Through Arched Doors


Through Arched Doors

(for James Baldwin)


You speak

of the elemental

soil beneath bone

            & tear –


Scale with

genius a midnight

whip, a

            burning deed.


We drown in your intimate

wave as faces of many hues

enter your eyes. You make us

            drum hard


on the back of a beautiful fire.

You hold us near your mind, embracing

rooftops, stairwells, the upper half of

            the sky.


Your words ripple & rape

the greyness from every sickness scrawled.

There is nothing

            as terrible


as your writer’s hands

that strike with light

our narrow hates

            & wounds.



Copyright © 1995 by Allison Grayhurst


For Every Rain Cover 5


First published in “First Offense”  1996



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.