I think midnight

is a future swelling

ready for wreckage

then prayer, then sun

I think the animals

have voices,

many, too motionless to hear

A backbone, crushed

a starfish, exploding

good emotion squandered

out of fear of failure –

all of this exist

in union with the empty eve


Old people understand

the brave business of life

some, they have conquered competition

cold, ceasing to cry

some, they feel like fugitives

nearing the boundaries of death

shaking like a season

that has lost its beginning

a harvest

ill, unused


I dream of footholds

I dream deliberate

draining meaning

out of every moment

I dream of souls patterned

like constellations


In the snow

a flame was born

Darkness is pointless

lacking the owl’s eyes


I used to house the harrowing hooligans

This way, I have restored my temple

burying my body below sand,

joining the desert




Copyright © 1989 by Allison Grayhurst


Joshua’s Shoulder was published  in 1989 by The Plowman, written by Allison Grayhurst under the pseudonym of Jocelyn Kain.

Joshua's shoulderimg157


Published in the “Peregrine Muse” April 2018



First published in “The Plowman: A Journal of International Poetry” 1989


You can listen to this poem by clicking below:



Leave a Reply