Tangled by the Slow Fire


Tangled by the Slow Fire


I fell then ran

from murder to counterspin,

leaving praise in the mudslide

and my breathing-in, rich with toxins.

I spiraled into the crematorium

weighed down by other burning corpses.

I could not hold. I cannot crawl out –

this nylon weave, this room of pestilence

and out-dated cough syrup. No nurse is near,

no toll-free joy up ahead.

Can there be another roof to leap from,

another danger to combat and empty my grainbags for?

The cell, the sand, the year without shade –

It all happens without the moon. This floor can’t

carry my weight. It all happened without a final hour.

The hand has gone with the hangnail.

Guilt is my terror and the emptiness of the tide.



Copyright © 2004 by Allison Grayhurst




First published in “Bursting Plethora of Rainbow Colors”



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.



3 responses to “Tangled by the Slow Fire

  1. ”Altarwise by owl-light in the half-way house
    The gentleman lay graveward with his furies;
    Abaddon in the hangnail cracked from Adam,
    And, from his fork, a dog among the fairies,
    The atlas-eater with a jaw for news,
    Bit out the mandrake with to-morrow’s scream.”

    Your use of ‘hangnail’ brought this D.T. poem to mind. I’ve always liked it.

  2. Damn… What a wonderful capture. I enjoyed reading this very much. Thanks for sharing it.

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