thin hip bones, hills of urgency, the grounding
of incomprehensible joy. At sea. Socks. Blindfolded
on the top bunk, looking into blackness, sure
of the kaleidoscope formations forming that press behind
eyes – optic nerves more alive than when there is
propelling new positions – toes touching,
calves locked, demanding, skin against similar refined surfaces.
Clarity climbs the spine. Minds are removed from symbols,
divulged of an audience, resting easy in sounds, validations
of hidden obsessions and kerosene wanting. Wanting
outward what is inward – to pick a pearl in the tossing waters,
to be that pearl torn from ligament bondage.
Death sings, switches axles. Inside that box,
larvae are destroyed, what is wax-paper-winged
emerges like steam, twisting with a giddy haste, singing
and shedding the crust of coveted seclusion.
Like the brushing wind
of wet breath on an upper thigh, it sings, or
like the smells of predatory indulgence coupled
with tender consideration, cheeks are under siege.
And even what is awkward delivers
The box is handprints on glass, fingers drawing
biological notes. Open. Each time
time has no bearing. Each time venturing, the box
is a blade, contracting – multiplying an adrenalin spectrum.
Each time excessive sensitivity expounds, actualizes,
What is given, returns larger – corners are lifted, four-sided
confinement collapses as two fibrous silhouettes gain height,
hum tangible, hold steady and then
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.