Wednesday, 25 September 2019

A Poem a Day (111): Red spectre

Red spectre

She dances in the red chapter,
Colours of heat, movement, pain,
Yellow-green slanted cat eyes wide,
Jagged limbs such untamed sticks.

She’s a judder in the wind,
An elfin spark leaping in a blue flame,
And it will never blow out
While these faces invite her in.

Copyright Vickie Johnstone, August 27, 2019

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

A Poem a Day (110): Stone prisons

Stone prisons

Stone prisons, reactions of the mind
To a sense of inaction, inadequacy,
The rush long gone, sensation shunted.

I feel your frustration perforating your skin.

Do you know me now? Can you sense me?
You carry him lost like missing data.

Tie a white ribbon where he might hear you,
Beckon him forth to betray himself.

I cannot dare you; only you can travel.

To his own eyes, you are blind;
In his mind, he long forgot to remember you.

These words balance tricky, evaporating,
Struck on the wind, a discordant chord,

Copyright Vickie Johnstone, September 23, 2019

Monday, 23 September 2019

A Poem a Day (109): Fire man

Fire man 

He sells bravery on the wing,
Lights flashing,
Tyres grinding fertile earth, 
Phoenix rising, vermillion, gold,
Redwood crackling,
Strings of yellow ochre firing,
Tumbling leaves of ash curl.

It soars on high,
A giant heaving flame,
Challenging its audience 
To fight or flight,
Rousing fear to a crescendo,
Smashing, cymbals still, 
Redrawing towns in rubble. 

Copyright Vickie Johnstone, September 21, 2019

Sunday, 22 September 2019

A Poem a Day (108): Fields

Written for JD Mader's 2minutesgo writing site. Head over if you're feeling creative :)


Pages slashed into pieces of green,
Verdant patches of guilt stitched,
Where even the owl lies diagonal,
Stretching out brown wheat wings, 
Gusts of feathers eroded in crop circles.

Lines part and reunite in dust. 
Blue skies crease, scowling
On hidden pathways etched. 

Glass cracks dance as ice people,
Interspersed by light so bright it blinds
Where mountains soar in monochrome. 

Everything floats here, losing the innate,
And even the lines between are evaporating.

We live in spaces already carved by figurines,
Sculptures dumb walking pages long torn,
Reorganised into a mirror of something new. 

Copyright Vickie Johnstone, September 21, 2019

Saturday, 21 September 2019

A Poem a Day (107): Down, not out

Written for JD Mader's 2minutesgo website - head over there to write, read and comment. Have a good Saturday. The sun is still shining!

Down, not out

Get up, fall down, drop out

People aren’t dropping out for fun,
It’s cos they don’t know how to be any more

Cardboard cut-outs scrawl a life’s pain,
Sound desperation’s mouthpiece of want -
A small request against a backdrop of have

Businessmen glide past the invisible ones
Shuffled into urine-stained doorways,
Rushing to a deadline conjoined with cash -
Humanity at a discount, 50% off,
You won’t find this bargain off the high street

We’re all walking the edge, this delicate balance,
Sky-high rents amid competition for space

They’re hawking pubs and venues for inaffordable homes.
Miss a rent to swap your room for a cardboard box,
Setting up shop in everything you own in hope
That someone will find a drop of empathy and stop

Get up, fall down, drop out

People aren’t dropping out for fun,
It’s cos they don’t know how to be any more

Do you have something to fall back upon?
Did you save enough in case the deck falls?
Did you lock it away safe for that rainy day
Cos the flood’s coming and you won’t have a say

We’re all fragile urns beneath our blind arrogance,
A step away from a slip, a fall, a plunge

A scrap of a dog barks in a lurid neon alleyway
And you feel he’s you, lost, cold and alone,
Looking for shelter, somewhere warm to lay his head

But the Man is busy counting out his pounds
And he hasn’t got time for the waif and stray,
So carry on whining because no one can hear
While the rents go up and winter crawls in to bury.

Copyright Vickie Johnstone, September 21, 2019

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

A Poem a Day (106): Sunburn


Through the red dirt drag shoeless feet,
Scrawling lines. Standing small, little hands
Draw stickmen in oblong cars upon a wall,
Bare arms tea-stained by the blinking sun,
Brown freckles sprinkled liberally on noses.

A cloud-white scruff of a dog grins, hanging idle,
Head held crooked, razor tail shaking in time,
His pink drooped tongue looking to catch a fly.
Barking, he chases every drop of dust and chalk
Round and round, loping, lurching, haphazard.

The shimmer shammer of brief minutes tick by 
Like hours, waking blue glimmers of neon dragonflies, 
Aliens from a forgotten time, translucent wings
Flickering, catching an essence of light to return it
To the waiting sun.

Copyright Vickie Johnstone, July 6/September 16, 2019