Footprints you appear in. Fences you break down.
Your back has become my meadow,
laced with dandelion seed. Your muscles twitch to the feel
of grasshoppers’ brandishing wings.
Your shoulder blades combine
under beetles’ scurrying strides –
flesh becomes grass and grass becomes flesh becomes weeds,
connecting their incompatible sinews, intimately.
I plant myself on one side of you,
searching for a conclusion. Permanence is a chain.
I take photos while you are sleeping. I brush across
the stubble in the cleft of your chin with my cheek.
Holding is indefinite. Years counted are like ivory
appropriated, but at what cost?
We lift up our shirts, place ears over navels,
dwarfing any future with instinctual immediacy.
With each lip-graze our fears are gradually disempowered.
They shrink, and then we shrink-wrap them before
they fully decay, offering them an honoured
yet secondary place.
Events are karma. Our karma is caged, dies
from the surgical stitch formed between us –
what was deemed inevitable is void of vibration,
outcast from its orbit.
You are a wall made of sponge, absorbing.
I will saturate. For you, I will not be hard or polished, but
exile my conscious desires, give crown
to a steady delirium. You will be central.
And this will happen without conditions.
The afternoon rises and what stands on either side
– be it memory or our impending dreams –
falls subject, subdued by our abiding bond.
Copyright 2012 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Taj Mahal Review, Volume 11, Number 1”, June 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.