems too perhaps are seen in the mind's eye, conjured by the poet's heart. Dare we quibble with the master?

I would have liked more exaggeration, more dance in the first stanza Valsa perhaps with something like

Opaque darkness falls like downy feathers,
Smothers remaining wisps of light,
Enveloping the quiescent Earth
In a snowy blanket whose chilling aspirations,
None the less protect its flanks from bitter cold,
Opposites embracing in a breathless kiss,
Like shocking colors losing themselves
In the sweeping breadth of God's Poetic canvas.

I very much like the short but mysterious 3rd stanza that suggests to my mind that God's poetry is in fact deeper than Nature, deeper than what appears to the eye, reminding us that imagination (a kind of poetry in itself) is deeper than all physical beauty.

The fourth stanza continues the mystery with suggestions of shapes that never quite materialize, but how I would have loved to have been confronted with the fact that only with cameras are we able to grok the colors of galaxies, of distant stars, Science giving us new eyes to see with and ears as well, new realities crowding in from all sides, the light too faint for us to see color at all on our own, sounds too distant for us to hear as well.

The moon's glow is but a pale reflection of the sun's light, for all her grandeur and power over night. But again I rejoice as you remind us of hidden rhythms that parse God's Kind of Poetry into structures, meaningful sentences that make life possible in fact - day that follows night, seasons that follow seasons, made possible by a moon, a sister planet really, that stabilizes earth and maintains Earth's stable spin, preventing a procession, a shift of axis that would make Earth's seasons (and perhaps life) an impossibility.

I know you are surprised Valsa by what I see in your poem, but your homage to rhythm as a part of God's Kind of Poetry, puts your poem over the top in my poetic realm. Really a beautiful poem as it stands.

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By Abekah Emmanuel

Before the universe's whole potential,
All that is today, flashed into existence,
In less than one millionth of a single second,
(A single thought of your incredible imagination) ,
You, dear Lord, loved the man I am this instant,
Felt the potential of my entire life on earth,
And called it good, pleasing in Your sight.
Though by your written commandments
And my own short comings,
I am nothing but a condemned soul,
Yet Grace reconciles us, and leaves me white as snow

So today, Once again I come,
Not to weep before you or present a petition,
Nor have I come to delay your great commission,
But to meditate, Yes! and to celebrate,
Of one thing, which my fellow poets
Have recently written in wonder and such beauty
That surpasses all their previous works.

It is not life, neither is it death,
It is not love neither is it nature,
Not of sadness nor happiness,
But of God's kind of poetry!

Yes! it is your poetry, which today I pick as my theme
Not to gain material riches nor fame,
But to explore your uniqueness,
The beauty of your creation and your perfection.
For all other themes are nothing,
But a mere way of gratifying mortals
And the expression of our satisfaction.

It is clear, and I see, with absolute attention,
that your poetry too is beautifully written
in the beauty of earthly nature.
When I gaze at the vastness of the ocean,
The beauty of the sea,
the magic performed by the breeze,
When I look right into the forest,
The conference of animals,
The pattern of the groove,
The heat of the sun beams,
The whiteness of the snow,
And above all, the prudence of the ant,
Then I see, colorfully, God's kind of poetry.

It is written with perfect skills,
Colorful imagery
And mind-blowing patterns,
No fault nor breaks,
But it flows, with such beauty
That only attests to the handiwork
Of a great architect, a great designer
And indeed, a master poet of all time.

Your poetry is infinite,
Because you have no end,
Your poetry is beautiful,
Because you are beautiful too,
Your poetry is perfect,
Because you are perfect too,
Your poetry is filled with passion,
Because you invented the power
To use and control diction.

The simple beauty of your sunlight,
Blinds us to other solutions,
Your poetry in its perfection,
Makes the sublime seem plain.

Webmaster's Notes: Well Abekah it seems clear that you are an up and comer here on PH. I really liked the 1st stanza but that last stanza blew my socks off. And how true to life as well. How often do we find that we really don't appeciate stuff until it disappears from our lives? A wonderful thought well expressed indeed.

The rest of your poem is more tenuous, and lacks the same clarity of thought for me with less discernible beauty and conflict. Though it seems unfair to just single out your poem for this criticism I thought Bri Edwards point about all of us really ignoring the uncomfortable or even nasty aspects of God's Kind of Poetry was true. Many more difficult issues were glossed over by almost all of us with very little space given to what bothers us all- the need for suffering for instance. None of us asked to be born after all. Is suffering the consequence of the gift of freewill? Is suffering what leads us to seek first the kingdom of heaven. A good but safe poem Abekah. I feel sure that you can do much better but a strong poem.

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God's Kind Of Poetry
By Mr. Nobody

Allow me to share God's poetry
I'll scoop up manna to throw at thee

If I am a child of this, or that God
That makes me one of the family, does it not?
The real deal, not a fraud, no infamy

He/She is the I AM. in each of us
We are all God's poetry
Riding in His/Her VW Bus.

