Friday, 30 December 2016

A Poem a Day (57): Hope

This one was written for JD Mader's '2 minutes go' challenge on his Unemployed Imagination blog. Head over and write whatever you like. This one took about 5 minutes, not 2.


I see the summit
For the earth never did shine
For me,
Living in the leaves
Shaking life’s waters,

I see the lines
For the circles never thrilled me,
Here waiting,
Sitting in the shadows,
Always on the brink
Of something

I see the colours
For the grey always stifled me,
Stealing breath
And the art of being
Something other, bigger
Than this

I see the day
For the night always feared me,
Just me,
Walking into soft light
Without the weight
Of expectation.

copyright Vickie Johnstone, December 30, 2016

Friday, 14 October 2016

Flash fiction 18: By the sea

This one was written for JD Mader's '2 minutes go' challenge on his Unemployed Imagination blog. Head over and write whatever you like. And, yep, writer's block is still an issue!!

By the sea

So here we are in this faint escape of light, where the skies promise to evolve into sparkling shimmers of incandescent waves, hurtling life across the oceans of the world. While we can only watch, enrapt, us mere mortals, wondering how the immensity of this darkening force came to be born. Toes building walls in the wet sand, damp hair scraping my cheek. This air tastes of salt, smells of the seaweed churning on the arms of the sea. I can spy it if I stare deeply enough. Licking my lips, I turn away as the wind tickles my face, eyes squinting, the rhythm laughing. She knows me, what I’m thinking, and she grins, uneven teeth showing. Wiping a stray hair to flick behind my ears, she kisses me lightly on the forehead, making me smile shyly back. Huddled together, we take in the ending of the day while we still can, the stars whistling upon its memory.

Copyright Vickie Johnstone, October 14, 2016

Friday, 26 August 2016

Flash fiction 17: Toes

This one was written for JD Mader's '2 minutes go' challenge on his Unemployed Imagination blog. Head over and write whatever you like. 

You can probably tell, from my lack of writing this year and, let's be honest, the last too, that I've got a writing block. I did a 6-week course recently to try to break it and began writing fiction again, but I've been lacking the dedication, inspiration and drive to keep going. I need a serious kick up the arse! I don't know if anyone reading this has experienced the same thing, but it's really not good. I've been starting to feel the writing itch lately and hope to get back into it - hoping the itch will stay a while. I know a block is all in the mind and you have to make time for writing. But anyway, here's hoping to get over writer's block... 

So, here's a little short something for JD's blog as it's one of the few things to give me an ass kick! :)


It doesn’t have to be this way. She said. To the lights dimmed to destruction. Graffiti thrown like a grenade to the wall. It’s the way. I know it. This year the summer never raised its eyes. Winter always. A cloud of grey, ashen hope. A dark reflection.

I cry in the same way as ever. This lie reverts in twists and scales, like a snake, a rebirth in the slant of the ache that wrestles me. My toes hover restless on this earth, the dirt seeming to melt beneath my gaze. It shifts, caressing my pale skin, spiky grass tickling. They seem out of whack, toes. Sticking out too far. My mother always says it doesn’t have to be, but they are. I can see them.

As I walk, the ocean grows. Salt bristles on my lips. I relish the sting of it, the knowing that I am and can always be, here, walking, beside myself, lingering to check my toes. Still there. A hair slashes my cheek and I giggle. The sound cuts the silence, yet the white birds cut it already, I know, soaring as they are, seeking to reach the cotton wool puffs of cloud, always slightly too far. Always out of reach.

I catch another hair, feel its texture between my fingers, let it slide away, and the summer I can reinvent in my head. Play with the idea until it’s here, as I do with everything I want, while my toes sting, almost turning blue in the cold. A seagull swoops, cries and soars, and I giggle, squinting at the dripping yolk of sun. 

copyright Vickie Johnstone, August 26, 2016

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Flash fiction 16: Finesse

Another one for JD Mader's #2minutesgo Friday challenge. Cheers.

There was day and there was night, and he preferred the in between, wandering unseen beneath the stars of his own making. These dreams we take as days to leave behind in suitcases stacked against the wall, treasured lest we forget the hours, the minutes, the seconds; the wealth of ages collapsing like dominoes at our backs, while the future beckons us forward with delightful whisperings. Among the leaves of time he finds himself laughing at life shimmering beneath the waves.

copyright Vickie Johnstone

Monday, 25 April 2016

A Poem a Day (56): Too slow to flow

Another one for JD Mader's #2minutesgo Friday challenge. Cheers.

