Thanks for visiting my blog.

I'm posting my photos, poems and other writings here, along with news about my readings and publications.

I also plan to make available the sound files of my radio show, Across the Borderline, which has aired for six years on WBCR-lp in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

Stay tuned,

Phil Johnson

Thursday, November 10, 2011


The floor covering—marbled pattern I measured, cut, laid down

15 years ago in our bathroom: sepia clouds inside squares.

One section now a strange glaring red where sun radiated

through the skylight.

If you look at it like a child seeking visions in a cumulus sky,

there's a fish lying on its side, no longer undulating

through the river—caught and beached, its weight

pressing a fragile, scaled image into the sand.

Outside the frame, the angler is already casting his line

back into the bubbling waters running through the morning.

Here's a human face, cumulo nimbus forehead, shadowy

indentation at the temple, the nose a hazy triangle, the mouth caught between opening and closing. The eyes impossible to decipher. Emptied of feeling after some terrible conflict with wife or lover? Hearts shredded by rage?

Or does he anticipate a crossroads, gazing through the heavens

to divine what steps he should take? He and she

living in parallel layers as they shear apart. Knowing

he may need to make an irreversible decision.

I glance in the mirror. When I look back at the sepia sky,

the face is gone.

© 1997 Phil Johnson

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