Rochdale College
Freedom School, I Exiled in Time

Toronto, Canada (1972)

Chased by this wild, I was a black wolf of time
freedom extinguished me-
I died on borrowed time,
I died on hashish,
I died on snorting cocaine,
I died on the “H” man, heroin,
LSD, acid passed around hallucinated me
into Disneyland without my house slippers.
I nearly jumped 18 floors without hemp,
straight down breaking through plate glass,
Jesus invisible was my invincible Superman.
I nearly died listening to
American Woman, Guess Who,
they feed me downers for my overdose.
I nearly died in a small room
balling an unknown little bitch from Montreal.
All those little pills in dresser drawers, yellow, pink, and red.
I nearly died, Yonge Street, with hippy beads,
leather purse, belt, fake gold chain, and small pocket change.
I went the way I didn’t know where to go,
searching for heaven ending at entrance
hells gate, Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
Let me fluoresce, splatter red on the asphalt
of my exiled heart.
Let me follow the freedom school,
Summerhill, England, free love.


Note: Rochdale College was patterned after Summerhill School-Democratic “freedom school” in England founded in 1921 by Alexander Sutherland Neill with the belief that the school should be made to fit the child, rather than the other way around.


Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, DuPage County, Illinois. Mr. Johnson published in more than 2013 new publications, and his poems have appeared in 40 countries, he edits, publishes ten poetry sites. Michael Lee Johnson has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, 2 Best of the Net 2018.