Poem of the Week | On Being High by Alison McCrossan

On Being High

By Alison McCrossan


Where the hills rolled away into the horizon

carrying my dreams since forever, 

or when I was immortal,

impervious to the catching up of time,

each shape on the curve

was a tree or a standing stone I would visit 

on my way over 

those hills to the other side


where feeling was every colour, 

a rainbow painted on iridescent blue.

For a while I danced to the pulse

of the stuff in my blood, and imagined

I was connected to ground, visiting the fibres 

of its being, inside the threadlike veins of 

a leaf, knowing what it knew, sensing

the flow of rain, sky to earth to root

to branch to bud to sky to river to sea 


on the current of drunkenness.

Way out, I was a lost buoy in the vast heave,

losing all reason and sinking, holding 

tight to a bottle that had lost its message

so long ago; it was filling with brine

and dropping like lead


to bed, tossed and turned, scoured by sand, 

losing label, identity, reason

and washed ashore,

at last.


Forty days and forty nights in the dry

where the underworld offered its temptations

three for every day, sunrise, noon, sunset,

hot earth scalded my knees, the globe turned,

the sea rose, 



I find those same hills radiate the promise

of this place, this place in which I live,

the way they always did and always will,

where every shape is a force, every

force is in tune with the sky, the rain,

the green of growth, the rust turn,

the dark rot, and the pale shoot peeking 

from the earth in the frost of every spring. 

Check out previous Poems of the Week here.

We are currently closed for submissions for Poem of the Week. Submissions for the next Poem of the Week series will open 1st February 2020.

Photo by Gordon Williams on Unsplash

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