Webmaster's Notes: Nobody it seems is responsible for this last poem and boy does it show! At least he is throwing 'manna' at us in this reincarnation. He seems to be moving to higher plains however as his last nom de plume was 'Monk E. Biz' (You can't imagine the Sh** he was throwing around then. Just be glad you were not here in the early days!) and before that 'Livinthe Now' for those of you with a shelf life that does not exceed English Muffins! In those days the saying 'I need to eat and run' took on new meaning! No offense intended however, it's just that at times I actually try to be funny. Did it work?

Now as I understand it when it comes to God's love, Nobody is left out, so reading the Bible literally, I must conclude that you Sir are in fact not one of the family. Have you ever heard of the mark of Cain? Maybe this explains your predicament? It's very clear however that you are one of those stinking liberals from some 'hockey puck' yankee school too I bet. All that durn follishness about a he/she God that you even repeated twice like we didn't hear you the first time! Well I've heard the song too and in spite of it being on National radio and such, I can pretty much guarantee you that 'God is not just a stranger on the bus trying to find his way home. God is 'home' you young whippersnapper. So get your tush back in your wannabe VW Bus and don't let the screen door hit you in your derrière as you're leaving either or you'll be getting some splinters as a parting gift!

Whispering.... Don't tell Nobody I said this OK, but I hope Nobody is right!

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If you like what we have done here.....


Maybe will make contests like this a website
feature in the future like some other websites already do?

And a huge vote of appreciation to both contributors and my
Collaborator, the thorn in my side, the pea under my mattress,
Bri Edwards (the disgraced ex-poet and now reinstated

>>>Please help us make this contest even more popular <<<
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Brian Johnston Comments

Brian Johnson is one of the most gifted, honest and knowledgeable poets alive today. I am bountifully blessed and highly honored to have him as a poetic mentor and friend!

4 3 Reply
Richard Beevor 05 May 2014

love advice to young poets, great work

3 3 Reply
Brian Johnston 30 May 2014

There has been another passing of note besides the poet Maya Angelou who, though grievously wounded by life, bounced back to assert her place in Poetry's Hall of Fame and in the hearts of us all. The poet Beauteous Victory, who graced Poemhunter with her passion and her pain has also vanished from our lives, but far more grievously. We do not know her real name, can not commiserate personally with her anymore, or speak to her shared heart by writing poems to her poems. The only part of her that lives now on Poemhunter for any of us now are the 3 poems that she shared with Neethu Panicker and myself that she was not able to erase, and did not ask us to take down. Beauteous Victory too was a black woman with great heart, a poet who achieved the upper echelons of Poemhunter's popularity poll. Though we may never know her fate, her voice abides in our hearts. She is now and will be missed. She is now and will be still loved for many years by her friends on Poemhunter.

4 2 Reply
Bri Edwards 15 May 2016

Where has the old bag of wind been recently?? He sure has not been paying attention to me!! Hmmmph!!

0 1 Reply
Abekah Emmanuel 30 July 2014

Indeed, an experienced poet capturing a never ending issue. Maturity, both in tone and in diction perfectly displayed. well done sir!

2 2 Reply
Abekah Emmanuel 27 July 2014

Wonderfully composed........... Indeed it is always a wonder as to why they cross the road. All their paramount features captured into this nice poem.......... Bravo!

2 2 Reply
Abekah Emmanuel 22 July 2014

TO LOVE WE BELONG...... yes we all belong to love- the magic that makes you feel like you can do anything... well composed sir. keep it up.

2 2 Reply
Abekah Emmanuel 22 July 2014

I LOVE YOU BECAUSE....... indeed love poems have always fascinated meas it is one of the most wonderful gift offered to us by our creator. Mr. Johnston has simply elaborated his feelings about it in simple and comprehensible diction. Like Langston Hughes, he has employed short lines to put across his message. Well done great poet!

2 2 Reply

Brian Johnston Quotes

1. Doubt is not the absence of faith, Certainty is! therefore 2. It is impossible to be a true Christian and not have doubts.

For love is not about just getting needs met by another, No, love is more like a laser's coherent beam…. For in reflecting back a portion of what is given, The power of what is being created grows Until it can cut through the hardest steel And span the gulf between galaxies.

I remember - were there coyotes? Howls that laced peyote nights. Desert air stirred pastel high notes Cliffs that danced with ghostly lights.

Adventures of the days to come hanging like a white sheet Strung between trees in an unwired, impoverished village, Only imagination powers the projector of what can be.

Do more, bear witness of your weakness to others, Not to mortify your own flesh (God knows you're sorry) But so that those with ears to hear (also God's gift) Perchance will themselves not feel so alone.

All is change my love, Everything we hold dear Vanishes and then reappears, Briefly, in other bedrooms, Like warmth from a fireplace… Only the stars in lover's eyes Remain the same, until they change.

Things were going pretty good, When, by landing on the hood A sparrow made a mockery of all knowing.

