Heather Taylor Johnson


Heather Taylor Johnson is the Poetry Editor for Transnational Literature – fitting because she is an American-Australian poet. She is also the author of the novel Pursuing Love and Death (HarperCollins) and two collections of poetry, most recently Thirsting for Lemonade.




Kangaroo Island

Green log fence holds bee clover and blowfly thermals; steep earth gives way to rock and
water.  I find my hovel after snagging my skirt on dead brambles in a stick basket devoid of
growth but underground, that tiniest rivulet, and the sun finds me.  It is enough I am here
while the daily grind grounds the mainland with niggling routines and a section of our lives
newly gutted for renovation.  Tonight will be kitchen-mad as the motherless home eats and
does not clean then sleeps deeply unaware of this tiny green island.

The ocean says there is no path home, only direction, and flow being how you ride it. The
wind says of no significance of no significance, home being the ride itself. I say that once you
leave you know its sound: dead of night appliance drone, off kilter whirly whirl, single
coughs and sheet-turns, sudden ohs from the bed and under it, a dog’s deep sigh.