He sinks into the river
tossing his garments on the muddy shore.
He takes the river-water into his mouth,
pressing her sturdy thigh in his mind.
And in his movements he waits for her,
smells her in the rocks and in the geese
He lifted her from her burden, promised
a garden and other two-some things.
He spoke of stories until she found her heritage.
He treads the river’s current, keeps his eyes open
underwater to see the weeds and fish beneath
its greying surface.
She told him of her duty and how love is
for another place. She looked straight ahead,
as if their hands clasping was a weakness
better to forget.
He gathers his breath and dives
into the rapids like one fierce, in flight, one
who has left his peace forever behind.
Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Decanto, 58th issue”, April 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.
Review of The Longing To Be:
“The contents of Allison Grayhurst’s book The Longing To Be are both personal and universal and are described in such thematic and golden terms that one can see that a lot of thought has gone into each line. The poems are written mostly in free verse throughout, with both rhythm and soul weaved into them. For some poems, the layout seems experimental, and there is definitely a playfulness in the way that the words and verses fall onto the page. Others do conform to a “norm”, whatever that is. All are dramatic and thoughtful. These are layered poems with new horizons presented to the reader in every re-read. The effect is to keep things fresh with poems that constantly surprise in spite, and because of, the number of times being read. I thoroughly recommend The Longing To Be as a poetry book to study carefully and cherish far into the future,” poet Brian Shirra.