Thursday, 13 May 2021

A Poem a Day (425): Birdsong haiku (7): Part 2



Chords scurry, songs high,

casting lighthearted raptures.

Sonnets for the sky.


Twit and woo join up

in sensations bursting skies.

A tennis of notes.


The sky cracks open

in full colour, notes ablaze

With full-throated glee.


We listen to songs

they send us over rooftops,

nothing between us.


A magpie wakes us,

bursts a repetitive cry

that we take notice!


Turning notes softly,

he calls us, a lullaby

to send us to sleep.


It stops abruptly,

these dusky songs of the birds.

The display over.


Copyright Vickie Johnstone, May 13, 2021



Wednesday, 12 May 2021

A Poem a Day (424): Birdsong haiku (6)



The birds are going nuts tonight with their dusk singing so I scribbled these.


Birdsong drift clatters

in the hedgerows, fuelled perch high,

myriad chords mix.


Sleek blackbirds whistling,

a chorus line of feathers,

wisps of songs enchant.


Notes for the dusk light.

Sinking sun envelops the

horizon with song.


We listen wrapt, birds

chattering on the blown breeze.

They hasten the night.


Notes circle around,

casting light and sound, fresh food

for the silent soul.


The whistling time.

Tiny ruminations, light

on the faintest breeze.


Copyright Vickie Johnstone, May 12, 2021

Thursday, 6 May 2021

A Poem a Day (423): Cheese moons

Here's one about school, imagination, being a kid, talking science and fantasy, and mixing them up, and coming back down to Earth from childlike dreaming. 

Cheese moons

You won't take your ticket,
but start small. Kid steps
way out on to a cheese moon,
leaps & bounds on the Milky Way,
night undisturbed, bright lights
bursting your mind's synapses,
telling you this is how it is,
this new reality born of old,
a whistle on a distant hum,
the bold holding pieces aloft,
looking like a science project,
but you'll walk out, hold steady,
circumnavigate that moon yourself,
make it your own. Feels like home.

Copyright Vickie Johnstone, May 6, 2021

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

A Poem a Day (422): Out of balancing & 6 other haiku


A mix of haiku today, from school days to the sky looking about to rain to football fields and flowers blowing in the wind to silence and colour, music and thoughts churning. 

Out of balancing,
clouds adrift in jagged skies,
cast down, tumult come.

Shrivelled days, empty
husks abandoned in mid-play.
The unbeaten field. 

Dreams lanced, free flowing
incantations of white light.
Pursed lips blow flowers. 

Stepping over, we
reinvent silence in bright
layers shedding hue.

Circles, triangles,
patterns learned at school; lost days
half remembered here.

Add up and subtract
the thin from the thick, a base
of pristine heartfelt. 

We go, feel the flow,
reel emotions lest they grow,
spill out the corners.

Copyright Vickie Johnstone, May 5, 2021

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

A Poem a Day (421): Gentrify and displace

With this poem, I was thinking about the murals in The Mission area of New Orleans, which I saw while on holiday a few years ago. Many spoke about the displacement of people due to rising rents and life becoming less affordable. I wrote about it when I got back in a poem called Murals. So many people became homeless. And then I started thinking about gentrification and changing neighbourhoods, and just how expensive things are becoming, and how many people can't afford what they used to.

Gentrify and displace

This is the coming circle, time-in,
the balance, rebalanced, timed out;
wretched egg. Grey tenements pour
stern brickwork etched, lines of lives.

Words pounded out upon blank walls
call out the politicians who disregarded
while neighbourhoods got ejected,
words strewn on dollar bills blowing,

unspendable. Hoisted, they spin on air,
bought out, sold out, played out.
Where people can’t afford to spend,
we see exile. Homes perch empty,

remembering voices, bodies, love;
does anyone have a heart to say?
A blue teddybear sits on a throne
ungoldened as concrete seeps years

of solitude, full wrung out it seems.
Placards bellow of rising rents
and faces stare blankly in between.
We can ill afford this gentrification.

The launderette spun its last,
now sits a barber’s red velvet chair.
People lounge, shed their despair
as the man cuts hair, hoovers up. 

Developers stride in, saunder out,
and clothes spill from windows,
the wind a giant washer/dryer,
a recycler of our former selves;

lives we can ill afford come winter
with its etched-on coldest days.
Words made of ice can only melt
with no cap on poverty’s misery.

Copyright Vickie Johnstone, May 4, 2021

Friday, 2 April 2021

A Poem a Day (420): We are journey

My daily poem writing fell by the wayside lately. Life is a journey, so they say. This one is about the lost and the found, the wanderers and figures of history who found themselves in exile.

We are journey
We are journey,
pieces of the desert
crushed by time,
watered by the sun.
The map inside us
is a starlight crossing,
a bridge for all things,
stories and histories.
Ravens tell of our ruin,
cumulonimbus brewing,
but the skies know us,
the light we carry inside.
Copyright Vickie Johnstone, April 2, 2021

Monday, 29 March 2021

A Poem a Day (419): Homeward

Yesterday’s poem was about a spider and all his complex, beautiful creations, which are so delicate but strangely strong, and sometimes short-lasting. Today’s poem continues with the theme of home and what it means. It’s a very small word, but with a huge meaning, and that meaning is as individual as we are. What is home to you may be very different from the next person. Sometimes we find a place that feels like home and sometimes we’re forever looking. Maybe our very first home is still the one.
Homeward bound,
whatever home means to us,
so unique, a shell invisible
we carry on our backs
from place to place.
The house we grew up in,
newly born & impressioned
by intangible walls,
sparkling voices of family,
strands we hold on to.
Red flecked wallpaper,
flour-dusted kitchen tops
and a bear on a white crib,
where we still drift
to sleep sometimes.
Copyright Vickie Johnstone, March 29, 2021