Melancholic and visceral, poet Nathaniel Grayson’s “Some Distant Island” takes an unflinching look at faith, connection, and the places we find ourselves. There are traces of Poe in Nathaniel’s poem, evident in the repetition of “Nevermore”, though in Nathaniel’s poem it is a dove that speaks the word, in contrast to Poe’s renowned raven. Nathaniel told The Dewdrop, “‘Some Distant Island’ was inspired by my time in Iceland and my spiritual reconnection to nature, reflecting on my childhood upbringing within the Catholic church.”
Some Distant Island On the brink of some distant island were clean shoes prancing towards some idiotic shilling, shoving g–d. The nimble rose was between her and me. In Germany, the ground was lost as the sky was covered. Verdunkeln! In the mist between the trees and long rainy days, The heart of the heart and that Light betwixt Mary and Jacinta, while Lúcia de Jesus Rosa dos Santos played on, sweet angel, mossy and kneeling amongst the little lambs. Nevermore is what that dove said. Nevermore will I spread eagle upon that great altar or ascend to some higher plane. The Great Divide between us growing evermore. And Brie, dear saint, and lovely emblem yet a fragment, an illusion of divine femineity. A muse of fleshy curtains, or speckled twilight bores, fearful and fearsome, she walks upon the speckled shore. And on that speckled shore, a clasp of metal or locket holding gnosis and nostalgia like a child’s toy in her hands unveils everything —and yet nothing remains. All is broken nevermore.
Nathaniel Grayson (he/him/his) is a first-year graduate student at the University of Southern Mississippi, pursuing an MA in Fiction. Follow him on his Instagram: @notnatenathan.