Seeds and Weeds

 

Poetry and Prose by JJ Johnson

 

Chapter 8: Broken Bonds

 

War and Peace

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Chapter 8: Broken Bonds

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                “Drive Home” was inspired by several events that have occurred during the course of my lifetime. I've lost a few friends over the years from drunk driving crashes and wanted to say something about it, but found it very hard to write about dead friends. So I wrote something general that expressed my feelings without being too personal. My thoughts were drawn to a friend of mine who was killed by a drunk driver while he was riding his bike. It was a hit and run and his brother found him lying on the side of the road shortly after the car had killed him. Richard was a good kid and a great friend, we had some fun times together and nearly 30 years later I still miss him. The poem is not specifically about him or any other person, it just reflects how I feel about those who make the choice to drink, knowing there is a car waiting to take them down that dangerous road when they decide it’s time to leave.

                Driving drunk was something I never did myself, as I didn’t get my driver’s license until after I gave up drinking. But was foolish enough to get in the car with friends who did drive drunk on many occasions. I consider myself incredibly fortunate that we never got into an accident. That’s the thing that makes it all the worse for some people. After you do something once and it doesn’t turn out bad, it gets easier to make that choice. I think it’s a good thing I gave up drinking before I got my drivers license, I might not have continued to be so fortunate. I’d like to believe that I would never be so stupid as to get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence, but I also would like to have believed that about my friends who have died from being so foolish.

                I haven’t been drunk since January 1st, 1984, and I thought you had to be an alcoholic to remember that sort of thing. I remember because I got incredibly sick and spent the night kneeling before the porcelain potty. Two hours after there wasn’t anything left in me to come back out, I was still kneeling there wondering when the convulsions were going to stop. That was enough for me, kind of like the first and last time I tried smoking a cigarette. It was the nastiest tasting thing I ever tried, and I coughed so much from the only puff I took, that I decided there was absolutely no reason to ever do that again. I am not immune to peer pressure, but some things are just so repulsive that no amount of friendship is going to coerce me to try it again, let alone make a habit out of it.


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Drive Home

Drive Home
Johnny won't you drive on home?
And when you’re on your way away from here
Why don't you tilt back and down a beer?
Drive Home!

Drive home
Johnny don't you drive alone
There is no need to fear what you can't see
So relax and have a beer on me.
Drive Home!

Drive home
Johnny got your friend all stoned
He says "Beware of that telephone pole”
The faster you speed the more heads will role.
Drive Home!

Drive home
Johnny you won't make it home
A fair price to pay is the fate you'll share
Tonight’s the night you're gonna lose your hair.
Drive Home!

Drive Home
Johnnies mother's on the phone
Johnnies friend won't be sleeping in his bed
It rolled so far they haven't found his head.
Fly Home!

Fly Home
Johnny sings the jailbird moan
You felt lucky cause you survived the ride
But locked in your cell you can't run and hide.
You're Home!

Created On: 12/31/1987
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                Turning twenty was a turning point in my life in so many way. Unfortunately, most of the ways my life was changing were not for the better. One thing that was happening was that my dog was dying from cancerous tumors. It had me reflecting on life in general. I was depressed about several things, but losing Max was the hardest thing of all. He was my best friend while I was growing up and was always there when I needed someone to hug when I was feeling down.

                While he was in his last few months of life, his condition got worse with each passing day. His cries were like knives being driven into my heart. I knew I had to let him go and I am sure he knew that there was only one place where he could find peace. Max was the smartest dog I have ever known, so when I say he knew, I mean that he was completely aware that he was going to die and his cries were his way of telling me he wanted to die. That was the hardest thing to accept. Letting him go was also letting go of my selfishness. There was no reason to make him suffer in the last days of life.

                Max lived a wonderful life, gave all of us his absolute, unconditional love and never did a bad thing in his entire life. From the moment he followed my brother home, and came back to us after being returned to his first family, he knew where he wanted to be. There was no question in his mind, or ours for that matter, that he had made a choice he would never go back on. And he never did. My dad brought him back a second time and he was already sitting on the front porch before he got back home. The other family decided we could keep him since there didn’t seem to be any way to get him to stay there anyway. They had him chained up in their ally-way, not a very good place for any animal. He broke the chain three times to escape and he must have sensed that we were the kind of people who would always take care of him.

