Hard Time Singing

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Hard Time Singing

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The ground that grows

the wasteful blight and

estranges the kiss and hiss of wildlife

is in me like a slaughtered tribe

that has no face.

I am in the nightmare cloud, wrapped

in tar and rotted wood. I hide

beneath the blanket, undone.

Sickness has walked around me, mile

around mile, and names me this stone chiseled

in two. It is the beginning, but it is midnight

and I am marked to be unmoved.

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Copyright © 2004 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “The Camel Saloon”

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http://thecamelsaloon.blogspot.ca/search/label/Allison%20Grayhurst

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Photography by Allison Grayhurst – “The Leaning Tree of Linsmore”

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

https://allisongrayhurst.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/hard-time-singing.m4a

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“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.

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4 responses to “Hard Time Singing

  1. Poetry does not have to stir hymns and hosannas to be poetry. Sometimes poetry gets under the skin and smashes the reader in the face and forces confrontation that is not to be quickly forgotten:
    The ground that grows
    the wasteful blight and
    estranges the kiss and hiss of wildlife
    is in me like a slaughtered tribe
    that has no face.

    Whew! This is one powerful description of a blackness that has descended singing angrily into the spirit.

    I am in the nightmare cloud, wrapped
    in tar and rotted wood. I hide
    beneath the blanket, undone.

    But poetry, if it is any good never stands still, but moves:

    Sickness has walked around me, mile
    around mile and names me this stone chiselled
    in two. It is the beginning, but it is midnight
    and I am marked to be unmoved.

    There is a hint here that there is a “beginning…” of sickness, of stone chiselled in two,” but a stirring beneath the blackness even though “it is midnight/and I am marked to be be unmoved.”

    This is not the poetry of dazzling light, but of the spirit’s darkness. Still, there has to be a beginning out of darkness even though it cannot move and the spirit hides under a blanket, trying to be unseen. Sylvia Plath wrote powerful poetry that sizzled with emotion. We feel the fire in her lines, but, in the end, she needed to find a new beginning, a path out of despair and the darker emotions. This has the power of Plath, but I see in it more hope even if the hope is lightly stated and perhaps half meant. I recognize you as a poet, Allison. A significant poet.

    Like

  2. I like your use of language. . .very effective I think. Reminds me of Ferlinghetti and his Beat Poetry in the 60’s. Also (for me) has a Dylan quality to it. I really like your poetry!

    Like

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