Edified

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Edified

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    Was I bound by the artificial?

Driftwood down an interceding flow?

Horse stance, back muscles rolling, lines of twine, and fishing.

I will not fish or tighten my spinal cord

for the appearance of strength.

I will not bask relaxed in hot spring nobility or lick the nose

of prey I someday plan to devour. Was I combined or conditioned

to make a unified shape?

    Loudly, my name was spoken. It was God, I am

sure of that. And it was angry, pressing, urging me

to wake and take nothing lightly or so hard.

It was the second time

at the time of 2:30 a.m., when my bed flushed with instant

rigidity, lifting me with dominance

from the gardens of my despair.

    It was spoken as a permit to build, to trap the past inside

the future – not as vintage romanticism, but for the sake

of journeying onward, to be integrated

with what must be re-owned, absolved by the fact

that nothing can escape the impact of eternity. I was shown

that the igloo mansions I once erected,

featuring such elaborate depictions,

cerebral justifications of indignant loneliness,

were natural and could not be dismantled.

    I heard my name spoken, calling me to dart alert

from a shrinking sleep, to walk the hallway, carve

myself an inclusive center, to answer boldly,

unconditionally step

into the dictates of a personal command.

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Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

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No Raft - No Ocean

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “New Binary Press Anthology”, 2o12

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http://newbinarypress.com/product/the-new-binary-press-anthology-of-poetry-volume-i/#

http://www.amazon.com/The-Binary-Press-Anthology-Poetry/dp/0957466102/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383226605&sr=8-1&keywords=new+binary+press

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edified

http://scars.tv/pdf/2015/20151023No_Raft_No_Ocean_by_Allison_Grayhurst.pdf

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Scars writingScars edified 1 Scars edified 2

http://scars.tv/cgi-bin/framesmain.pl?writers

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

https://allisongrayhurst.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/edified.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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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.

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“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.

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5 responses to “Edified

  1. Awesome…charged, clear, sharp to the point!
    YES, THIS IS THE HEROIC JOURNEY STARING FEAR IN THE FACE!

    “I heard my name spoken, calling me to dart alert

    from a shrinking sleep, to walk the hallway, carve

    myself an inclusive center, to answer boldly,

    unconditionally step

    into the dictates of a personal command.”

    Like

  2. Allison, I just read the poems I hadn’t read since my last comment. I always do that, then choose one or two on which to write a comment.
    I actually found this to be a difficult poem. It starts with two questions;
    “Was I bound by the artificial?
    Driftwood down an interceding flow?”
    Are you real? Or just driftwood flowing from a direction you cannot control? Then the poem takes a leap:
    “Horse stance, back muscles rolling, lines of twine, and fishing.”
    almost as if you see yourself in a great river like the Columbia out in the current tossing lines over and over again into roiling waters. This is an answer to the questions about how you really are. Then the poem leaps again with two declarative statements:
    “I will not fish or tighten my spinal cord for the appearance of strength.
    I will not bask relaxed in hot spring nobility or lick the nose
    of prey I someday plan to devour.”
    At this point you seem to be defining yourself by denial, contradicting the vision of “Horse stance, back muscles rolling…”
    You will not give the appearance of strength through strenuous action or bask in the hot spring of nobility or lick the nose of prey you may someday devour in order to be who you are.
    Then the poem leaps again, telling us of a 2:30 a.m. dream that fits into this contemplation of self and who you are:
    “Loudly, my name was spoken. It was God, I am
    sure of that. And it was angry, pressing, urging me
    to wake and take nothing lightly or so hard.”
    This “angry, pressing” voice lifted you “from the gardens of my despair.”
    And when you understood the voice, you had inside yourself “a permit to build, to trap the past inside the future…” to “absolved by the fact/that nothing can escape the impact of eternity.” This last quotation, as an aside, is a powerful line.
    The reason for including igloo before mansions escapes me, but the next part of the poem essentially says that mansions you once erected inside yourself, “cerebral justifications of indignant loneliness,” are natural and cannot be dismantled.
    Then comes the affirmation in answer to the questions at the beginning of the poem:
    “I heard my name spoken, calling me to dart alert
    from a shrinking sleep, to walk the hallway, carve
    myself an inclusive center, to answer boldly,
    unconditionally step
    into the dictates of a personal command.”
    The voice in the dream gave you permission to be active in life, carve a center that is inclusive of life, the world, others, inside yourself, “to answer boldly,” to follow the personal commands from your inner voice, your self.
    This is clearly mystic poetry as opposed to the confessional poetry of Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, et al. It is closer to what William Blake wrote than it is to much of the contemporary canon and thus has a tone that is commanding while, at the same time, giving an answer to the self about its reasons for existence. This takes a careful reading to “fish” out its multiple meanings. The word fish, for instance, in the early lines is not only there for image, but for the idea that you are not going to fish for who you are or for the meaning of life, leading to the vision that you describe in the poem. But a little effort gives substantial rewards.

    Like

  3. I’d like to know…did you really hear a voice? This poem is like a testimony. “Into the dictates of a personal command…” This line raises the hairs on my neck. I once saw freedom in such “personal commands” and “dictates”…but now, just not so sure. This poem seems clearly about an awakening, a calling into a new kind of way of being, away from cerebral justifications that lead to loneliness and despair.

    Like

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