The boy who fell upwards

Snatched at by a current from the dark surging sky
far from my house in my island of safety
I catch onto hedgerows; to handfuls of grass
to the grasshopper kingdoms that might keep me among them.
Grass roots wrench away from the anchoring soil
their succulent wires cannot earth me forever.
The country lane lurches under my shoes,
even the stone Gran’mère in the graveyard can’t ground me.
Twisted by updraughts, I’m torn up by currents
a splintering glider all paper and balsa
above gorse-yellow cliffs I bank and I yaw.
A hollow-boned Stuka, I shriek like a gull in the gale.
Peter Kenny, 2001 (from A Guernsey Double: The Boy Who Fell Upwards / the Man Who Landed)
Cover: Nancy Spero, Codex Artaud (1971-72), detail

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