Stream effect
It’s too slow to flow
Far too fast to fly
Never saying goodbye
Dreading to stand still

Pictures pass in flashes
Faces never held too long
Sentences always broken
Paths never taken to the end

It’s too complicated
To stop, and think and feel
Decide what now to do
When tomorrow blinds

To pause means to die
Preferring the haze I flow
As liquid trickles its way
This hand will never stay

Don’t try to catch this
The movement I create
The substance I escape
In this mood ethereal

I am this echo of breath
A warmth upon the mirror
Disappearing upon the air
Lost on the ocean’s wave.

copyright Vickie Johnstone, 22 April, 2016

Friday, 22 April 2016

A Poem a Day (55): Time

Another one for JD Mader's #2minutesgo writing exercise on his website, Unemployed Imagination - check it out :) 


I count the minutes, not the hours,
Then the hours, not the days,
Just the days, never the weeks,
And you can forget about the years.

I take the train, forget the bus,
Prefer to walk when I could run,
Spare my blushes for the sun
When the rain throws me a smile.

I am the morning, not the night,
The stars that shine and never blight,
I know your pain, your every fear,
The memory of you sleeping here.

I know the year will always end,
But on this trick I can depend –
To think of it as a zillion seconds,
And there my eternity beckons.

copyright Vickie Johnstone, April 22, 2016

Flash fiction 15: Girl #2minutesgo

Today, JD Mader is inviting everyone to visit his website, Unemployed Imagination -, and write anything for 2 minutes - just go for it, without looking back and editing. It got me writing today. Have a great weekend! :) 


“I came to investigate your smile,” she said, but he knew the girl didn’t mean a word of it. He scowled beneath his black, woolly hat, flicking the dying ash from the end of his cigarette. Some lines worked; hers didn’t. Some girls intrigued him; her face didn’t even stir the corner of his mind. 

He trailed a steady fingertip along his lip, perused and paused, glancing at her sideways until it turned into a stare, penetrating. It was a look he’d fashioned so long, practised even, and he almost felt that lazy smile scurry its way across. Almost. 

Boredom fogged his concentration, evaporation needed no time to glue itself inside of him. The ash flicked again. She hadn’t moved. It was as if she expected something. So he would give it to her. And she wouldn’t even want to remember him tomorrow. 

In the morning she would want to bury him in a hole. And he would regain his soiled smile, inhaling the smoke that turned his breath stale. Like his reflection. Always a sidelong glance.

copyright Vickie Johnstone, April 22, 2016  

Saturday, 30 January 2016

A Poem a Day (54): Skitter

This is my first post this year, so I hope 2016 is treating you well. I think it's going to be a year of change, to be honest. I feel that buzz about it. Good changes for us all, hopefully. 

So, yesterday was Friday and the day to write about whatever comes into your head with JD Mader over at his website, Unemployed Imagination - The idea is to write for 2 minutes - some people write longer - and you just go for it, without looking back and editing. Check it out some time. Hope you are having a great weekend!


It’s the slant in her walk
That gives it away,
The linger in the moment
When the moment stopped.

She’s the ghost in your smile
Loitering behind your eyes,
Sucking your aura inside her -
Clueless, you drift further away

Where the sea rages in silence,
Waiting, sliding upon the nothing

She’s there in every shape
And form of your despair;
The perfume of her washed hair,
The curves beneath the sheets
On which you try to sleep at night -
It withers into dark night chills
Hugging you cold in the night’s time
As you pray for dawn to break

Where the mirror finds you wanting,
Waiting, wishing to be nothing

It’s the promise reserved in her kiss
Only hers and only yours -
Turned to glass it shatters freely
If you fail to grasp its meaning.

She’s the name you always recall,
The face you’ll always see before you
When you try to deny your part
In her plunge into the begging dark.

Copyright Vickie Johnstone, January 29, 2016

If you want to read some more poems, Travelling Light, one of my poetry books, is available for free on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, etc - you'll find links on the left panel of my home page. Cheers.