by a permanence,
stronger than victory, smelling
you, the minerals you wear and
layers of unwashed clothes.
You are a medical philosopher, stuck on practical theory,
an airplane too dangerous to fly beside
the birds. I am one of those feathery few
who long to burn in your backdraft. I smile
everytime you repeat something funny.
Often, you are the music
and I am listening, squinting at
another region where turtles devour minnows
for sport and vinegar tunnels behind the eyes. Open.
You keep me open when I want to be a needle, nothing more
than a knife, or a pocket of pins.
When I want to wear stockings, you pick me a station
to stop at and tell me to gather burrs –
burrs, up and down my legs, hot as ripped fingernails, or
like being showered with poison.
How can I not respect you? Not think you my magnificent
other-half? How could I stay here without you, withstand
any small wound or other
Copyright 2012 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Misfits Miscellany”, 2012
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.
Book reviews of the River is Blind paperback:
“Throughout (The River is Blind), she (Allison Grayhurst) employs
reiterated tropes of swallowing and being consumed, spatial fullness
and emptiness, shut- in, caverns, chasms, cavities; angels, archangels,
blasphemy, psalms; satiation or starved. With a conceit of unrequited sex
as “my desire”, nocturnal emissions, awakening in the morning, the poet lives
at capacity, uninhibited, dancing,” Anne Burke, poet, regional representative
for Alberta on the League of Canadian Poets’ Council, and chair of
the Feminist Caucus.
“Allison’s poetic prose is insightful, enwrapping, illuminating and brutally truthful. It probes the nature of the human spirit, relationships, spirituality and God. It is sung as the clearest song is sung within a cathedral by choir. It is whispered as faintly as a heartbroken goodbye. It is alive with the life of a thousand birds in flight within the first glint of morning sun. It is as solemn as the sad-sung ballad of a noble death. Read at your peril. You will never look at this world in quite the same way again. Your eye will instinctively search the sky for eagles and scan the dark earth for the slightest movement of smallest ant, your heart will reach for tall mountains, bathe in the most intimate of passions and in the grain and grit of our earth. Such is Allison Grayhurst. Such is her poetry. THE RIVER IS BLIND is a must-read,” Eric M. Vogt, poet and author.
powerful, and disturbing. “…one of those feathery few / who long to burn in your backdraft.” – brilliant