It is not like hell
but like a fathomless void,
on the civilized heart, emerging
like a great anger out
of each fundamental nerve.
It is like failure, like a
cold and ruthless insanity that tugs
aimlessly on the mind’s fine fibres.
It is like me and I am
prey to the avoided, to the ugly, whirlpool
mouth of isolation, witness to the long
journey through death and need.
I am prey to the contemptuous
dark that gnaws its way under
every freshly formed smile.
It is not like innocent pain
but like a tearing or a mutant fear
that piles and piles,
Copyright © 1997 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “The Cape Rock”, 1994
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.
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What could it be? Loneliness, silence, fear, distance from God. Whatever it is, I have known it, too.
Brilliant. Another masterpiece of pungent, vivid language uniting passion and word to give expression to depth of feeling of life.