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Ashton Johnson
How We Are of the Trees

Running fingers down earth-worn bark,
the edges and bumps smooth
from years of rain and sun and snow,
you can feel the age of the tree
in your fingertips
like the wrinkles of a man
in the last throws of life.
Memories are carved into the skin,
every joy and sorrow etched
into the body. Like a carpenter, time
shapes us into something that bears
the brunt of the years. Into something
that is at once a tell-tale sign of what we are,
where we’ve been, and what we could become.

Ashton Johnson
Past Remembered

I remember how cherished those times
should have been, sun-filled days when I ran

through the ankle-high grass with dogs
barking at my heels and made wishes

on dandelions. Nights with cats curling
to sleep beside me in a cocoon of blankets

under a moon that was always rising.
I wonder over times passed, a dream

that no longer makes any sense to me
as the world moves ever, ever, ever on.

Ashton Johnson writes, “It hasn’t been until the last three years that I have found myself actually writing as I have been more into art all my life. As anyone who takes up a pen will know, the first few things he or she writes are always the hardest, but I’ve come to find my niche. I write about whatever inspires me at the time, be it a song, a painting, or anything in between.”

 

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