                I can’t possibly give examples of all the things Max did that were above and beyond the ability of normal dogs, and I don’t really feel the need to. I have my cherished memories with him, as the rest of my family does also. But when paying tribute to Maximillion Johnson, let it be known that he was everything a dog could ever be to a family and to me as a boy growing up who needed his love as much as he needed all of ours. I hope dogs go to Heaven because if there ever was one who deserved to go there, it was Max!

 

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Even The Best Of Us



Created On: 03/21/1983

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            Just down the street from the house I grew up in was the Prospect Hill Cemetery. It was a huge sprawling place with numerous hills and trees. Most of the time it was very quiet there and it was a great place to go hang around in without having anyone bother you when you wanted to be alone. It was also a great place to play with friends because there were hardly ever any cars in it and it was so big that various groups of people could be doing things in different areas and not even know the others were there. In the winter, the hills made great places to sleigh ride down. The main hill had a bump near the bottom that would send you flying through the air if you caught it at a good speed.

I always enjoyed going there and finding peace when I needed to get away.

After we moved to Schenectady, I would often go back to Gloversville and visit friends there. And I also made a point of visiting the cemetery just to take a walk around and recall some fond memories. So many things happened there down through the years, mostly good, but a few bad things too. Still, it was my sanctuary where I could free my mind of whatever weighed heavily on it. After John Lennon was killed, the day they held silent vigils for him all around the world, I went to my favorite spot in the cemetery and help my own peaceful vigil. I could have gone to Central Park in Schenectady to be with hundreds of others who had gathered there, but I wanted to be alone and have my thoughts clear and pure for a man I didn’t know, but loved and grieved for.



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This Quiet Cemetery



Created On: 09/09/1998

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                Sometimes a dream is just a dream, but sometimes the things happening around you while you sleep, creep into your subconscious. The imagery of dreams is as colorful as any in poetry, even if you only dream in black and white. The mysterious banging that echoes in your dreams is not necessarily a ghost, it could be something from the real world trying to break in.

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A Ghost At My Door



Created On: 03/18/2003

 

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            Soul Silhouette was written for a former friend who always acted like everyone around him owed him something. It wasn’t something you knew at first, it built up over time. His friendships were based on materialistic things and what people were willing to give him at any given moment. I don’t know how I put u with him for as long as I did, but he managed to get himself fired from his job, where I also worked, for similar problems with the boss. Some people never learn.
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Soul Silhouette



Created On: 08/31/2003

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            Where Are You Going? I've Seen Where You've Been!” was formed from a conglomeration of inspirations. To begin with, my girlfriend sent me a letter on the day of my mid-term exams at college, telling me she was leaving me for another guy, who she later left for a girl. Around that time, in Literature class, we had read the short story, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?", by Joyce Carol Oats, which she said had been inspired by the song "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue", by Bob Dylan. I took some inspiration from both and also Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone", combined with my anger and wrote the poem.

After failing my exams that day I started cutting classes and losing all interest in college and life in general. By the end of the year my grades and attendance made my decision to drop out of college mute, as I was given the boot without having to so much as tell anyone I wasn’t planning to return. The one class I kept going to until the end of the semester was English, however. It’s funny that the one class I hated throughout my school years would become the one I loved in college. I even managed to fail English in my senior year in high school and had to attend Summer School to get my diploma, which is funnier still because I now work as a Teacher’s Aide in English in the very same high school I failed the class in. You just never know where you are going, even if you’ve already been there.
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Where Are You Going? I've Seen Where You've Been!

Where are you going and where have you been?
You've learned nothing at all from all that you've seen
You don't care who you hurt, you don't know what love means
Ain't it funny how life never is as it seems?

You've been hurt and now you ignore the pain
So many times you think you're going insane
There's no way to stop it now, no end to your game
And one day you'll know there's no one else you can blame

With all of your lies and the way that you flew
It's hard to believe you're the girl that I knew
With the life that you've led and with all you've been through
Did you ever wonder what'll become of you?

My fine feathered lover, watch out, beware
Your flight path is less a circle than a square
You've turned all the sharpest corners and cut them all clean
Tell me, where are you going and where have you been?

