My poetry books


Kaleidoscope

A collection of 119 poems, written since I was 16. They range from serious to funny, covering subjects from the everyday to philosophy or the abstract. Some are snippets from the lives of imaginary characters or just ideas or reflections on nature. 

The book is structured under eight themes: figures; nature; abstracts; love; haiku; creatures; childhood and dark wave.

Published in March 2011.

Life's Rhythms

Old meets new in this collection of 316 haiku, composed in the traditional pattern of three lines with 5-7-5 syllables. 

Subjects include: nature, life, food, animals, loss, love, longing, hope, the seasons, dreams and time. I like creating little words that paint a picture for the reader.

Published in June 2012. New cover in 2015.






Travelling Light (usually free)

A collection of 44 poems about people wandering the world with their dreams, searching for something - the things that inspire us. Memories remain forever. 

Published in May 2011.

Right: old cover.


Mind-spinning Rainbows

A collection of 45 haiku and 109 poems, divided into two sections: light and shade. 

Published in April 2015.











   

Links to where the books are on sale in ebook and paperback:

Scroll down for sample poems and reviews.


Reviews of Kaleidoscope

***** A P 
Great poems, all beautifully and thoughtfully written.

***** Wistfulskimmie 
Wow! This author writes beautiful words. I enjoyed each & every poem, I found myself turning page after page to read the next & the next. More of the same please! Such a talented writer.

***** Grady Harp 
This is a book of a mixture of poems in both content and in form. Where she is most successful is in her brief poems that celebrate some natural miracle as in the poem titled RAIN. When a new poet gives evidence of a language as fresh as this then we can expect much more... moments that make us pause long enough to look around and remember the magic. She seems to be less concerned with shocking her reader than with embracing - with all the talent she has to share. This is refreshingly talented writing.

***** Rebecca Johnson 
I was instantly impressed by the fast-paced rhythm of the first poem. The rest of the poems were equally as appealing and they ranged from bright and cheerful to dark and ominous. I liked the contrast between the light and dark poems and enjoyed reading about all the beauty we find in the world.

***** C Lovejoy 
Kaleidoscope is thoughtful and evocative. I particularly like Pine needles which conjures up images of holidays past! It is easy to dip in and out of - Vickie has the ability to transport readers to another time and place entirely, offering a little slice of escapism and a break from the daily grind. 

Reviews of Life's Rhythms

***** E Meyer
Vickie Johnstone has again put out a good book of poetry, with her own unique combination of traditional haiku with a modern edge. There are some evocative words and great imagery here, and many of the poems can easily be linked together to form lyrical stories. Definitely worth a read!

**** B Ditmars
Life’s Rhythms is a great selection of traditional haiku. There is beauty as well as current themes reflecting nature and man’s misuse of it.

***** It’s Time to Read Mamaw (Patricia aka Mamaw)
Life’s Rhythms is full of beautiful poems. If you want to be inspired then you should definitely read Vickie's poems. I did not want to rush through either of the books. How can I describe how I felt when reading the poems? I wanted to enter the poem and feel the emotions. Kind of like sitting in my rocker looking out into the piney woods that surround my house. I feel the trees swaying, birds and squirrels playing. Reading her poems were like that, inspiring, heart felt and full of wonder. An emotional experience.

***** Ey Wade
Life flows through Vickie’s words. Each haiku is a novel, a story within itself. Vickie’s words are picturesque. I could ‘feel’ the rain as it fell on the leaves and remember how green smells when the rain touches the earth. Thanks to her easy way of writing, I think I may try more poetry. 

***** AE Drury
I’ve read some of Ms. Johnstone’s poetry before and this collection is something of a departure from those which I have read. It is a bit more mature and yet it possesses the same grounded kindness which has made her a much beloved writer of young adult fiction. There are bits of sad reality mixed in with joyful beauty to form little threads of reflections on life. Some of them I found profoundly and beautifully sad. My favourite of those was, “She laughs so seldom, Cries when no one is looking, Keeps herself hidden.” This is both a heartbreaking image that provokes parental feelings in the reader and at the same time demonstrates an empowering honesty that I found quite touching. As in life, there are humorous moments. My favourite of the entire collection is one which I wish I had written and certainly felt on many an occasion. “He holds the wide stage, Empty and bereft of sound, hypnotizing him.” Anyone who has walked out upon a stage as been in this moment. I spent the morning with these poems, reading, clipping and reflecting. I find them wonderful little treasure and am happy to have them in my library, there for when I need to summon an image for comfort or inspiration. 

Reviews of Travelling Light

***** Exan
A wonderful book of poetry that begs for your examination of your own experiences. It reminds one of days and times lost only to memories, that often get shoved to the back of our minds. It reminds us that memories are the links to today and that without them, everything would be different, I would love to explore this poetry with a group. A wonderfully thought provoking book.

***** AE Drury
I love the images and occasional bits of humour which are mixed in with deeper thoughts about the passage of time and the rhythms of life. I especially liked the poem Hey Little Girl for its introspection and observational wit. Short enough to spend an enjoyable hour, yet many of the works, like The Writer, are worth several visits. Like favorite songs, they stand up well to several visits as the meaning deepens with each reading.

