Aphelion Issue 293, Volume 28
September 2023
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
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Flash Writing Challenge
Dan's Promo Page

Like Zen

by Michael Lee Johnson

This version
is tacitly the best.
I am in the morning sun
when the artist arrives.
My pair of pajamas
sleep in frozen still patterns.
I turn my face oriental with my poems.
Cherry blossoms, I turn inside out
light pink to white, brevity, for a short
time then walk alone, then die.
I hear the sound of notes in my ears
approaching on silent footprints.
I enter the monastic life; abandon untimely
meals, vulgar songs, and dance, mime statuette
toss garlands, toss racy clothing,
abstain skunk of perfumes abstain no visitors.
I leave all sinful shadows behind.
But I am of this world, not out of this world.
I swear way too much and pray too little.
The way of Zen and Jesus is a boxing match.
Crack and smack a curse—
twigs break silence.

Try the audio version

© 2024 Michael Lee Johnson.

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet in the greater Chicagoland area, IL. He has 300 plus YouTube poetry videos. Michael Lee Johnson is an internationally published poet in 45 countries, a song lyricist, has several published poetry books, has been nominated for seven Pushcart Prize awards, and six Best of the Net nominations. He is editor-in-chief of three poetry anthologies, all available on Amazon, and has several poetry books and chapbooks. He has over 453 published poems. Michael is the administrator of six Facebook Poetry groups. Member Illinois State Poetry Society: http://www.illinoispoets.org/. Remember to consider me for Best of the Net or Pushcart nomination!

Find more by Michael Lee Johnson in the Author Index.

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