By Megan Johnstone


through the confusion flashing
in the embers of his eyes
one could see the madness of thrill
rising like a slow burning flame
starting at his iced toes
that once was dipped in 
the sea of your existence
rising up through every corner
that is him and every turn taken
to run from what is him
it rises until it has no other choice 
than explosion
killing all that is near
all that dared to wander so close
to the forbidden creature
but the embers in his eyes...
it drags all into his insanity
until you are the one on fire
with those glowing embers
dipping in and out of 
the reality of his eyes

The fallout

In that moment where our paths crossed 
and in that moment 
where we collided head-on
Sparks flew of a million colours 
but sparks burn fast and strong
Each fight took a part of me 
and each time it hurt that much more
Like a hand wrapped around 
my fragile heart, 
threatening to break it 
with each tightening grip
So I ask you if I stay 
and fix this broken flame
Or do I flee before all that is left 
is the ghost of the girl I used to be
Because I'm stuck in that space-time 
where nothing isn't anything 
and anything isn't nothing
Just floating in-between moments 
being neither here nor there
The soul of the irrefutably senseless traveller 
that lost his map before he could 
lose his soul in the beauty of it all
In that moment where our paths crossed 
and in that moment when we 
floated past each other like 
two strangers that used to be in love.

To live and die is all the same

To write the story of my life is 
like trying to say 3000 words all at once.
Not knowing where to start and 
not knowing where and when it will all end.
I'm 19 years old but I feel like I've already lived the entirety of my life.
I had a boyfriend that I didn't love and he had a girl
to keep him busy when he grew tired of tormenting the unfortunates; 
had my heart broken and felt the pain of losing a childhood pet 
and a neighbour I loved with all my heart.
I travelled through Europe,
kissed a stranger, 
danced in a deserted street at 3 am,
and been fondled by what I thought was a harmless fling.
Appreciated the beauty of sunset and sunrise 
and how they somehow equally represent new beginnings.
Struggled to love the ones closest to us, the father that shaped my being
but sometimes wishing someone else held the clay in their fragile hands.
Touched the clouds in the high mountains above.
Found love in friends and family and discovered a passion for the course I'm studying 
because one day I know I'll change the world, maybe I already have. 
I loved so deeply for the first time and felt the pain 
of my soul being ripped from my raw flesh as it blends with hers, 
forever trapped in the beauty of her elegance.
I've gone through all the tragedies and joys in life and now I have to live the rest of it.
I have to live the rest of this life that I'm not even sure I want.
So I stand here with my destiny in my shaking hands, 
wishing someone else would take the wheel 
because I have flown off the cliff centuries ago.


it all slowly deteriorated until I couldn't even recognise myself anymore
sitting around for hours not able to escape 
the whispers roaring through my mind
sitting around and running round
round we go
until we are thrown down at a place where tears and laughter 
become one confusing mess we twirl around in the whole night
under the moonlight we twirl and twirl
as we run and fall and stumble and drown
until the confusing mess fades into the twilight
and all we're left with is that unknown aching in our hearts
that appeared in our dreams but refuses to leave
so we sit around and run round
round we go
until we're all ghosts of this 
glassed fairy-tale world we created
but it wasn't ours to destroy 
and we decided it's not ours to fix because
we'll ride away in our spaceships leaving this place to slowly fade
until it explodes and kills us all in our cubicles far, far away
and who will we blame then 
when our blown-up pieces are all that's left 
to whisper about the tragedies it has seen 
and the tragedies it knows to come

Spotlight girls

Seeing her smile 
kills all the doubts in my mind
as that voice inside 
saying I am not enough 
is silenced by her glowing warmth

But for her that voice 
is on loudspeaker
and I don't know how
to turn it off
when all I need is
her smile
because with that
light auburn hair 
and hazel eyes
you can't help but feel safe
and if a shadow of a doubt 
should ever come
she will be there to 
shine a light on
all the glorious parts
that is you 

But she doesn't see
her glorious self
no matter how bright 
that light is or how 
faint the shadow is
because a light cannot
shine on itself 

The beauty standards
stair at her from every angle
so that she avoids being seen
in any angle and my heart breaks
that she doesn't see her beauty
Because she only sees herself
through pictures and mirrors
and not through other’s eyes
where all that can be seen 
is an extraordinary girl
that's on the verge of
being wasted potential
because self-deprecation 
will kill us all in the end 

So I beg you please 
to shine a light on this girl
the one in the shadows
of the room that
fades into the background noise
Tell her she's beautiful
even if you think
she already knows it
so that we can try and
save these spotlight girls

Blurry Maze

I need someone to save me
because I can't stand on 
my own two legs anymore
as they crumpled below me
on that forsaken night 
where darkness and light 
got intertwined into this 
spectacular mess
and all I could see 
was your blurry face
trying to reach through 
the mist and the fog
of my messed-up mind
but my screams
silenced your pleads
for me to stay
as I floated further
into the horrifying maze
with blurred-out edges
daring you to come closer
and fall into the void 
that they created
so perfectly for you

Megan Johnstone is a 19-year-old University of Bath Engineering student and is new to the world of publishing. She has one published poem, Who am I, that she entered into a competition with Young Writers. This poem was then published in their 2021 feature book called Big Poetry Party which showcased various poems from young writers who entered the competition. Megan loves to read fantasy and fiction books, jogging and debating with others on subjects that make no sense. 

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