“Laura Johnson’s poems assay heights and depths of spirit—real joy and real loss—but also locate spirit amid the tug of day-to-day events—childhood drives, pets, moon rise, and “thinking of manila folders.” As she acknowledges what moves her and what eludes her, she displays the poet’s instinctive knack for the revelatory. As a Christian, she is open to the mystery of her faith and the shadows that go with that faith. One asks of a poet whether she or he can look into the mirror of selfhood and see a world that intimates the breadth and depth of what we grandly call “existence.” Laura Johnson does that in poem after poem and leaves the reader the richer for the experience.”
–Baron Wormser, 2000-2006 Poet Laureate of Maine
“In Not Yet Laura Johnson writes a poetry of devotion set in today’s world of mini vans, tortilla chips and snorkeling. Her poems breathe life into ancient questions: how to hope in dark times, keep the faith in a world where suffering, even evil, is rampant. Part of her response is a necessary self-reckoning; another part is accepting grief. But there is also a looking up and out at both present and “unreachable beauty.” Johnson’s poems possess a remarkable clarity and refreshing balance between her reading of biblical narratives and her embrace of “thrumming life.” These lovely poems do right by believers and nonbelievers, both, for the dignity they give to the hard questions and their honest, open replies, which like the swan in one poem, dare to ‘bow and see what the water reflects.’”
–Betsy Sholl, 2006-2011 Poet Laureate of Maine
“Flying over a city at night, the strange otherness of a bird, the weightlessness and sudden freedom of a skydive, a downpour that moves a woman to dance, and the miracle of a new body growing inside of another body. These closely observed and moving moments exist side by side with life’s dark moments—the memories of a war veteran, the quick and deadly grip of a Venus Trap, the sudden death of a child, and dying fish who at first appear too beautiful to be struggling. Laura Johnson’s spiritual vision includes a sense of mystery and a reverence for all of creation, alongside a playful, sly humor. Her empathy and compassion for what she sees—a group of campers with Down’s Syndrome or an injured man sitting by a store entrance—is wide and generous. These poems have something to teach us all.”
–Karen Osborn, author Centerville, winner of the Independent Publishers Gold Award for Fiction
From Goodreads: “This little book contains so many colors of the spectrum that Poetry can paint. The reader is constantly surprised at what awaits him round the next bend.
Will it be the Powerful Sensitivity of Shoes, 497 Pieces, Aside, or Favorite Snacks? The charming, often comic Storytelling of Purr, Confession, Lizard in My Mailbox, or Sundial? Or the evocative imagery of Night Flight, Not Yet, Mini-Van, Knock and Miracle.
This poet shows remarkable versatility in clothing herself in a variety of robes to communicate her feelings through exactly the right words, regardless of mood. But she also conveys her core identity as a woman of Faith, quoting Scripture while questioning the contradictions Faith presents. She avows her Devotion in Rabbi and A Step, but faces down its questions in One and The Hand. Only a True Believer transcends the common pieties of Religion to demand clarity through the Fog.
While not myself a Believer, I was impressed by this collection’s ability to infuse Faith into the everyday experiences of a courageous writer. The Part called Separation truly moved me to the point that I was passing it around to others who would appreciate it.
I very much look forward to reading more of Laura Johnson’s work soon.”