You used to be such an innocent girl
Your beauty once shined like the whitest of pearls
You love to get sun-tanned while laying on the lawn
But now it is raining and your color's all gone

You'll find yourself living out in the street
Then a pimp will find you and you'll kiss his feet
He'll use you and sell you till you're no good anymore
Then you'll realize what you've become is a whore

Where are you going? I've seen where you've been
Now you've spread your legs and let them all in
Do you know what you're doing? I think it's a sin
But you'll keep on doing it again and again

You dance around like a sweet high class queen
You're sleeping habits are completely obscene
Burning your sheets has become a daily routine
I wonder where you're going, I've seen where you've been

Created On: 04/16/1984
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                There is a Moody Blues song called “Have You Heard” that often comes to mind when I fall in love. The imagery of life’s hallways and doorways is one that I relate well to. Doorways are always opening and closing as we make choices, and so it is with love. We decide to commit to a relationship and we close the door behind us so others will not intrude on our intimate moments and create obstacles that could bring it all to an end. When you fall in love, you want to shout it out to the whole world and make sure your friends hear you, that they know the word has found you with all four of it’s unshakable letters. At least it’s unshakable until the next tremor of the heart shakes the foundations of love.

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A Door Too Close To Closed To Adore You



Created 05/11/2005

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                Love is like a rainbow. It is most beautiful at its peak, but anyone who has ever chased a rainbow knows, it always vanishes before you get to the point where it ends. And the way love begins, you could be standing right there and not notice where it sprang up from, so by the time you see the arc up in the sky, you’re too far away to get back to the beginning and find the pot of gold it rose up out of.

Love blinds us from seeing the cracks in its foundation, so when it comes crashing down, all that can be found is a pile of fools gold, leaving us to wonder if it was ever real at all.


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At The End Of Every Rainbow



Created On: 07/01/1988

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            There was this woman I knew, we were more or less friends, but more like regularly scheduled acquaintances than true friends. She was always dating one guy or another, and often another guy at the same time. Her relationships were always very tumultuous as chaos was the rule in her life. Whenever she would break up with one of her boyfriends, she would come crying to me with her story of whoa and ask me what to do. I would usually tell her the first thing to do is to stop seeing more than one guy at a time. But she said she needed to have another guy to help her through the lonely nights and she didn’t want it to be someone she would be attached to. Hell, I coulda done that for her. I doubt she would have though, it would have changed the dynamics between us and she was not about to settle down. I’m sure I would have wound up with a broken heart and obsessing over her for years afterwards. It would have been one hell of a ship wreck though!
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Eye Of The Pirate, Heart Of A Thief



Created On: 03/25/2001

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            I met this very lovely little Wiccan woman who seemed to be under the impression I was a Warlock or god of some sort. She was very odd, dressed in a suite when she went to work but otherwise always wore these white robes that looked more like curtains that belonged in my kitchen window. She wore no underwear and the material was very thin which is I think why I was so attracted to her in the first place. When she left the house she would put on an overcoat that looked like it was an old Army surplus coat from World War II. It definitely didn’t go with the curtains, er-ah, I mean robes. When she had friends over to her house, she would put on these very odd looking purple and yellow strips of silk cloth that hung over her breasts and waste so as not to be exposed to them, but she never put them on when we were alone.

We did not have a sexual relationship, but it was very clear to me she wanted one. There were enough seductive poses being flashed before my eyes to make her highly desirable at any given moment. Then I found out through a mutual friend that she wanted me because she thought I was some sort of chosen one who she was supposed to mate with to have a child that would be a very powerful warlock. Well, this was just a little too weird for me, so I decided it was time to check out of the Mistress Bates motel.
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Sometimes Wishes Come True



Created On: 01/01/2003

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            What happened to this poem? “What Happened To Us” was originally part of a poem called “See Through Inner Eyes” but the stanzas didn’t seem to fit together and I had two different concepts for where I wanted the poem to go, so I separated the parts that seemed to fit together the best and set aside the stanzas that I would later add more to, for a couple of months. “See Through Inner Eyes” would become more of a philosophical piece, with more introspection than it may appear on the surface, but the other pieces were not really clear to me what I would do with them. That is, not until I had a very brief liaison with a woman I had just met.

Another poem called “Miss E. Roddick”, which will be in my next book, more closely describes the events that never should have happened, but I used that experience to complete this poem. It is an unusual poem for me because I normally write about the comings and goings I experience in a more realistic manner, but since I had those other stanzas already laying around doing nothing, and I had just completed the “Miss E. Roddick” poem, I decided I might as well write something and see what happens. When reading this, it feels more like a song lyric than a poem, so it just might become a song one day. Though I started writing it originally on October 26th the final work wasn’t done until December 22nd of 1989.
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What Happened To Us?



Created On: 10/26/1989

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To view excerpts* from other chapters, click each Chapter Title below

Each Chapter excerpt presented on-line contains two poems and prose from that chapter.*

Information on purchasing this book can be found below the index.

