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Dec 2014 · 1.1k
water or fire
Paige Johnston Dec 2014
Water or fire, which shall it be? Burn or
drown, Icarus—please select one. Will the
curiosity carry you to your
grave, or will your father’s words echo through
your mind as you soar through the skies? Oh, boy,
you know the rules; fly too high and your wings
will burn, too low and water will claim them.
Icarus, you are still so young, basking
in the tranquil sea of youth. The words sink
to the depths of the sea and you fall with
them—your wings burn bright. What a sight to see;
a magnificent bright light in the sky!
People look on in awe, as your life is
lost. It seems, Icarus, that neither fire
nor water is worthy of desire.
Dec 2014 · 465
Paige Johnston Dec 2014
When I look up at the stars, aligning to
devise magnificent patterns,
my mind rewinds to the way your
delicate fingers would trace your thoughts upon my back,
fabricating our love.
I reminisce how your fingers entwined
with mine,
and the way they wrapped around my neck;
I yearn for how
they would dig into my skin—harsh
but with loving intent—
and the way they would hold me when my body
trembled with despair. I miss
the way your fingers touched me. I miss it.
I miss it.
I miss it.
When we connected it was
just like the stars.
After all,
it only takes two to form a
Dec 2014 · 375
Paige Johnston Dec 2014
The sun was so bright that day,
cascading across your delicate
And the moon was so high that day,
lighting the sky;
you’d sworn it was bright enough
that you could see into another universe,
and you told me—you speculated—
others lives within that universe,
where the Greek gods and goddesses
and life was tranquil.
With euphoria in your eyes, you’d said,
“I wish I could join them.”
I’d laughed and agreed, but if only I had
It was cold the next morning;
empty; bitterness ate away at my
Your façade had melted—the constellations in your
eyes had burned out.
But you continued to smile, force and falsely,
and told me you needed a walk,
“I’ll be back soon.”
Needless to say, you did not return.
In your place was crumpled apology,
and a regretful news report.

I couldn’t see the moon the next night.
I shut the blinds and closed my eyes,
whispering your name over and over and
I hope you joined them;
I hope you’re happy
Dec 2014 · 343
Paige Johnston Dec 2014
Do not fall asleep:
closed eyes create an open door
that I leak through, leaving your
subconscious screaming my
And the sound will simmer,
As the light becomes dimmer—
where have I gone?
It’s quiet.
I’m a whisper.
I’m transparent,
a transient image in your mind.
The darkness of the room envelopes you;
your dreams are my coffin,
and you’re still blissfully oblivious
that my grave has been dug,
my coffin has been dropped,
and the each fading memory buries me until
I’m six feet under.  
For you, life was tranquil
and I was merely a pill
that you could have whenever
you needed to feel something—
But you no longer delve into artificial feelings;
your façade has cracked,
and there’s no turning back.
The lights are out;
darkness steals you.
Your eyes shut,
your breathing slows,
the door opens.
I’m gone.
Dec 2014 · 4.6k
Paige Johnston Dec 2014
My head is overloaded;

My thoughts are the bullet,

And my brain is a hapless victim.

Nothing matters:

Not life, not death, not you, nor me—

Nothing matters.

The doctors call this an

Existential crisis;

‘you are in the midst of believing

Your life has no external meaning,’

He says, ‘don’t worry, you’ll get over it.’

In the hurricane of my reality,

I crack; my thoughts ****** my brain,

And I say goodbye to tranquillity,

And you with your fragile frame.

I’m not sad—I’m too lost feel

Grief. Instead, I realise this is what I need.

To part ways with our partial ordeal.

