Hard slow force –
back the shape of half
a bell. Lipless
mouth wide with sunstroke
fear. Double eyelids
close, looks like gel
over two black wounds.
Your elbows tight inside
your chamber-shell. Your neck
stretched like a slinky, nodding
from side to side.
Without voice, your legs
leap out like arrows, push
frantically at the air.
You are in my hand, the size
of half-a-hand. You are quiet now,
head back inside your giant roof.
Released from human grip,
your feet feel water, edge
across piled-up rocks,
where you stop
to smell the dark aquarium
Copyright © 1995 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “The Peregrine Muse” July 2017
You can listen to the poem by clicking below:
“Somewhere Falling has a richness of imagery and an intensity of emotion rare in contemporary poetry. Drawn in sharp outlines of light and darkness, and rich shades of colour, with a deep sense of loss and longing and the possibility of salvation, this is an unusual book by a gifted young poet. Grayhurst’s voice is one to which we should continue to pay attention.” — Maggie Helwig, author of Apocalypse Jazz and Eating Glass.
“Responsibility and passion don’t often go together, especially in the work of a young poet. Allison Grayhurst combines them in audacious ways. Somewhere Falling is a grave, yet sensuous book.” – Mark Abley, author of Glasburyon and Blue Sand, Blue Moon.
“Biting into the clouds and bones of desire and devotion, love and grief, Allison Grayhurst basks the reader, with breathtaking eloquence, in an elixir of words. Like lace, the elegance is revealed by what isn’t said. This is stunning poetry.” – Angela Hryniuk, author of no visual scars.
So intimately and grandly connected to this small animal life. A true gift to be able to sense at this level.