Tag Archives: Bill Johnston

One Manner of Hunger

one manner of hunger cover picture

Today’s Words’ Worth comes from a writer I got to know on the internet last year, Bill Johnston:
‘I tend to be either intensely focused or entirely too laid back. My demeanor is actually nearly always quite cheerful. Something about a keyboard and a concept is always so grim. Deep, eloquent and grim for a humorous soul. I’m not sure what it is… Like water my words in type run to the lowest point without the effort required to raise them.’
 ‘No matter how many times I molt, I have layers beneath that will not shed.’
On the topic of American’s being prudish:
‘We love and hate our filthy shit. I find for every one prude there’s two more that want to hear more. It swings more both ways here than I’m guessing it does there, but once something filthy must be read there are church ladies with copies under their mattresses.’
Bill Johnston. William Thomas Johnston. Poet. Storyteller. Blogger. Friend. Proof that online encounters can grow into something beautiful. It’s a pleasure to know you, Bill!


The letter home arrives to a flatfooted father whose Uncle had never spoken of sitting in a hole in the mud, curled into a ball, helmet and teeth and hands clattering to the tune of incoming shells.
And the letter arrives from a man with one arm who cannot shake with his right.
The father does not go hunting next season;
He buys his meat all winter from the butchers with the widows, and they smile hollow smiles, smiles that will fill themselves with time and the spring.
Somewhere a soldier dies without permission
And three old men will never forget his name although they know new recruits only by the name Green until they’ve proven they can survive a thing or two.
Somewhere a child soldier dies without permission;
A stray shot while boiling oranges still hard,
atrocity and addiction and aversion and attack, attack, attack.
No less a good soldier, no field of white concrete crosses, no etching, just the abandoned campsite,
the scattering of warm empty casings,
empty villages, crowded refugee camps, dead men running through the night to the nearest well
And pickup truck headlights and muzzle flash
hollow bellies, helpless mothers, eyes that have seen now unblinking, and old men not worth the bullet.
No such thing as undisturbed sleep
No such thing as a dull machette
No such thing as a good war



from Somewhere a Soldier Dies Without Permission, by Bill Johnston