June 13-19, 2011: Jan Oskar Hansen and Michael Lee Johnson

week of June 13-19, 2011

Jan Oskar Hansen and Michael Lee Johnson

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Jan Oskar Hansen

Bio (auto)

Jan Oskar Hansen is a poet from Benafim, Portugal.

The following work is Copyright © 2011, and owned by Jan Oskar Hansen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A cigarette

Dawn, yes and the mist, what else do you
except on Lake Martin early summer?
Swamp cypress dripping with Spanish moss.
I have stopped rowing, water swirling around
oar blades. The silence is absolute I dare
not inhale, a bird shrieks, the lake shudders.
An evil thought has entered Paradise.
I hear the faint noise of outboard motors.
The moment of ethereal stillness has gone.
I light a cigarette inhale deeply, exhale and blow
rings of pure delight into morning air.

Reflection in Phial

I look at my hands they are brown as a farmer’s, this pleases me
although I have no tractor or a mule. A workman’s sturdy hands,
all socialists should have hands that have harvested carrots.
I flex the muscles of my upper arms, see the faint movement
like mice moving under thawing spring snow. Glorious vanity to
think I used to do 100 press ups a day only because I lived in fear
of being a weakling. I think of sex, and sadly conclude I never was
a great lover, when the act was done I reached for the book I was
reading. Yet women liked me because I was not pretentious, they
also tried to domesticate me as I had an affinity to walk my own
way and often ended up in seedy bars. The squalid side of life has
always mystified me, why does a person choose a road that leads to
ruin and hardship? I have always been lazy, strenuous effort will not
touch me. But I would like to have my muscular arms back.

The Emerald Isle

Sailing into Cork I saw green hills, the sea was jade,
I understood why Ireland was called the emerald island.
On the sheer slopes sheep grazed; chancers I thought
the slightest slip and they would fall into verdant waters.
Why do not graze on the plateau be happy with modest
fodder if not as succulent as grass too unsafe to get at?
And sheep fall sometimes they are rescued by a passing
voracious fishing vessels, and end up as Irish stew.
Cork was pretty port it had a no hasty feel back then,
it became a busy place ignoring the hazardous slopes,
but holy is economic progress, lush living for everyone.


Dubai, the shiny city amongst sand dunes, is built by migrant workers
and their blood. Yes, in this unparalleled luxury, hotel staffs smile like
bright buttons…or else. Your discontent may cost them their job,
suicide amongst migrant workers goes unreported; so guests can sleep
in peace in their gilded beds. Should you ever go to Dubai, remember
it will drown in the sand, when the economic forces move elsewhere.
And this hubris on parched soil will be an historic interlude.
The wind in the night will murmur about untold suffering and the soul
of the disposed shall whisper words for no one ears and the wailing of
the conceited haves shall be goats bleat when sacrificed on the altar
of time without end. For this is the universal law, those you enslaved
will arise and possess you.

Michael Lee Johnson

Bio (auto)

Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer and small business owner of custom imprinted promotional products and apparel: www.promoman.us, from Itasca, Illinois. He is heavily influenced by: Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen, and Allen Ginsberg. His new poetry chapbook with pictures, titled From Which Place the Morning Rises, and his new photo version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom are available at: http://stores.lulu.com/promomanusa. The original version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom, can be found at: http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-46091-7. New Chapbook: Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems, by Michael Lee Johnson: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/challenge-of-night-and-day-and-chicago-poems-%28night%29/12443733?productTrackingContext=search_results/search_shelf/center/2. He also has 2 previous chapbooks available at: http://stores.lulu.com/poetryboy. Michael has been published in over 24 countries. He is also editor/publisher of five poetry sites, all open for submission, which can be found at his Web site: http://poetryman.mysite.com. All of his books are now available on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=michael+lee+johnson. Borders: http://www.borders.com.au/book/lost-american-from-exile-to-freedom/1566571/.

The following work is Copyright © 2011, and owned by Michael Lee Johnson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

I Know from My Bed

Sometimes I feel
like a sad sack-
a worn out old man
with clown facial wrinkles.
I know when I reflect,
stare out my window
at the snow falling
from my bed,
my back to yours,
reflecting on my pain-
ignoring yours-
I isolate your love,
lose your touch
to another-
it is our bed,
not mine,
that I lie in.

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