Why have I died
like Icarus? Or like cotton candy,
dissolving in lukewarm saliva?
Five weeks without pay, and
the weather is morbid,
plays upon my skin like fireants.
You took what I denied and changed
what was paltry into paramount –
my feet pressed against your calves, lifting
into the pressure, just
to have a choice.
Why have I died? My neck cut
against the broken window
as a resolution to my determination to see beyond the pane –
repeating like a recurring dream, developing a wider lack –
lush pulsing, possessing your sternum
where I rest my panting will upon.
I am dead. Can’t you see my decay? Can’t you see
the violence expanding in my throat?
How have I died? before nirvana? after the bliss
of a mother’s faith?
The sparrows come close.
They know not to fear a dead thing.
They land on my foot with its multitude of intricate bones,
tendons and memories of backyard earth.
They look around, peck below where still
remains some warmth.
Once I fed them – minuscule fledglings
fallen after a storm. Now I am over.
I do not eat. I do not feed you
or anyone anymore.
Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “The Mind(less) Muse”, 2013
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.