Poems by Harold Johnson

Talking Earth Anthology:  Harold Johnson

Harold Johnson was born  in Yakima and is a lifelong resident

of the Pacific Northwest.   He graduated with degrees in English

and art from the University of Portland and PSU,  and taught English

in high schools, grade schools and colleges. A former editor of Fireweed

his work is featured in many journals and anthologies, most recently

New Poets of the American West.   Now retired, he was an Africa-USA

Fellow of the Ragdale Fondation of Lake Forest Illinois and has recently

completed his first  novel. He lives in NW Portland with his wife,

artist-professor Anne Johnson. 



Three Poems  from Riddle River Pills,   by Harold Johnson,   2011



Little Northwest Chant

        For Roxanne Ellis & Michelle Abdill


We are a state of emergency

We are a state of shock

We are a state of confusion

Our state is serious

Our state is critical

Our state is grave


Look out, children

Look out, trees

Look out, waters

Look out, salmon

Look out, children





And what on earth

shall I say of my mother:


Darling mudpie

out of which I stood up


washed in the blood


survival her genius.



Gone Song


so long, so long, song

I’m long gone, longlegged gone

been hangin’ round here too long

so long, so long, so long

been hangin’ round without no song


next time you see me, baby

may think I’m crazy but won’t be


                        nothin’ wrong



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