Featured Poem: “The Language of Love”

Caroline Johnson

The Language of Love


“Without arts, the inner life would wither” –Mark Strand

Take three bus transfers anywhere.

Get off at the last possible spot.

Look around—you will be surrounded

by Chicago, but you won’t be lost.

Doubtless you will see Mark Strand

wandering State Street in an overcoat.

Maybe you see a thousand such poets,

falling from the sky like a Magritte painting.

Open your umbrella to protect your face

from their tears.  Watch as their broken

legs and blood smears the sidewalk.

Step over their bodies.

Don’t steal their bowler hats.

Walk up to Strand and shake his hand.

Fan the inner flame of art—protect

your fragile and illuminated heart.


caroline4 (2)Caroline Johnson has two poetry chapbooks, Where the Street Ends and My Mother’s Artwork.  A Pushcart Prize nominee, she won 1st place in the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row 2012 Poetry Contest and teaches English in the Chicago area. See her blog at http://jupiter-caroline.blogspot.com.

Caroline Johnson