It’s been months
since this shell’s
collapsed and I have been intoxicated
with this hard joy of immediacy and a world
without blunder or hesitation. It has been irritating –
to feel this hot longing in my gut,
reflecting on nothing, worrying about
nothing but the smells around me,
the power of pale hands
too close to so many faces –
the long black rope I climb and climb and love like
my only wardrobe. It has been months since I left
that heavy weight behind. Guilt
is something I’ve outgrown
and my blood feels poisoned
by this strange alchemy.
I know it is not female or male,
but saturated with desire and burning and swelling –
not in flashes, but constant as the pulsing sun.
The unsettling of this surprising
heaven – the knowing that I can look no further than today –
seeing both like an insect and like a god –
breathing through the terror,
at peace with the terror and the thousand lifetimes
it took to get me
to this place, unbound – sliced in all the hard places
and so. and so.
Copyright © 2011 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Split Lip Magazine”, 2013
Published in “Peeldeel’s Blog” , April 2016
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.