What it is I want
To die this death and not be reborn,
to exit this tepid wake, be stopped
from forming and maturing in this blistering purgatory
of unleavened bread, not be a DNA strand, mutating
perfectly fine habits, or disrupting rituals to count on.
I cannot count on staying adjusted, same
as the everyday banker or any other grownup
whose disappointments have been diluted by the memory
of endearing acceptance and arms that reach
from behind so that all weight can fall, so that shoulders
can loosen and kisses can be established.
I want to tear at the tendon heels of uncertainty,
be simple as a dog in a happy home with dark eyes
and easy affection, be someone not sucked of colour –
sharp hairs protruding from every pore, a poor
collection of broken rocks that no bricklayer
would set his trowel down for to gather.
I want to be exposed as a lit lighthouse, as a mother
dealing with her temper-tantrum child, be circled,
again and again, entwined, tightened hard around,
only this tension, stillness, awakening here,
before the plummeting pulse,
before the movement of ecstasy, wanting nothing else
more, ever again.
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.