Will you keep me
a bouquet of translucent daisies, a meager waterfall
that is less than a tide between two places,
more like still-birth – burning improper,
scenting the torso of a tree. A tree
I came across and wanted to cross into its sphere, step up
and build a tight fence around us two so I would have no choice
but to lean on hefty roots, sleep at the bottom, wide as earth.
Will you keep me, stop me
from compromising a cold solution,
from peddling the fruits of my incandescent plateau
with weak convictions?
Or will you turn me wooden just to protect what is soft, and not,
interchangeable? Will you keep me in this tattered suit,
as my appetite courses through me grey and unmade,
dragging the tentacle midnight at my heels – my reasoning,
foiled; my affectionate-heart, stunted, incapable of replying.
Havoc and purgatory. Beehives
I have broken. Bend me now to move my lips over
a willing recipient. Will you drink me, go on drinking
the sap that steals
from my pores, purging from my flesh in fluctuating doses?
Will you keep using me? My loins are like snow
shadowing white a lush green. These exaltations I need
are like the images sailing tumultuously
through my head, grid-locking a purer understanding.
I need to be kept, to be your brown buckwheat,
tender and eatable.
But there is more straw on my veranda than there are stones,
more I must conquer to gain. Outside is not liberating. It rides in
on a limping mare and severs me from holistic learning.
The eagles arrive never asking for remuneration,
but they are useless
as they stream through rainclouds. They never own anything –
not the cliffs they claim, not prey, and not their offspring.
So will you keep me,
now that I am ambushed by your requests,
thoroughly excavated – liver and marrow – no more,
now that I am gone,
and I have given up every potential shore?
Will you play on my step,
keep me from running, from fading headlong
into a banal madness, keep me
from becoming roadkill, dust
in a never-ending duststorm?
Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “New Binary Press Anthology”
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.