Monday, 30 March 2015

A Poem a Day (41): 3 haiku

It's 3 little haiku today! So need to get my head around writing novels... think I may have had a bit of a block over this last year. It's just been poems and little flash fiction bits. Anyone in the same boat?? Can we find an oar? Or a bigger boat?

Paws of black and white
Padding with a hop and bounce
More like a bunny

(Yep, that one's about my darling kitty! She does run that way)

Striped socks, silver tree
Heart-shaped glass whispers to me - 
Tells me to be free

Horizons beckon
Where these wings take to the sky
Stuff of endless dreams

copyright Vickie Johnstone

Friday, 27 March 2015

A Poem a Day 2015 (40): There is nothing to say #antibullying

A poem written for JD Mader's #2minutesgo challenge on his website, Unemployed Imagination. As usual, the title prompt is from a line in his first story. It happens every Friday and if you fancy joining in just head over to

This one is on a subject I feel strongly about and will never understand: bullies and slanderers. I write about bullying in my Kiwi books for kids, and try to show that everyone is the same and should be treated equally. We've all seen or experienced bullying at school. The teachers did nothing about it at mine and one even joined in by laughing. Luckily, I think (or hope) this is changing, and teachers and parents should explain why bullying is wrong to kids, but kids are kids. 

Then they grow up and it's adult bullying for which there really is no excuse. I don't get it. Are they the school bullies who never grew out of it? What is missing in their life that they want to destroy someone else's, which is basically what the end result is? Is it because bullying gives their life meaning or they love the drama? Or do they enjoy watching someone else suffer?

What kind of person orchestrates the ruin of someone they don't even know? And what kind of person then follows the bully and does exactly the same thing? Do they find it fun? Is it a game to them? Is it because they're scared to be bullied themselves, so they join the pack? 

If the bully/slanderer actually knew the psychological and physical impact on their 'prey', and the fact it can make them ill, would they stop? You'd like to think so, but somehow I doubt it. 

There's only one thing to say about bullying: it's wrong. 

There is nothing to say (that hasn't been said before)

Nothing left to say
Or do
If no-one asks
You cannot defend
The sun sets
Upon nothing
An emptiness creeping
From anger seeping
A stasis
Substance stopped
An effigy
Of the person blinds
Living in denial
In a bid to ignore
Each and every day
The things heard
The things spread
The lies
Burning like a candle
Carried like a mantle
Dying in forever
Drifting on the wind
The words
Carried far
Until despair lingers
Turning light to dark
White to grey
Stealing hope
Confidence even
Without grace
No one asks
No one questions
Lifts a mirror up
To stark reality
Or even stops to think
It might not be true
Aggressively joining
The feeding frenzy
Without a care
Or a second thought
To ask is too easy
And would deny
The rumour maker.

copyright Vickie Johnstone

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

A Poem a Day 2015 (39): If I leave

Yet another poem written from a prompt on JD Mader's Friday 2minutesgo challenge. I think this one took more than two minutes - say five to ten. Cheers :)

If I leave

If I leave will you follow
Way out there into the dark,
Where the world weaves
Its own deceptive light?

Is it better to disappear
Altogether while you sleep,
Or to tell you all these things
I’ve kept so close so long?

Will the time come anyway?
Will the ending be the same?

In these seconds I can see
My decisions flow in clarity,
See the real and the unreal,
Opposites, standing side by side

But then the moment turns,
Fast unravelling and I am lost
As the ebb and flow of things
Floods every decision I make

If I seek to win will I lose?
If I mind to lose will I win?

In this game we seek to play
Are we deceiving ourselves
While the Fates grin and bear
Each and every mistake of ours?

Closing the door softly, I leave
To step upon a spread of snow,
Beneath flakes falling like my veil
Into this tangled dark I know.

copyright Vickie Johnstone

Friday, 20 March 2015

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring #bloghop #giveaway

Hello, and welcome to a hop welcoming in the Spring. On this hop, a bunch of writers are giving away books, swag and gifts galore, and they'll be posting stories and other interesting things. Just click on the links at the bottom to hop to the other blogs. Cheers and have fun! I'm so glad Spring is around the corner... bye Winter, brr, hello bunnies, boing! :)

First, here's a poem for Spring (previously posted on this blog)


In this greenest of grass
Where the cracked ivy winds
Ever searching to burrow
Buttercups nod to the sun
This blaze of egg-yolk yellow
Set in a wash of purest blue
Here, in the mind’s eye
The imagination runs wild
A neon-blue dragonfly
Flits delicate gossamer wings
Whirring to create a current
Of moving air to play upon
Against nature’s own breeze
These valleys dive deep below
Verdant fields of lowing sheep
Unrestrained by fences
Wandering as free as they will
Bowing to the buttercups bobbing
Where the dragonfly hums

Now for the giveaway - 

I've published 15 books and I'm giving away the following prizes -

Winner - ebook copies of The Sea Inside, I Dream of Zombies, Kiwi in Cat City, Day of the Living Pizza and 3 Heads & a Tail. If you like poetry, I'll happily throw in one of those too.

Runners-up - 5 people will win an ebook of their choice.

To win, all you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter competition below - Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are the other participating blogs in the hop - click and go! Thanks for visiting! 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Flash fiction: the waiting #2minutesgo

Hi! Today, I'm posting a little bit of flash fiction that I wrote for JD Mader's 2-minute writing challenge. It's on his blog, Unemployed Imagination, every Friday if you fancy a go. As usual, I took my writing prompt from his first story - 'the waiting had almost killed him'. Cheers.

The waiting had almost killed him

Waiting. Always waiting. He checked his watch. Almost on the hour. The time drew near. Wet roses. Waft of lemons. Soft plaintiff breath on the air. So cold. He felt it. Just there. Almost a hand’s grip away and then it swerved. A dumb call, lost in the quiet. Except for those deep, even breaths. Then nothing. Almost as quickly, it dispersed, trickling away around the corners, into the walls, hiding. He moved, tasting his own fear in his mouth. That metallic, cold and hard. His own breathing rushed like water through his ears, his muscles tensing. It called him. Always now. Around the hallway into the dim light. Candles lit the way, newly lighted. His welcome greeting to her. When she made it, he would follow. If she could escape the nightmare. Her life. The hallway twisted, altering perspective, pulling the ground up to the heights, and his heart leapt into his throat as the shadow shifted upon the walls. Flickering in the candlelight. Shimmering. Vague as the night. Lithe as the air. She danced in the in between.

copyright Vickie Johnstone 

Sunday, 15 March 2015

A Poem a Day 2015 (38): The smell of sour

Another one written for JD Mader's 2minutesgo Friday challenge on his blog. I took 'The smell of sour' from his first story as a prompt. Cheers :)

The smell of sour

She’d smelt it all her life
the rusted scent
of strewn dust
making it all melt

this stench lifted
curling like old paint
wet to the touch
bitter to taste
it followed her
in a cloud of waste
this reminder of old

when it sounded
this ancient bell
the heady mariner
came carrying his shroud

bereft of any knowledge
of its meaning
in silence he drifted
into the outer realms
where the dead pound
ageless and unborn
their endless ache

he lies without
breath or word
as silent as the sea
turned sour.

copyright Vickie Johnstone