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Bill Johnson

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Member Since: Oct, 2004

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· A Story is a Promise & The Spirit of Storytelling

Short Stories
· The Black Widow Warrior, Chapter One, Combat Poets of Maya

· The Calling

· Finding the Right Critique Group

· Bringing the Dead to Life, Notes on Twilight

· Low Cost Book Publicity

· Writing a Novel With a Stuck Main Character

· Stories and Feelings

· Movies as Healing Journeys

· A Hearty Affair

· Woman in Blue on Floor

· The Deadly Sheep

· The Parade of Life

· Looking Back

· The One-Upspersonship Parade

· How Is It?

         More poetry...
· Daniel Handler Interviewed on Author's Road

· My Name is Samuel Clemens

· 4th Edition of A Story is a Promise & The Spirit of Storytelling Available

· Betting the Karmic House Published by Smith and Kraus

· Kent Mason Wins Writers Digest Fiction Contest

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  Ode To Invisibility
by Bill Johnson
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Rated "PG" by the Author.

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Recent poems by Bill Johnson
•  The Deadly Sheep
•  The Parade of Life
•  A Hearty Affair
•  How Is It?
•  Looking Back
           >> View all 8

We watch you go by

night after night

never seeing us

and we wonder

at your secret life

that could have taught you so well

how not to see others

a skill much desired by us

that we've never been able to master

caught instead, in our life

in a flood of never ending perceptions, thoughts, and feelings

ceaseless, without end

seeming to start from a time when as a youth

we rode a bike with failing brakes downhill towards a busy street.

We would've drug our shoes on the sidewalk

as a way to stop ourselves

if we'd been wearing shoes

but we weren't

so we did the next best thing (or so we thought at the time)

and stuck our big toe which had an overgrown nail to the sidewalk

shortening the nail considerably by and by

and leaving a red trail behind the bike

but, by God, we got that bike stopped.

But what we didn't know was that

it would be the last time

we would ever manage to stop ourselves

 in a life that became a comic misadventure

in trying to put a brake

on the flood of our feelings, thoughts, and perceptions

but only, time after time

yanking on emergency brakes

that came off in our hands

stepping on brake pedals with both feet

and watching them drop to the floor without effect

except to leave our mouths hanging open in dull surprise

just before we crashed headlong once again

into another solid wall of confusion and misunderstanding.

What is it about your secret life

that taught you where the working brakes are?

I would ask you but I'm afraid if I spoke to you

you wouldn't hear me as well as not see me

and it seems easier

to simply keep my big toes safely up in the air

and not try and draw a red line across your path

until you've spoken to me

seen me

known something of me

melodramatic to the end

no matter what I do with my big toes.

Do you understand now why I smile so

and look up so expectantly

every time you pass by not seeing me?  



Bill Johnson is the author of A Story is a Promise and The Spirit of Storytelling, a writing workbook. He is also the web master of, a web site that explores principles of storytelling through reviews of popular movies, books and plays. Spirit is now available on Amazon Kindle,

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Reviewed by Regis Auffray 3/23/2005
An interesting and meaningful metaphorical poetic offering, Thank you, Bill. Love and peace. Regis
Reviewed by Ronald Hull 1/23/2005
There's a lot more here than I'm getting, but I'm very familar with going through life without an emergency brake.

Reviewed by Lisa Hilbers 1/21/2005
This really is awesome. I love to read sattire..

Reviewed by Mary Quire 1/21/2005
This is awesome. A true ode to one with the self-absorbed ability to never involve themselves beyond the id. Nicely done. I loved the biking metaphor.

Reviewed by E T Waldron 1/20/2005
superb metaphor in this wonderful poem of learning
life's difficult lessons ...

Reviewed by Judy Lloyd (Reader) 1/20/2005
A most interesting poem and you do this sort of thing so well.

Books by
Bill Johnson

A Story is a Promise & The Spirit of Storytelling

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  1. in honor of
  2. Water Baby
  3. Blue Morpho
  4. Your Own Nuclear Power
  5. For Emily
  6. Defeat
  7. Woodsmoke and Possibility....
  8. I Wish I Could Tell You...
  9. Free Spirit
  10. Traveler's Lament
  11. I'm So Happy
  12. reevaluation
  13. Heaven on Earth
  14. In The Bath
  15. My Scars
  16. Last Birthday
  17. larger voice
  18. Eclipse
  19. I Am . . .
  20. Kaleidoscope World

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