***** E Meyer
I have to say that I enjoyed this collection; Miss Johnstone has a good grasp of the medium and manages to create some interesting imagery. I'm not the biggest poetry fan, especially if it isn't Coleridge, Byron or Longfellow, but these are satisfying poems. Definitely worth a read!

***** Ann
Really enjoyed taking some time out to read this poetry book, thoroughly enjoyed nearly all of the poems contained in the book. Will be checking out the author’s other books.

**** Jasonlive
I liked the style. The style is sometimes humorous, sentimental. Poems fun to read,and I am not bored by reading it. I highly recommend it.

***** Rhonda
It was truly a beautiful collection... I am glad that I selected it, as it has been a long time since I have read such a fine elegant book. 

**** Chaviebugsy
I do not like poetry and I did not know this was a book of poems but it was very relaxing to read. Vickie Johnstone seems to have a knack for calming down her readers with words that can touch the heart and soul. If you wish to rediscover and enjoy LIGHT and calming poetry, read this book. So zen, almost magical and is a testament to how words can calm and touch the heart.

***** Matt
I loved them and it inspired me to write my own. I think I will be releasing a book pretty soon now.

***** Honeybee
These poems are nice and a good for easy reading. I enjoy reading on my kindle and this is quick and easy to grab.

***** Rebecca Johnson
The poems in this book are really about shutting the door on your past and traveling into the future. I was struck by the beauty of these poems. They are a dance of playful and profound. There are captivating images of an apple tree, the red of a rose petal, the pale blue skies and neon lights. These are poems that are best appreciated if you read them twice. This is quite a short book of poems but the poems are very meaningful.

Sample poems from Kaleidoscope

Rain

She sits and dreams of making rain
In the dark, shadows dancing mimic
Colours of the aghast
Sights and sounds and murmurs
Still breathing
Watching over the edge
Of everything
The glass splinters into a million shapes
Cast in a myriad of lights
Bright and sparkling, dancing
In the spring sun
And she dreams of making rain
That tears and crashes
Washing away the shards of glass
Splattering the colours rent
With droplets of ice-cold nothing
Cuts and caresses
Shards of grass peeking through
Clouds gathering
Dust


Poppies

Marching in formation
Across distant lands
Enduring the unendurable
For a distant cause
Marching in formation
Up long, steep hills
Crossing mudflats and seas
For a patriotic cause
Marching in formation
Forever forward
Seeing things never forgotten
For a government’s cause
Marching in formation
For this the poppies grow
In patches of red blood
For the worthiest cause


Moon beams

Distancing the days
In her fragile accolade
The moon reaches down
Towards coloured boats bobbing
Twinkling she shines
Lighting the way
For every stranger passing
And old friends returning
She travels the skies
In a silvery glide
Always remembering
The shortness of time


I don’t mind

I don’t mind
If you stare
Or paint the room in blue
While I sleep

I don’t mind
If you walk a while
Or smile in your style
And mimic your expression

I don’t mind
If the urge to be is too much
Or the strength to see is gone
While I dream


The fox and the mole

Let’s rob a bank
Said the fox to the mole
I’ve got mouths to feed
And I’m feeling the need

Ok, said the mole
But you know I can’t see
I can burrow real deep
But I might fall asleep

Well, said the fox
I can offer my cunning
I will find a way inside
And to you I’ll confide

Wake me up said the mole
When you discover this
As I’ve got a hunch
We’re in a credit crunch

So the fox went off thinking
How to rob the bank
And came up with a plan
While eating a cherry flan

Well then, asked the mole
What do you suggest we do
To steal all the money
But not do anything funny?

Aha, said the fox grinning
I’ll tell you what to do
Just burrow under the bank
While I drive up in a tank

Oh, said the mole frowning
I never thought of that
I didn’t know foxes could drive
Have you told this to your wife?

No, we have to keep this secret
Said the fox to the mole
As she’ll have my guts for garters
And that’s just for starters

So off went the fox and mole
To begin their bank robber life –
They rivalled Bonny and Clyde
Living it up, the law they defied


Sample poems from Life's Rhythms

Rain fallen like stars
Sprinkles silver-like touches,
Dancing beside me


Some distant day she’ll
Return when she sees beauty
In a rainbow sing


Under sparkling stars
She laughs like water cascades
Rippling endlessly


Raspberries blood red
Ripe, soft and so succulent
Chilled ice-cream slithers


The sheltering moon,
Beneath her glimmer they roam -
Free, the wild wolves howl


In the dry still heat
The lizard basks, eyes aloft
Watching out for lunch


Eyes turn to the sun,
River of blue-black shimmers
On peacock feathers


Leaves hurtle, twisting,
Dropping without an echo –
Curved, their hands open


Sample poems from Travelling Light


Hey little girl

Hey little girl
Where are you going?
Before u fade
Into the dark
Wander into the yellow light
Flick your hair
Jump into the sea
Running leap of sheer faith
Cut the surf at a run
Feel its cascade
Into the depths of the sea
Keep the spark
Stay shining
In the heat of the sun
Summer daze
Trivial gaze
Lazy haze
Stay awhile and turn your head
Keep smiling
Before it fades
With the waves
Trickling into the shapes
Of feet in the sand


Shine

She makes music
In the silence
Feels it shine
In the still
Wakes the muse
In the night
Wanders free
The pseudonym

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