Fine as a flake of mica
was the vow we made
decades ago, when any
syllable could be forgiven
and the substance of dull horror
was just imagination. That vow has grown into
more than a vegetable – consumed, vitamins mashed, tolerated.
It is much more than an idealized place or perfect pillow.
It is what we made here, heroes to our own love,
bypassing blame, slaughtering resentments, screaming
through headlocks or when kneeling on the bathroom floor,
bonded to the midnight turn and years of heavy lifting.
My love, remember us again, don’t be acid or an orchard
of terrible ivy, fill yourself with renewed determination.
my hands have never been mild, never stroked the molten
skin of treason. Can’t you be my pomegranate, my gunpowder?
Don’t polish your shoes. I like them dirty. I like these walls,
even the crayon marks tracing up and down the stairway.
I am not lying. I could die here, with you –
table wine on the shelves,
children on every floor, and us, searching for lilies in our garden,
making burnt cupcakes, regretting none
of our history.
Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “The Foliate Oak Literary Magazine”
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.