Learning Temperance

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Learning Temperance

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Cradle the handle under the sleeve

and watch as the sun changes shadows.

Blue. I wait in the private everafter with

the future under my fingernails and an orange seed

in my throat.

Will it happen or will it always be ‘the wait’?

Waiting in the moment just before bloom

but never arriving into full colour? Or is it only

a long pause, gathering breath for the final

swing that will bury all dullness that has gone before?

I see two doors and neither of them are open.

I see a tree I have walked by many times before. This time

I noticed it and smiled.

Maybe this is not darkness at all,

but a line to follow and focus on

like a child watching rain drops – one at a time.

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Copyright © 2004 by Allison Grayhurst

3013

BookCoverImage Allison GrayhurstTrial and Witness back cover final

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “The Greensilk Journal”

The Greensilk JournalThe Greensilk Journal Learning

http://www.thegsj.com/poetry_3_fall_2011.html

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

https://allisongrayhurst.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/learning-temperance.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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3 responses to “Learning Temperance

  1. What makes your poetry so special, Allison, is the way you marry language to idea so that both the language and idea become surprising or unique. The start of this poem
    Cradle the handle under the sleeve
    and watch as the sun changes shadows.
    reminds me of that magic you have. The first line is mysterious when you first read it. What handle? Under a sleeve, and then the second line, watching the sun as it changes shadows. Then the word, “Blue,” to start the second line, blue as related to shadows, but also blue related to
    …the private everafter with
    the future under my fingernails and an orange seed
    in my throat…
    This is not just the everafter that we all must face in our everyday lives and at the end of life, but the private everafter, the handle under the sleeve, the shadow on the sun, where the future is under your fingernails and an orange seed–which is a symbol of fertility in some cultures–in your throat. Given your recent publishing feat this symbol or orange seed and throat, indicative of speech out of the throat, seems appropriate.
    Then the questions:
    Will it happen or will it always be ‘the wait’?
    Waiting in the moment just before bloom
    but never arriving into full colour? Or is it only
    a long pause, gathering breath for the final
    swing that will bury all dullness that has gone before?
    Each question queries the self, as I read this, or your personal life. Ethel once wrote a poem with a line that went something like,
    Is it to be a woman?
    To always look on windows instead of doors?
    These questions seem to strike the same poignancy, the wondering about life and what it means in its fulfillment. These strike to the heart of who all of us are in confronting ourselves as human beings.
    Then the answer to the questions and the poem’s powerful denouement:
    I see a tree I have walked by many times before. This time
    I noticed it and smiled.
    Maybe this is not darkness at all,
    but a line to follow and focus on
    like a child watching rain drops – one at a time.
    Perhaps if we learn temperance, patience, and only look at a tree we’ve walked past before and notice it and smile, then we will find that we are not in darkness, in dullness, in the everafterlife’s end. Perhaps, the tree and life is a line to follow and focus on “Like a child watching rain drops–one at a time.”
    This is absolutely wonderfulmagnificent.

    Like

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