About the poet
Writing in his 1990s study of Alasdair Gray’s novels, Stephen Bernstein identifies Gray as “one...
Each grain of dirt, each spark holds mysteries of how
art forms, as end and start both become now.
Words eagle-winged with metaphor may zoom sky high,
but can’t reveal much of love’s magnitude
unless they evoke lip-touch, scent from distant room.
On sea floor shellfish turns dirt-grain to pearl.
Sun’s perfect sphere is seen most clear through mist.
Love purity? Moon is only spotless
in a narrow crescent curl. How easy to see
and love perfection in a distant girl!
Sharp thorns defend a softly, brightly petalled rose
which we all know is bait for bee and bug.
Were all our dead weight lost, could feet tread sky’s blue rug?
Make sense of these images if you wish.
Like shellfish on sea floor my heart is never still.
None know the pearl it holds. None ever will.
uncollected, first published in Fras, issue 20, 2011, © Alasdair Gray 2011, used by permissiion of the author
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