Glenn Johnson

MY JOURNEY TO YOU

Little eyes search a new world . . .

The gaze and suckle for food, body and soul.

A tiny heart tuned to the glow and tone of love . . .

. . . Compelled to bond . . . drawn to the love gaze . . .

Mother . . . Father . . .

chosen in the soul’s spirit quest . . . for what was known . . . now obscured . . . by the soul’s desire to be human.

Explosions of rage . . . too sudden for small and toddling legs to escape.

Tender senses scorched.  Heart seared . . . Terrified . . .

Mind’s burrows dug deep beneath the conflagration.

Huddle and tremble . . . await signs of the fire storms end.

Calm?  A fearful crawl to the surface . . . barely exposed. . .

eyes cautious . . . deciphering the face of mother then father.

Ashen . . . Exhausted . . . Eyes, searing embers . . .

They trudge through rubble . . . cinders . . . charred corpses of words . . . shouted . . . damaged and scared souls.

Instigators of marital strife . . . Words the mistaken enemy . . .

Silence a simmering refuge . . . Frost bitten eyes of evasion.

Shielded, scorched hearts . . . Tolerated phantoms they.

Indifference their drug of choice for festering wounds.

An endless cold war in a place called home.

. . . Love . . .

a mere obligation to a vow?

. . . Love . . .

a mere arrangement of consonants and vowels?

Indifference their drug of choice for festering wounds.

My hands on a chair . . . the letting go . . . timid steps into the great void . . . wobbling legs . . . diaper descending

butt naked . . . I toddle . . . pudgy arms reach to you.

Were you there?

In the beginning was the word . . . Your sounds in my mind and mouth. Coo and babble.

The ancient celestial winds swirl in my lungs.

The divine conductor orchestrates the mystical moment: ma ma. . . .  da da . .

Did you truly hear me?

Time and again . . . the fearful crawl to the surface.

Decipher the face of mother then father.

Vacant gazes to anywhere but each other.

Phantom to phantom become my phantoms.

Mutual strangers carving a frozen asylum.

Now my vacant stare is your vacant stare.

A child’s confusion:

Mother . . . Father . . . How did I lose the gift to enthrall?

How did I fail you?

What did I do to lose your love?

Still the yearn for the joy that welcomed my birth.

I was your precious one . . . was your bright eyes.

My joy of your joy . . . My delight of your delight . . . Vague memories of enfolded fondness.

The tender embrace . . . the serene snuggle . . . the oneness of a we.

The need and want of love:  How can I rekindle our love?

A desperate search for the fuel of love.

I gather kindling in all that I do: school . . . sports . . . honors . . . just sticks and twigs gathered in my arms.

The ritual march to deliver pleaful offerings.

I look down at my accomplishments . . . decayed dead wood . . . the food of ungrateful insects.

Arms open . . . My burden and tears fall to earth . . . My healing is a foreign and alien place.

The decision final . . . never again to return.

A youth’s anguish: I hate you for bringing me into your hell . . .

Hope becomes despair. .

I know my place . . . Mind’s burrows dug deep beneath the blizzard.

Isolation . . . the numbness of drugs oblivion.

Await signs of tenderness that never come home.

Salvation? Girls?  You had been so annoying . . .

What about you to be treated so special?

Yard work . . . digging . . . trimming in the burning sun for me . . .

Sisters’ air conditioned house chores.

God’s gift? Give me a break?

Transformation before my eyes!

Girls all about me . . . beauty.

A bolt of lightning . . . a direct hit . . . burrow piercing radiance.

A wild scramble to the surface.

Drawn to the love gaze . . . of a boy and a girl . . . chosen in the soul’s spirit quest . . . for what was known . . .  now obscured . . . by the soul’s desire . . . to be human.

You

I

our limbs and souls entwined.

Ethereal blazing trees.

God’s gift in deed.

A solemn vow . . .

spoken man-child to woman-child . . .

born of wounded hearts . . .

witnesses to the rebirth of love.

In all our imperfection . . .

in times of anger, hurt and fear

. . . no matter how difficult the task . . .

. . . teach each other . . .

. . . the words and touch that heal . . .

. . . our togetherness a true labor and gift of love . . .


This is a pen...

BIOGRAPHY

Glenn Johnson:

I am quarter Cherokee, an enrolled member of the great Cherokee Nation, and recognized by the federal government as American Indian. I am 61years old born 1951; I really don’t know where I am from. My father was half Cherokee and was in the Air Force, so we were stationed in bases all over the US including Europe (France & Germany) when the US was still an occupying force.

I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since I was 7 years old. I graduated from the University of Arizona with a major in Inter-Disciplinary Studies: Literature, Sociology, and Psychology. In 1979, I was accepted into the University of Arizona MFA program in Creative Writing. Very close to graduation, I realized there was very little I could do with an MFA to support my young family of two boys; one and three years old. I concluded I did not want to put them through the starving writer lifestyle, so I transferred to the Master’s program in Counseling & Guidance.

Actually, it worked to my long-term benefit. As a mental health
therapist, being trusted with often traumatic experiences and very
difficult relationships and personal issues, I had broad experiences
of the personal challenges of being American Indian in a dominant
non-Indian culture.

Also, I have collected many stories from 18 years of working in American Indian programs on and off reservation. I have been telling Indian stories of my American Indian experiences to Indians and non-Indians alike for many years. It dawned on me about a year ago that I was a story teller in the Indian oral tradition, but now it was time to put the stories in writing.

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