I hope happiness is what you bleed.
Dec 2014 · 222
untitled again
Paige Johnston Dec 2014
There is a difference between loving
Someone and being infatuated
With the euphoria they bring to you.
I don’t mean loving or lusting for them,
I mean the genuine tranquillity
Their mere presence brings you; all you want is
their company. I thought I was aware
of the difference, but now I have learnt.
I thought I loved you, yet I loved to feel
like being on top of the world with you.
And now, like an addict, I yearn for it;
I want to feel invincible; selfish—
I know—but I regretfully crave you  
Even though we are definitely through.
Paige Johnston Nov 2014
We met drunkenly whilst basking in immaturity,
and we’ve vowed to remain
this way for the entirety  of
our adventure.
Its bliss;
innocence and purity concealed into two people.
That kiss woke me up for the first time;
it was as though I was merely alive
but not living,
and you showed me the shinning
I’m now new to the world,
and you’re teaching me how to feel.
Everything is becoming incredible;
colours transcended from mundane
to an indescribable vibrancy;
music sounds louder and laced
with passion,
food tastes like euphoria,
books are compiled with meanings
that I’m conquering as we trail deeper
into the depths of adventure.
I hope—no, I pray—
that we can perpetuate this feeling.
Nov 2014 · 349
an open letter to you
Paige Johnston Nov 2014
Every time I let the bottle
graze my lips,
my entire body
rocks with an unnerving feeling
of melancholy.
Nostalgia rattles my brain;
yearning wraps its icy fingers
around my heart.
Every inch of my body tingles with a
sensation that is begging for you.
I can feel you on my skin;
I can remember vividly
the way your fingers graze my arms,
neck, and stomach and…
I’m getting off track.
I’m drunk again—no surprise there, huh?
It’s about now, when I’m too many bottles down,
that you would try to grasp it from my hands,
or text me in concern.
But your message was only transience;
I never listened to you.
And now, as I’m too many bottles down,
I find myself missing your exasperating
I wish you were here to tell me I’ve had too much
to drink.
And in return I would cry,
and cry, and cry,
and oh god, I would cry.
And I would tell you how much I miss you.
But too much has changed;
time is constantly against me;
my happiness has always been fleeting.
we’ve both grown and matured,
and our time together has expired.
I know if we tried
we’d be as bitter as out of date milk.
And yet,
for some insane reason,
I still want us to try again.
I like to have someone to fall back
to when I’m indecisive and alone,
and alcohol pumps through my veins.
I miss you,
and I shouldn’t.
We’re done;
we have been for so long.
So why can’t I stop writing about you?
Nov 2014 · 298
Paige Johnston Nov 2014
The way cigarette smoke
curls around our heads,
in the brisk night air,
is the way I want your arms
to wrap around my body
when it’s 3am
and I’m crying
because we’ve had too much to drink.
But instead,
I’m left with an empty cigarette pack
and a burning sensation on my back
where your hands should be.

People say that the more you say a word
the less it sounds real.
It’s 3am again,
and I’m struggling to sleep,
because every night I wake up
by mumbling your name repeatedly.
And the more I say it,
the more real it seems.
And sometimes it seems so real,
that I start to believe
if I open my eyes
you’ll be here.

There are so many things I want to say to you
but I never do,
because it’s better this way.
For you to not know
about these poems I write about you,
or how I can’t listen to that song
you showed me
without thinking of you,
or how my fingers yearn
for you delicate skin.
I’ll never mention how many beats
my heart skipped
when I saw you with someone else.
Because I’ve learnt by now
that some things are better kept a secret.
But maybe
I’ll reach for my phone
to tell you
that I’m on my sixth glass of whisky,
and it tastes like you.
Nov 2014 · 164
Paige Johnston Nov 2014
My back shouldn’t ache at this age;
neither should my wrists or
neck or knees.
Or heart.
Nothing should ache.
Life should be blissful
and all pain should be transient.
But it’s not.
And I can’t complain because someone
will point out that something is wrong with me
and the only thing worse than the
crippling pain in my body
is my crippling fear of anyone in the medical profession.
So I push it to the back of my mind;
forget the pain—
melt it with a pill,
distract myself,
forget that I’m more broken than I should be.
Nov 2014 · 306
Paige Johnston Nov 2014
Thinking, thinking,


How do I switch my brain off?

How do I find a single, solitary

moment of tranquillity?

I’m always thinking, thinking,


I want to stop thinking.

But I’m lost in it,

addicted to the routine.

I think until I feel;

my thoughts become

my love, my hate,

my passion,

my jealously.

I’m condemned to a life without

feeling; there’s no time for emotion,

when you’re locked inside your brain.

Peace is fleeting;

happiness is transience.

I would like to sever the chord

between my being and my


I need a moment alone,

before the bombardment of

thoughts rip and chew at me

until I deflate into myself,

becoming merely a shadow of

my worries.

