The Boogeyman
— a poem by J. H. Johns

Most of us have heard of him,
he’s been around for years,
quick with a whisper- or a nudge-
anything to stoke our fears;

for those of us who know him-
he might even be a she-
slipping in and out of our lives,
wanting to keep us company;

he’ll begin with confusion
and move to uncertainty,
then use emotional blackmail
and dark clouds of anxiety;

do we know what he looks like,
does he have a given name,
how many of them are out there-
will they always act the same?

There’s so much about him,
that most of us don’t know-
what strange land does he hail from-
what other places does he go?

But, now,
in a post 9-11 world,
it’s time that we know more;
let’s find him,
detain him,
remand him-
interrogate and question-
this shadowy visitor!

The Boogeyman is with us,
he’s forever on our trail,
how does he know where to find us-
why does he always prevail?

J. H. Johns “grew up and came of age” while living in East Tennessee and Middle Georgia.  Specifically, the two places “responsible” for the writer that he has become are Knoxville, Tennessee and Milledgeville, Georgia. Since then, he has moved on to Chicago- for a brief stint- and New York City- for a significantly longer stay.  Currently, he is “holed up” in a place called Getzville, New York where when he is not writing, he tends to his “nature preserve” and his “back forty.” His goal is to surround his house with all sorts of vegetation so as to obscure it from the gaze of the “locals.” He is assisted in this task by his coonhound buddy and companion, Roma.