Featured Poet: Gail Sherman Johnson (Miami, USA)

Gail lives in Miami; recording as Gail Warning, she has released two albums - Independent and Season of the Soul, which are both available on Amazon, cdbaby and elsewhere.  The pieces below have never been published before and were written at various points over the last few years.  From the second onwards they were uploaded onto this site in October 2015; the first piece is the latest upload, and was written three years ago in response to my describing to Gail one of my visits to the grave of Sylvia Plath in Heptonstall, West Yorks.
I am honoured to be publishing Gail's poetry.

For Simon

Dreams of blackened rain
How does one find forgiveness
In the well of pain

Strew blood red petals
On the cold grey stone in the rain
Remind her that her life was not in vain


These flames never dance

They swagger in burning up

The floor between us

Fake Jewel

Glistening ruby

Liquid crimson promises

Nothing but heartburn


When I remembered

What actually happened

The criminal was caught

Picking Blackberries

She's a purple kind of girl

she's got violets in her hair

she lilac's ambition

she's black & blue berry aware

she's grown tired of the red game

dodging flags and ground to halt

always madder than a hatter

building shelters on the fault

she's been wary of the verdant

forest stripped of all its trees

and the blinding green awareness

of her petty jealousies

whiter than the avalanches

blacker than the ashen soot

grayer than all the confusion

covering her head to foot

sweet and succulent and tempting

glistening blackberry fruit

gnarled and twisted, deep and stubborn

that same thorned blackberry root.

Extreme Stream Dream

If this island was an ocean but no deeper than a puddle

I would meet you in the middle we could contemplate this riddle

we could skip across the desert with our favorite cup of tea

there is no one I would rather have to come along with me

we could muse about the poets Edgar Alan and the rest

sepulchristic visionaries never take a moment's rest

if it really doesn't matter that you're here and I am far

if the closest you come to me is by satellite or star

I will always hold you near me where noone can ever see

where the numbers match the letters of encoded destiny

pour the wax before the waning

join the latch and guard the key

treasure all in the safekeeping

where it burns eternally.

© Gail Sherman Johnson

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