Inside, spending all my coins, rejoicing
on ephemeral longing, on a lustful inhale
for physical redemption.
Hidden in the pages, I am hidden
at four in the morning, bathing in perfection,
lifting into heights that obscure drudgery.
Thoughts are shapes that float as shadows,
hardly solid like butter left out of the fridge.
Cages unraveling and houses cleaned of cobwebs.
Between soft book covers freedom kisses explicitly,
candy-ices without embarrassment.
Hanging on hinges, on barely glanced-at walls,
I gather my vision in the grass, paint on the
bones of another’s life – beautiful bones and hallways
of many feet walking and swishing bathrobes.
In the book I can face forward and never fear rejection,
I can shower sensuously in warm rhythms,
tied to the stirring light of early summer.
Love between these diary covers is not just canvass
or thick hues that merge and make a middle, it is where I will
at last know another’s body as I know my own,
be protected from the torrential pawing pierce
of middle-age loneliness.
Inside the book, you are under me like a bed of lavender bushes,
there are waves where once sunken skeletons rise like coral,
polished pure of their violent history.
Drowning in the book, imagining ants collecting,
synchronized on an apple core.
Bells in my head, footsteps rising, closer now,
you know me well. Inside the book, you know me better.
We are two trees – branches and roots, an interwoven crocheted
impressionistic portrait, staying through heavy storms.
Inside the book, we are creatures of greater sympathy.
You are like yarn, tied to my brush and hold,
never in the liquid valley of a distant boat,
or obvious as a prickly, rigid rope.
I am mature, a woman with a ceiling to touch,
fifty feet of surrounding stillness, unfettered
from the expectations of my time and gender,
radiant, more, whole.
Copyright © 2013 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Wilderness House Literary Review”
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.