Yesterday I stayed on the hammock near the shaded cliff,
watching the two-folded yellow flower.
Bodies are not bodies but conditions
of unique collaborations.
Desire is there like a distance that must be crossed,
fuelled forever by lack. It is
salt, and like salt it loses its parameters
when boiled, plumbing up and seasoning
a stiff grain.
Organs pump at alternate rates – organs as rocks
damming the current. Desire claimed as a quelling
of self-contained essence, a sweeping clean of virginal
magnificence, cloistering what is left on an island
where roots form in fleshy sand.
It is only me rolling out this loosened rubble, falling
on reptilian ground where camouflaged creatures keep pace
with higher footprints, crush those footprints
with sharp crusty toes.
I want to die between clouds, want more space
to swim in, a supermarket of strawberries to count
and mount like a mattress.
Tongues jet out, mapping words, keeping quiet
about their other erotic duties, canceling
what should be claimed,
masking it in tinfoil so it will shine.
It will shine but it will not ripen.
I was curved on this cloth between two trees, in a state
of capture. There I understood that what sorts itself out is
a blank statement, ghost suns and eruptions
that speak like volcanic tickings, spawning uphill – epidemic.
I understood that if there ever was a chance
to unlatch myself from fate,
I would take it.
That I am damned, already a busted instrument –
splintered dark-stained-wood piled remorsefully
on somebody’s knees.
To hell with being uplifted.
I will never know sky, or the bliss of a boat on open waters.
I will stay on this swing, transmitting
my cellular weight into images – dehydrated
instead of plunging,
angry instead of forgiving, intolerant of the mediocrity
that swirls around my expanse of space like a broom,
hurling up into the atmosphere what should be collected
and brought to waste.
The truth is, I can’t co-operate with the soothsayers.
Because the truth is, lying there I understood
that what is final, eternally claimed, is the colour red,
broad-leafed or bare of leaves, it makes itself known
like rising bile, enters
like forced medicine that pockmarks the belly-interior, rises,
leaving bits of itself behind, enough to doctor even
a resistant inherent chemistry.
Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “New Binary Press Anthology”, 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.