• Neil Johnson

Skylark

Updated: May 13

Across the world, there are splices of myself.

Bits of my mind that I left behind,

fragments of time in my peer's minds,

far too intertwined

for either of us to forget.

Until a part of the link ceases to exist.


For what remained were two strains, two woven brains,

the same sort of place, same sort of chains,

same sort of blood flowing through our veins.

Until the strands of our unhatched plans,

splintered and vanished,

left with no more knots.

No more thoughts.


Laying on the floor in a pool of- not snot,

but some other vile life water,

vital as vile, as red as the Nile.

From a mind with the potential to decompile,

the universe and everything that exists,

if only not permanently eclipsed

but left to die.

A bullet in his third eye,

that saw it all as he had to fly.

Too high,

too close

to the sun,

until his wings

melted and became undone.


It was probably just a deal gone bad,

but my gut says something more.

No one gets murdered,

and left to die on the floor,

without some clue left as to who

or what

compelled such an

unfair end

to impend.


The story sounds familiar,

particularly similar

to your mention

of your marijuana mentor.

In the Colorado winter,

killed alone in his home

yet it is still unknown,

as to whom, cast that stone.

His dead head bled,

til you came back and

found the floor covered in red.


Panic, pain, depart.

Changed your name to Skylark.

Moved back home, laid low.

I guess the years weren't enough for the grudge to go?

Because what an unimaginably accurate foreshadow

of exactly what we know

about your death.

Coincidence? I don't think so.


As an ethereal being, I'll send you these words,

I respect your gifts

back to the world.

Our soil loves your fertile flesh,

but our lives could have used your neural net.

Passion, but no patience.

Well-founded paranoia,

intelligence, insanity, laced with hysteria.

After a decade of distance,

You reached out to me, insistently.

Now I see,

it wasn't just because we were brothers of the past

or because my skills might get you rich fast.

You saw hope in a fellow outcast,

and if I hadn't turned away,

if I had only made the time to talk and stay,

maybe fate would have changed.

Maybe you'd be lucky enough to see another day.


I should have read the signs,

should have heard your tells,

looked between the lines,

spells drowning in the wells.

In a brain that got you where you stood,

too smart for your own good.

A phrase, I thought, oxymoronic,

until your life bent on it.


A musician at heart,

a student of the strange,

farmed his own crops,

lived the mechanics of biochemical change.

He understood the molecules

and the bonds of the particles,

that made up the things that messed with his brain.


We're talking THC,

CBD, Ecstasy, LSD

FTP, SSH, HTTP.

You name it,

he knew it,

he felt it,

he lived it,

until he didn't.

Until his soul flew free

through his own DMT.


It was six weeks before you croaked,

when we talked and joked,

about how it's only a matter of time

until the humans collectively find

a cure,

for the problem,

so pure.

Immortality is but a blurred science,

but if we research enough,

our nanobots will soon call death's bluff.


We both knew in our hearts that it wasn't a joke,

we knew it could be done, if properly bespoke.


I felt your passion, I knew your mind.

I knew you could do something to stabilize that line.

To help find a cure,

to life's inevitable contour.

And you wanted to contribute

as a participant, as a tribute

to the immortal cause.

I asked why,

and you couldn't lie,

the words came out:

"I don't ever want to die."


This makes me think

maybe you knew,

that death was coming for you soon.

But I guess it's possible too,

that you already knew,

there was nothing you could do.




----------------------


Neil Johnson is an American poet and a world traveling circus performer. Neil explores various creative mediums, from writing to fire dancing to juggling to unicycling.


Connect with him on Instagram and Youtube at @banananeil

blackout poetry , poetry books , slam poetry , ancient love poetry, boudoir photography , nude photography , still life photography , cg artwork , artwork singulart , nowness, nowness in residence , nowness submissions , style like u, colors, warsan shire, cover letter for poetry submission, poetry submission format, def jam poetry, poetry magazine, frontier poetry, selectism, muzzle magazine, mubi, poet, writers workshop, writers submission, poet submission, tracy k smith , poetry out loud , contemporary poetry , natasha trethewey , modern poetry , complete poems , mary oliver , william butler yeats , elizabeth bishop , poet laureate , prose , literary criticism , walt whitman , young poet , free verse , lyric , artist interview, interviews, poet interview, maya angelou , Joy Harjo , treefort artist submission , art basel artist submission , rolling loud artist submission , tappan collective artist submission , kinfolk , azeema , a3c artist submission, where to submit your artwork , how to write an artist submission , south by southwest artist submission , pottery barn artist submission , saatchi art artist submission , how to submit lyrics to artists , comic artist submission , deviantart art , how to submit art to magazines , art contest submission guidelines , how to submit to an art gallery , online art magazines , best online art magazine , online art magazine submission , online art magazines uk , what is the best art magazine , best art photography magazines , biggest art magazines , online art poetry magazine contest , free online poetry magazines , best online poetry magazine , poetry magazines accepting online submissions uk , online poetry literary magazine , popular poetry magazines , short story submissions , where to submit short stories , photography art submissions , best magazines for photography submissions , best creative magazines , best creative magazines accepting submissions , roxanne noor , brogan dinsdale , patrick schiefen