Clear as the contented painter’s hand
putting down the brush . . .
before there is happiness, there must be loss,
memory, potent and unchanging,
ripped of its noble character to become something
mere and stupefied.
There must be the coffin, the loneliness,
chaos that wins out over the light.
Before the infant is held with pure joy,
there must be the mother
brutally aware of all life’s fragility.
Death is the focal point of life,
giving substance to an otherwise flat surface.
Love cannot banish despair,
yet allows faith to grow side by side.
What once was glowing has rusted,
and the sensuous stroke, strokes
with sliced off thumbs.
There is no way around it, before
the ever lasting glory, there must be blood –
blood that drips as though it were hot wax,
blood that drips then reshapes
what is known as only flesh.
Copyright © 2010 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Both Sides Now”
You can listen to the poem by clicking below:
“Allison Grayhurst intertwines a potent spirituality throughout her work so that each poem is not simply a statement or observation, but a revelation that demands the reader’s personal involvement. Grayhurst’s poetic genius is profound and evident. Her voice is uniquely authentic, undeniable in its dignified vulnerability as it is in its significance,” Kyp Harness, singer/songwriter, author.
“Allison Grayhurst’s poems are like cathedrals witnessing and articulating in unflinching graphic detail the gritty angst and grief of life, while taking it to rare clarity, calm and comfort. Grayhurst’s work is haunting, majestic and cleansing, often leaving one breathless in the wake of its intelligence, hope, faith and love amidst the muck of life. Many of Allison Grayhurst’s poems are simply masterpieces. Grayhurst’s poetry is a lighthouse of intelligent honour… indeed, intelligence rips through her work like white water,” Taylor Jane Green, Registered Spiritual Psychotherapist and author.