Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A staircase of fear

heat percolates
in grip of terror
      (no) air
      (no) breath 
      trapped stony silence
            as stomach churns 
                                       up (down)

i step back 

angling towards sea
       feet searches for solid ground 
            so near, yet so far

heights twist my guts
to this white fear
                       a quicksand
                                  i'm falling
                                         down (up) 

Acrophobia (from the Greek: ἄκρον, ákron , meaning "peak, summit, edge" and φόβος, phóbos, "fear") is an extreme or irrational fear or phobia of heights, especially when one is not particularly high up.

Written for D'verse Poets Pub- What are you afraid of?  (Fear, phobias)  Hosted by Mish. Pub opens at 3pm EST.   Thanks for the visit!


  1. Wow, even though I am not usually afraid of heights, the photo made me nervous! The "ups" and "downs" of this piece really put me in your shoes, feeling the agony of your fear.

  2. I love this. Especially the ending. Also the stress/emphasis created by the parentheticals.

    Great title too. Well done.

  3. This is absolutely raw and intense I could feel each line as I held my breath throughout the poem. Beautifully executed.

    Lots of love,

  4. I remember, friend G, when my family and I were driving on a mountain trunk road once ... I was so terrified dat I made him stop the car and my 2 lil kids and I walked many kilometres all the way back to safety ... ya ... Love, cat.

  5. Looking at that stairway is enough to make me dizzy. Your verse also has me Twisting and turning

  6. sMiLes.. i can honestly say
    that in any given day
    heights are my only
    anxiety and my
    only fear.. noW
    as i suppose
    i wanna live in
    fAcT i aM sure i am
    afraid of falling to death..
    sure it makes sense to avoid
    heights when we can.. as missteps
    happen beyond

  7. Amazing mind play. Thank you for sharing.

  8. The photo is killer enough to induce vertigo. Hey, we dealt with the same fear--great minds & all that. I love the shape & feel of the piece; makes me short-of-breath.

  9. Each stanza carried the intense fear as they descended to the end. Beautifully written. :)

  10. Gayle Walters RoseAugust 2, 2016 at 7:55 PM

    Heights get to me too...and that photo, it kind of made my head spin just looking at it...where is up and where is down?

  11. Fantastic poem and the photo actually gives me vertigo....wow!

  12. Wow that photo is just amazing! And you caught the fear perfectly in your poem.

  13. Topsy turvy a bit today as you went on your merry go round way haha

  14. Awesome! BUT that photo really is deadly gorgeous. <3

  15. Oh Grace, I was there with you! I love the shape and staggering pace of the piece (and the use of parentheses) to create the feeling of vertigo. And what a stunning photograph!

  16. Grace it is not an irrational fear, especially if your head won't let your body move to steadier ground. I do like the way you communicate not only the fear of heights but in general the way of all fear. Nicely done.

  17. Ooooh, I can so empathise with this feeling! A really vivid poem!

  18. I fully feel this, but the irony is it's not the actually height we fear. It's the *falling* from it that scares the Dickens out of us. Excellent write!

  19. heights ping me a bit,
    but mostly in relation to my kids.

    i have jumped off hundreds of feet, but put my boys
    within ten feet of the edge, it cripples me.

  20. Ooh, you've made my knees feel a little weak (and not in a good way, so to speak!).

  21. Geez, that was just a picture and it made me dizzy. Great words to match a great picture. Thank you, as always. Have a wonderful weekend.

  22. I share this fear and i have to say both pictures were made my stomach plummet...the photograph and the one your words painted quite clearly.

  23. love your parenthesis that allow your words to mean more than one thing at a time.

  24. i feel the vivid agony and nerves, Grace. And I do have fear of heights too! :)

  25. Heights are one of my biggest fears. Can't breath or move. Could never enjoy the beauty of the canyons for feat of falling. You took me there once again ..bkm

  26. My brother has fear of heights. :)

  27. So many little things to fear, it is no wonder great fears can take over.

  28. I have some of these fears Grace !!

  29. I love the shape and the wording of your poem... unsettling in itself; as it should be. The photo didn't hurt one bit. Yikes!

  30. Form and content in perect harmony ... adds to the sense of fear and panic in this case

    Jen / Lucja


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