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Katie Johnstone
New Zealand

I am a  student living in Christchurch, New Zealand. My favourite subject is french, I love it for its musicality. Next year I plan to study French and Psychology at the University of Canterbury.
Last summer I started writing poetry. Its tricky growing up- as a youth you're always worried about losing yourself, and I have a tendency to compare myself to others too much. I write to prove to myself that I am still the same person I was- that I still have a soul, despite feeling that I betray myself sometimes, by wishing I am other than what I am. For me, poetry is about exploring my thoughts and dreams and coming to conclusions about myself. It helps me to know myself better, and to realize that the bittersweet nature of life is what makes it so beautiful.

Kitchen - Charles Olsen

I liked to think that I was worthy
of immortality. I kept
a diary, which I filled with words
I thought were the key

to everything. white warm skin
of his torso in moon light. chuckle
raw red screaming throats
deep & filled with words lungs empty
of air. toboggan, teeth crunching on
snow crystals           glass

through which I see the world.
I slide off the snow-covered hill into nowhere

dream. I imagine them dissecting
my heart silver knives catching the light
it interests them, this sentimentality

I asked her don't you want
to make sure it isn't forgotten?
no I'm quite happy to just let it go

she said.
Now I imagine dead green preserved
glowing eerily in jars.

where is the soul in this? they ask

I let it go.

red pen

I was too self-conscious, he said
till my blood flowed from his pen
He told all those lies to get into my head
I was too self-conscious, he said
marking my work with a river of red
my mother sighed, and said "ah, men"
I was too self- conscious, he said
till my blood flowed from his pen.


They gave the birthday boy
shells which he took with warm hands

held them in his clasp and thanked                                       
a vagueness stole over his face

he thought his trembling lip
was smiling but it looked like tears

of joy another year had bitten
dust swallowed a small part of him

gulped a piece of his soul
like birthday cake.

and crumbs, small fragments
of his past remained

squashed in his pocket.

The air show

All that cold day, I was thinking of you
how your eyes would look, against the burning up leaves
and the cracked sky.

I was not thinking about the planes,
machine birds,
but about a very different sort of flight.
The blue heavens spoke to me of forever
and with my numb fingers, exhaling smoke,
I believed them.

They do not fly for the glory of landing
but for the soaring ascent,
when infinity is real.