The bell is amputated from its string.
There will be no more ringing, no more
afternoons of speaking my confidences,
smoking them out from my private interior, onto
lips and into this stark atmosphere.
Love is not a digital emergence where pixels collide
until a picture forms, or where music is made that has lost
any deep throat imperfection. Around here, I wear medals
I don’t deserve, earned when my ovaries
were engorged with helium and I was trying to stay tethered,
to build myself a honeycomb of golden protection.
I don’t know how to worship. I am too heavy to float
like some I know who find purification in fairy tales,
like some I drift from and back toward – but that drifting
is not burning, not a sacrificial bullet
that leaves a bloodstain of legendary proportions,
that turns everything into a symphony, never stops
electrifying the loins as well as
I am on the street and things are moving –
ten gulls circling in the sky, two bluejays in a tree,
and people I say hi to, smile at so strong,
that for a time I am distracted
from my solitude. For a time I am sure I can understand
this side of the spectrum that is mine –
pallid tones, no more ringing,
love that loves at full capacity, experiences
the melody of joining, then is cut, dangling,
before it finds
Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “The Weary Blues, Issue 3”, September 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.