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Seeds & Weeds main page: Seeds & Weeds index (click link)

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Chapter 1: Pride & Prejudice* (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)

 

 1: Pride Is One Seed

 2: Seeds & Weeds - (prose)

 3: 3 Seeds ** (on main index page)

 4: 4th Independence

 5: Matthew 5:5

 6: Knot In The Loop

 7: Segregation *

 8: Separation *

 9: Where Will You Aim Your Hate?

10: NYS OCFS Graduation Speech, Parker Training Academy, 12/10/99 *

11: The Boyz At Tryon

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Chapter 2: Power & Peace*(click Chapter Title for excerpts*)

 

12: 1000 Keys *

13: Pay For The War *

14: Like Father, Like Son

15: Pride Blinds Biased Eyes

16: Nation's Pledge

17: Empty Arms And Burning Flags

18: Stars And Stripes

19: There's More Than One Way

20: Rush To Judgment - Judgment To Rush

21: God's Children / One Family We Are

22: Do Not Die For Me

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Chapter 3: Faith: Search Within & Beyond* (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)

 

23: Great Unknown *

24: Pass On True Freedom

25: A Question Of Faith

26: Have You Heard?

27: Faith In What I Don't Believe

28: Unwilling To Let Go

29: This Dream I Dreamt Last Night

30: The One On My Shoulder - Never Succumb

31: No End To The Flesh

32: Invisible Light

33: Touch *

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Chapter 4: Dysfunctionality & Family* (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)

 

34: Ro-Ro Rows Her Boat *

35: Quarter-Life Crisis

36: The Family Way

37: Within Me - Beyond Me *

38: The Task Undone

39: A Ray Of Sun From A Pot Of Gold

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Chapter 5: Introspection* (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)

 

40: Life Is An Ocean *

41: Self Portrait

42: Forgive Not Forget

43: Two Faced

44: Constant & Changing

45: Walls And Bridges

46: Desire To Fly

47: The Man I Am No One Else Knows

48: Blind To The Me Others See

49: Stock Room Blues

50: But Does God Trust in US?

51: Struggle Against Success

52: Every Eden Has It's Apples

53: See Through Inner Eyes

54: I Am

55: Under The Bridge *

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Chapters 6: Mother Natures Sun* (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)

 

56: He Who Laughs Last Will Be A Fertile, Mutant Cockroach *

57: Sleep (Hiding From The Touch Of Death)

58: Leaves

59: Inner Eclipse

60: Full Womb Crescent Moon

61: Moon & River *

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Chapters 7: State Of The Artrocity* (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)

 

62: Death Of A Virgin *

63: Artificial Artists (State Of The Art)

64: Artificial Artists (X-Reprise) *

65: Tragedy

66: Artists Are Lonely

67: Where Is My Muse?

68: Philosophy Therefore Poetry

69: A Test

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Chapter 9: Loose Ends*(click Chapter Title for excerpts*)

 

81: Big Hair

82: Across The Miles

83: Hidden Alterations

84: Unspoken Thirst

85: Daylight’s Darkness

86: Two Color Souls One Color

87: Someone's Drowning In Your Pool *

88: Aisumasen Renee *

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Seeds And Weeds purchasing info

 

Publishing of this book is through BookSurge, an Amazon.com company.

 

click the cover banner above

ISBN # 1-4196-3309-0

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War and Peace - Rage and fear

War and Peace

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2006 Joseph F Johnson

 All rights reserved. 

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any manner or form without written permission from the author.

 Printed in the United States of America.

Portions of this book © 2004

US Copyright Office Registration

TXu1-162-978

ISBN 1-4196-3309-0

Publisher:

BOOKSURGE an Amazon.com Company

5341 Dorchester Road, Suite 16

Charleston, SC 29418  USA

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    Seeds And Weeds is a philosophically expressive compilation of poetry and prose from the heart of JJ Johnson. Offering his feelings on politics, faith, family, introspection, nature, friendship and fate, to poetry itself, Seeds and Weeds is more than simply a collection of verse with splashes of imagery. It reflects the spirit of a caring man who proclaims, “Nice guys don’t finish last, we just want to be sure no one gets left behind”. The poems in this compilation could not be conjured from the casual observations on life that some would accept as fine poetry. These poems are more; they are the raw emotions expressed in words that have been inspired by a lifetime of experiences. Written in the moment of these events, the poetry here is sometimes harsh, but always honest while digging deeply into the essence of poetic creation.

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Seeds And Weeds purchasing info

 

Publishing of this book is through BookSurge, an Amazon.com company.

 

click the cover banner above

ISBN # 1-4196-3309-0

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