I need to feel something,

not just think of the words in my head.
Paige Johnston Nov 2014
You need to shut down your brain;
find the switch and press it.
Once you’re alone with your thoughts,
they’ll whisper things to you and
drag you deeper into the darkness.
Don’t let them.
2. Stop waiting;
stop waiting for that person to text you—
text them if you really want to talk;
stop waiting for the bus—
take the day off, walk, breathe in the air,
and just remember you’re alive;
stop living the same day over and over—
change something,
find what you’re yearning for.
3. Get drunk;
do and say everything you
never had the courage to do.
Kiss a boy, kiss a girl,
break into an abandoned swimming pool,
skinny dip, or tell someone what’s hurting you.
If you regret it later,
pin the blame on the poor *****.
4. Watch the sun set and the sun rise;
let it teach you that if a blazing
sphere of gas can fall and rise again,
so can you.
5. Ask people what they think;
it doesn’t matter what the subject is—
just ask.
You’ll begin to see everything in different ways.
6. Sadness can be inspiring;
write about it. Write a poem, a song, a story.
Create a character loosely based on the pain you feel.
It’s relieving to take your suffering and put it onto a screen.
7. Little things can be amazing;
buy yourself your favourite food,
stop and admire the flowers,
watch the unspoken love between a dog and their owner,
be happy that your skin looks good today,
or be excited to wear your new shoes.
8. People are also amazing;
spend time with them.
Talking online or texting is fine,
but go see someone,
Spend time with your friends,
tell them about your day and listen to theirs.
Hug and hold hands. Comfort is bliss.
Go to a party and talk to a stranger—
listen to their stories.
People can do the most incredible things.
Laugh with people and love with people—
just be around people.
9. Allow yourself to be free;
clear your schedule and don’t worry
about the mediocrities of life.
If something is bothering you then get rid of it.
If someone is making you upset,
erase them from your life.
You don’t have to surround yourself with anything
that doesn’t make you happy.
10. When your sadness creeps up to you,
know its okay to feel like this;
you’re not the first to experience this,
and you won’t be the last.
You’re like the sun—
you can fall and rise again.
Nov 2014 · 240
untitled #2
Paige Johnston Nov 2014
Be quiet, be gentle,

be kind.

Everything is delicate —

anything can be broken.

An arm, a petal, a chair,

a life.

Anything can be destroyed.

But not everything can be


The world is like a broken bone;

the pain we inflict upon it

can be fixed,

but it will never be the same again.

Look after yourself, look after each other,

look after the ground beneath your feet.

Everything is fragile,

and its in your hands.
Nov 2014 · 1.0k
Paige Johnston Nov 2014
Light a match;
light a cigarette;
light a fire;
light a room.
When it becomes too much
you can ***** the flame
and light it again
another day.
But do not light me up
just to ***** my flame.
Because once my light is
I will not let you
relight me.
Nov 2014 · 570
heart versus hands
Paige Johnston Nov 2014
Lips like origami,
eyes like ice.
Hands like soap,
heart like darkness.
It’s dark versus light,
temptation versus innocence.  
I shouldn’t—I know—
but I can’t shake you off.
It’s fights at a wedding,
death on a birthday;
swearing in church,
hurting someone you love;
a book without an end,
your favourite song sung out of tune;
leaving without goodbyes,
spilling someone’s dark secrets;
sleepless nights,
a child without a home;
drinking until you puke,
lying to someone you love;
it’s wrong in every sense
of the word.
But once again,
it’s hands against
and we all know who will win.
We’re the epitome of dangerous,
crossing on territory that should not be touched.
But I can’t stop.
Jun 2014 · 226
Paige Johnston Jun 2014
I awake in a sea of regret,
drowning in sweat that laces my skin,
and aching from the harsh beats of my heart.  
It’s 3am and my body refuses to succumb to sleep;
my mind is screaming at me,
like an angry child in a tantrum,
and my thoughts ricochet against the walls of my head.
They’re perpetual and relentless,
forbidding me to rest.
World war 3 begins in my head
during the dead of night.
No one else can hear the plummeting bombs,
the murderous gun shots,
or the screams of the victims.
The world around me remains completely oblivious.
I’m silent throughout the midst of battle.
I surrendered long ago.
I lost long ago.
I waved my white flag,
yet my mind will not abandon the battle.
May 2014 · 198
Paige Johnston May 2014
Sometimes I get so angry with myself.
In my head I make myself explode into a
thousand tiny pieces,
like shreds of paper that once held the finest literature,
filled with pretty metaphors,
but are now nothing more than a writers destroyed soul.
I get angry because I’m not that writer.
I can’t fumble through
my cluttered head
to find the words to compare you to the stars and the moon.
I can’t dig beneath the mess
and conjure up the most extravagant metaphor
to let you know how incredible you are.
Words are my only weapon,
they’re my only friend,
but when I need them most
they fail me.
Because I don’t think there’s a word to describe you.
You’re not the stars and the moon –
you’re so much more.
You shine brighter than anything the human eye can see.
I’m angry because I need to let you know how brilliant you are.
The burning desire in your heart
is so much stronger than any word I can think of.
I’m falling apart;
I’m shreds of paper,
shards of glass beneath your bare feet,
broken pieces of your heart.
I’m not good enough.
You’re the stars and moon
and I’m dullest shade of grey.

— The End —