Yet, as light passes venetian blinds, Like music through classical guitar strings, Touching the softened form of familiar Love, The rods of the eye wander adagio Along the bars of a century-old sight before rising,

Ardean hooked me with his music, I swallowed that bait whole, so deep, It have would killed me to retrieve the hook.

It is good to believe in yourself, to have confidence that you can row your own boat, but your pride should not be so great that you are not aware that your boat floats on the gifts and caring of other people.

Our personal power and happiness rests on understanding this: Attempts to get others to meet our expectations will generally fail, but if you successfully address the smallest flaw in your own nature, the whole world will instantly be a better place.

Such an inscrutable blackness Is called a black body; Acceptance of its existence Gave birth to uncertainty Blurred the determinism Of an earlier age… And color returned to God's cheeks.

How is listening to God being radical? I am instead one of the most conservative men on earth!

Questions, and the lack of fear in asking them, is how God knows that you love Him. The fact that you live to ask more questions is how you know God loves you!

Question everything, including your own questions!

To live as if you believe that your soul is immortal is to fully embrace your humanity.

What I say may not always make sense but I love the fact that I've said it and that someone somewhere actually considers its viability.

If I just die and there is nothing, what is there to be afraid of. And if God is real and He judges us, can I not count on His grace and Christ's blood? What then do I have to fear for God is with me!

Being a poet is about aspiring to truth and beauty, it is not about being BEAUTIFUL, about being TRUTH, so perhaps simply acknowledging the fledging poet in me does make me a poet? Is not a a baby bird that has just emerged from the egg still a bird, even though he cannot yet fly!

Is desired behavior to be considered normal? Are we not all forever sinners at heart? Does not our sinful nature put forever the 'healthy, normal' behavior we aspire to just out of reach? Does not humility require that we acknowledge our sinful hearts so that true humility is also just out of reach.? If not for God's Grace (even if God himself is mankind invention) , true reason for despair! If God (and God's Grace) is man's invention, then Poetry itself is man's salvation and It's mysteries forever beyond us. Praise God!

He who eats pizza will be hungry again, but 'he who drinks the water of life will never be thirsty again.' Christ was talking about beer wasn't he?

Thoughts on terrorism. Conversations with Abekah Emmanuel... I can suggest some themes that I feel are relevant, in math we distinguish between things that are necessary to prove something is true and things that are sufficient to prove something is true. It is a nice way to organize your thoughts and lends force to your arguments... I think that man's drive to simplify his life in the face of incredible complexity is something we all feel and strive for. But when we make simplicity our God this gives rise to the potential for incredible evil. One of man's greatest tools in his desire for a simple life is the concept of putting things into categories. I am tempted to say that this concept really almost defines for me what it means to be human, it's not 'I think therefore I am' so much as it is 'I categorize, and this makes me human.' Friends, Enemies, Meat is good, Vegetables are bad, etc. What contributes to a man becoming a terrorist I suspect is a lack of respect or perhaps an educational blind spot. He cannot allow complexity to exist without feeling overwhelmed. It takes a real man, a mature man, not an anxious child, to get that variety is a gift from God and not a threat to the wisdom of our ancestors. If the modern world threatens our religion or our respect for our ancestors, surely that most likely that means our own understanding of our religion or of our ancestors is defective. Most people hate terrorists I suspect for their lack of focus, like in this country where blacks are overwhelmingly killed by other blacks, not whites, even though disadvantaged minority rage thinks it is rage against the advantaged majority, it is to some extent at least a form of self hatred. The minority secretly hates their own ancestors for leaving them in the position that they find themselves in. Terrorism is, I suspect, only a very small threat to the US and brings a lot more grief to the country that hosts the terrorist. The problem it presents America is that our nuclear weapons are largely ineffective against it. Who do you retaliate against? It seems that drones will continue to be a large part of America's answer. A political enemy once identified can be fairly easily eliminated today at least. No amount of personal body guards can protect you against drone attack and since few people are injured when compared to a real war, not many people care when a known terrorist is killed for it means that the terrorist will wind up killing fewer of his own people. The only real way to address evil in the world is make sure that you yourself are not part of it. Terrorism shames the people whose disadvantages it attempts to address, and so it seems to me a dead end strategy.

In Eliot's 'Prufrock' he is famously quoted for the strange musical nature of the lines 'let us go then, you and I, when evening is spread out against the sky like a patient, etherized upon the table...' If this line is not a joke on his fawning followers to see how obsequious they really are, then it should be. As a future editor of Eliot's work called 'Poetry As A Joke' I have rewritten these famous lines to bring poetry, music. and humor back to his verse... 'Let us give up rhyme and health, Where the ruptured sewage truck has spilled its wealth, Inhale Spring's road side potential for poppies...' BJ

'To become an artist you need two things at least, to know yourself and to love your weaknesses. Art is not simply book learning. I think it is more that life is always teaching you things that you don't really know you have learned until something prompts you to express yourself. That is when art happens.'

Humility is my only virtue! But I am very proud to think that at least I got one thing right!

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