In Labour


In Labour



Marked in the morning like a country

finally lost and then

replanted. Or autumn in the hardened

inner walls, wearing down,

preparing for the onslaught of cold.


I am neither in the shadows nor building beauty

like pity that outlasts mercy

and all wounds that curse mercy

in the cradle of its infant power.


Blazing earnestly at first until instructions falter,

glowing faint under duress, until all that is left

to be heard is a mild ‘maybe’. And shapes

without fields or dunes prevail in the un-sunned landscape.


Planets make themselves known by the friction they bestow,

by the damage of their effect and endurance.

I draw out my ecstasy sitting under a table

where there are no footprints save but what small animals make,

adorning with their furry glory

the richness that lies below.


Marked at the closing. Blowing

into a cave. I would give it all to feed again

from your stick, minus myself on the chopping board

of thorough understanding, touch

the throne of your tenderness as I did once.


Once, when my anguish had no restraint,

teeter-tottered on a sawdust precipice with grueling frenzy,

and I was on my knees

in a donut shop bathroom

as it burst through.


I was purged in the blizzard of my making,

electrified by love that was more than love, bursting.


Swaddling that still-seething anguish with a thousand kisses,

breaching allegiance to patience and remorse,

I was cupped in the golden constellation of your hand, arriving

eclipsed, momentarily





Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “Leaves of Ink”

Leaves of Ink In Labour 3Leaves of Ink In Labour 1Leaves of Ink In Labour 2


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:


“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,”  Eric M. Vogt, poet and author.

“Grayhurst is a great Canadian poet. All of Allison Grayhurst’s poetry is original, sometimes startling, and more often than not, powerful. Anyone who loves modern poetry that does not follow the common path will find Grayhurst complex, insightful, and as good a poet as anyone writing in the world today. Grayhurst’s poetry volumes are highly, highly recommended,” Tom Davis, poet, novelist and educator.



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