Heather Taylor Johnson

Heather Taylor Johnson moved from America to Australia in 1999 and since has received a PhD in Creative Writing, has had a poetry collection, Exit Wounds,  published, and has discovered that reviewing poetry is a fantastic genre to work with. She spent all of 2010 living in the Colorado Rockies with her husband and three young children and though she couldn’t leave the subject of ‘home’ alone in her writing, she also found that mountains were very difficult to ignore.   


While A Flock Of Seagulls Flies North

Tree stumps wide as the length of my body

and as long as yours

touching mine

from head to toe

scatter this beach;

its perimeter the outline of a powerful tide.


Without you there would be no ex-pat.

Without me no working visa.

We inhabit this earth as if it were our own.


Trying to imagine this ocean carrying

great trees of small forests in such a rush

of movement and moons

depositing them on foreign soil…

sand, not soil


but then you and the beauty of this drowned-out colour

and washed-out texture, how the stumps broke apart

from roots and limbs to rest on this beach

are just the reasons I am here.

The reasons I move, then rest.




Amongst It


Our nine year itch moved us to the mountains.

Small town, big earth

we breathed it every day:


snow falling

snow sifting, resting, misting upwards

from a sexy wind.

Our waterless lips

were constantly parted

constantly wanting to lap it up.


We became so spontaneous the frozen waterfall

we walked upon, ad-libbed and perfect.

And the night in the lounge after Sunny’s party,

the mess, wood stove, us.


Riotous snowballs melted down

the backs of our knitted necks 

and the jolt, the stagger, the interchangeable

skin and liquid ice (liquid ice

and incredible skin).

Something fleeting about it all.


And those mountains –

their permanence.

When we finally looked away we breathed;

it was evergreen, deer dung and snow.

In the end we became asthmatic

because after the mountains

my    eyes    found    yours

and then we gasped

forgetting to breath

forgetting the snow

forgetting even

the mountains.