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Hannah Johnson Dec 2019
I am numb because I heard
That you were gone
So young, so soon
You will not know
The way I wept
Because there is
No sadness in Heaven

I picked a rose
To take home with me
No sooner did I hold
It in my hands
Than it fell to pieces
Its fragrant little petals
Floating to the ground
For my baby brother ❤️
Hannah Johnson Dec 2019
Snow
Falls softly
Some flakes
             Flutter
                     Right
          Some flakes
      Float
Left
Any which way
They will or wish
But always whispering
Hushhhh
And always softly

They need no words;
Some wet,
       Some light
The white
    Flurries hurry
   for     no     one;
A quiet crowd,
   like feather-down,
                               Down,
                  Down,
They become one smooth coverlet
For the shivering winter world
Shhhhhhh
Hannah Johnson Jun 2019
You stood precariously

                      Where the land ended

Maybe imagining it was the end of the world
And the wind was calm;
And the sun glazed the lake so smooth
You were sure you could step out
And walk on it
And I watched your mind believe it; and one foot
                                              Try it--
But alas,
         it
           sank
And the clouds shone clear till you were sure
There were clouds in the water
And the sky shone blue beneath your feet
Until the watery blue sky rose around you
And it was deep

And you never thought a sky so warm with sun
                                 Could be so
                                       Cold
Hannah Johnson May 2019
Down many roads
Behind me
Over many hills
And weaving, wandering ways
Through shadows and through light
Of the distant dappled past
Filled with faint whispers of
Familiar sounds and smells
And faded, sun-bleached colors
In the echoing halls
Of the castle of my childhood
When the hinges of the wooden doors
Swing singing to a slam
And shake the walls with
Their tremendous thunder
And the steps outside grow distant
And all is still
And dark
And cold

…Among the chilly labyrinths of stairs and stone
And looming darkness, and the moving shadows…

There is a room.
Light leaps and laughs
Behind the lock,
Around the door,
And floating on the dark, the eerie air,
With dazzling bejeweled wings of silver,
…there shines a voice.

It flies, it trembles and
It sighs and soars.
It beckons to my stricken heart
To follow;
Stabbing my listless soul to life
It beats its wings against the bars
And flutters up, away, and through that door
Into the light.

With every note and every chord
With every song, the Voice’s flame burned deeper
Melting in waves of tremulous heat
My icy soul
And calling me to come
To hear, to listen, and to unlock
That door.

The room became my kingdom
In this prison
My fiery home of joy
Within those haunted halls
Where my heart could leap,
My eyes could weep,
My soul be shaken with the soaring songs;
The Voice summoned me deeper, darting, ringing
Echoing through all my blood and bone
Until it changed them.

And in the strength it gave me
I stumbled to the window in the wall;
I saw there were no iron bars at all,
But an endless starry sky of hopes and dreams
A great wide world just waiting to be seen.

Since then, my feet and heart
Have traveled far
Through crowds and cities,
Fields, dusty lanes,
Through scenes and sunsets,
Never two the same;
There is a scar: an ache, a vivid memory
Still tender to the touch
That tries to turn me
Backward, time and time again,
But I cannot go and open up the castle;
For time looms, frowning, standing in my way,
My childhood buried quietly
Beneath the bony fingers of the trees
That sway and whisper in the castle’s dark
And miles and miles of sad and sunny days
Have filled the place
Between.

But if my soul had form, and solid shape,
Or if my heart could beat exposed
To show the world what sparked it to its rhythm
You would find, burnt deeply
Into every fiber
The branded image
Of two silver wings—
The symbol of the trembling Voice that sang
(With truth and power enough to break a chain)--
My shackled soul
To an eternal
Freedom.
For a {nameless here} singer  whose incredible voice changed my life. He inspired me through his haunting and imaginative singing to leave reality behind and become who I today by the pursuit of truth.
Hannah Johnson Mar 2019
Go west with me 
                               In our hearts my love                              
We will live alone
   On the wide prairie
The earth beneath
   And the sky above
And no one there
   But
      
                                                      ­         you and me


No crowds to talk
   No one to stare
And none to steal
   Your eyes from mine
No one to mock
   Or to compare
To make you feel
   They dim your shine

    
But in our haven
  Face to face
Your heart will ask
  And mine will answer
In deepest gaze
  And dear embrace
We sway to our song
  A single dancer


The world will smile
  When the west wind blows
The whisperings of
   Of our ever-after;
From distant miles
  The smell of rose
And the sound of song
  And a baby's laughter

  
And they may come
To try the lock
To enter, share,
  Or peer and pry;
We will not hear
  Them when they knock,
So far away
  As you and I.


Go west with me  
  In our hearts, my love;
Where the sunset burns
  And the wind blows free
The earth beneath
  And the sky above
Too small for the love
  Of you and me.
We will leave them all behind. They interfere; they do not define us. We may walk among them on the outside, but in our souls, we will be far away--we will build our own future, our house of dreams.
Hannah Johnson Feb 2019
With gentle spirit
   kindly eyes
And mortal hands
   of blood and flesh
He lifts the soul
   toward the skies
And gives the fiddle
   life and breath

A servant and
   a human tool
To translate for
   the wood and string
With coaxing, patience,
   studied rule,
He teaches fiddles
   how to sing
Written after the incredible experience of watching the greatest acoustic fiddler on earth make his magic in a small room only a few feet away from my entranced ears.
Hannah Johnson Jan 2019
Wide little eyes watch from behind the door
    fat little fingers grip the wood, until the blood has fled and left them
  white with cold.
   Chill iron fingers of terror curl around the pounding little hearts and      
squeeze
      their childhood from them
   For the demons enter, breaking down the door;
     their guns drawn, blood on their hands, death in their faces.
    The blind ones rise, with effort, with confusion
   curse the lying promise of the empty bottles, laughing at them from  
     the ground
   and having played themselves to the trap, are pushed helpless to the            
  door.

   and the little eyes burn as they read the little minds their story;
    and flood the tiny trembling faces as they shout the silent truth into
        the hollow room
  that with step after echoing footstep, the beloved ones
    the blind and stumbling ones
  are herded with the crack of whips over the edge
   to a buffalo's death
         in the dark.
From the perspective of  a Native American child whose father has turned to drink to escape his poverty, unemployment, cultural conflict and racism in a rural locale.

— The End —