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Caroline Johnson

Hauling Water


I’m not a swimmer, but

I’ve swum for 20 years

and in the water I find

a pool of prayer and sunlight,

a lap of Buddha without numbers,

a dedication to peace,

a moment of maturation,


signing to the deaf with

free-style kick,

sliding through to numbers

on a journey of void.


Emptiness can fill you

like the hollow hive of a bee.

Joy is not a lazy pot of honey

but a process of

strength, courage

and focusing on

the inner path.

Leaves swirl in the ripples,

are rolled away,




Caroline Johnson has been writing poems and stories for more than 25 years, but is just now beginning to publish some of her poetry. Most recently, she published two chapbooks, Where the Street Ends and My Mother’s Artwork. She has won several contests sponsored by Poets and Patrons of Chicago, Illinois State Poetry Society, National Federation of State Poetry Societies, and Rambunctious Review. In 2012 she won 1st Place in the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Poetry Contest, and has published poetry in DuPage Valley Review, Prairie Light Review, New Scriptor and Rambunctious Review. She currently serves as President of Poets and Patrons. She teaches English at Moraine Valley Community College and Morton College, where she also works as an academic advisor.