Last Dance

New Orleans.


And wet.

Warm sulfur filled breezes from some distant small-town paper mill,
Blew through cracked slats in time,

Long past life’s faded worn gray shutters.

It was our last night,
The last place life mattered to me, anyway.

It was Savannah’s time.

And she had slayed another dragon’s heart,

Confident that nothing would breach the dark chasms cast between broken souls,
Where hearts crushed in silence,
Simply surrender to the inevitable.

One hers,

The other mine,

It was our last dance……….

Mysterious, enchanting and lonely her past thrown upon ancient seas,

Where vapors stale,
Rise upon winds existing,

No longer.

It’s was Savannah’s time,

My final memory sealed for eternity,

Her soft sun-bronzed skin which smelled of confederate jasmine young in summer,
Permeated the aired sounds spilled upon this night, in the Old Square.

Outside, the massive arched window overlooking this decadent city of sadness, lust, dominance, and sins,
A single leaf twisted.

Whipped in the cool breeze of the pre-dawn blush,
Soon lost to an Indian Summers past glow.

Long weathered grey shutters,
Sealed for centuries its memories,
Tower beside this ancient southern monument to a glorious aristocratic past,


As trade winds blew in gusts through the narrow breezeway,
Sweeping last moments,


Down the allies and lonely streets of a time now surrendered.

Tavern hags,

Whose muted shouts echoed in the near distance,

Stumble down ancient stone allies,
Their voices in laughter muffled,
Seeking home,
In an evening,
Now lost to the sweat of another dawn.

Then turning,

As I sat upon the massive four post-Victorian bed watching,

She dressed,

Her white cotton shift tightly draped, clinging, caressing her body in the humid tropical air,

She stood.

Transfixed and motionless in front of the floor to ceiling mirror leaning against the charred rose-colored fireplace,
The new dawn lightly glowing through the transom illuminating her hair,

Radiant in its softened light,

For a moment she paused,

Searching in absence of thought as an actor might,

Having momentarily misplaced a staged point during performance,


She turned motionless peering into my image painted in mirrored reflection.

Her eyes sultry in the broken light,
Appearing as polished stones of light grey and lapis blue,
Seared my soul.

A smile now faded,
Her stare fixed,
She seemed to pray that new memories had never existed,
And that they would vanish in the dew of the summer’s pre-dawn light.

Then turning my way,
She stood in silence,
Wishing she could be as I,

Once again.

It was time,

Ethereal dreams fading,
Hearts crushed in the weight of silence,

It was Savannah’s time,

Centuries long past,
She had traveled these halls of another age,
In visions taken to whispered winds and points unknown.

It was our last kiss,

Our last night,

Our last dance.

Johnny Johnston
An artist/writer as well as graduate of the University of South Carolina with degrees in journalism/20th Century American Literature, and retired senior executive of several international hotel/resort corporations, Johnny is the product of the south having been raised in the ever-changing transient lifestyle of a Carolina coastal resort. A point where he discovered, within his 300-year-old heritage and the world's dramatic social/cultural shifts during the late '60s to early 80’s an ambitious hunger and overwhelming curiosity to touch, see and become a participant in the virtually unlimited possibilities offered to those who wish for and seek life experiences. A journey which when hearing its details initially makes one a bit skeptical, questioning its validity as it is hard to imagine that incidents such as these may have crossed one man’s lifetime. This is the fodder required to step into zones exposing one's personal inner self, which many of his paintings and the words he writes do, openly. An ability to see and hear the tragic, beautiful, accomplished, exciting journey in a life free of inhibitions allowing others the opportunity to live vicariously and become, through his works, a part of its future. His larger works which have been featured in several Colorado and Fredericksburg Texas galleries and resorts have produced a number of collectors and fans. However, over the years, his paintings are mostly viewed by friends, enthusiastic new artist encountered on the streets or a small number of acquaintances he meets when dining in local cafés with his wife.
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Larry Tyler

I love this Johnny very romantic with memories and mist filled dreams

Len Bernat

Johnny – I have to echo Larry’s comment – romantic in a manner that causes the reader to go to memories long forgotten or surpressed. Your talent shines in this piece.



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