If it is empty then it is empty
Perishing like wasps in wet tar,
we can’t claim an answer
but only wear our raincoats,
acting out past wounds, meditating
by watergardens where amphibians breed,
owners of the pond.
Perishing enough to create parables
to be sold to our advantage,
holding hands in the summer or after a bath.
We look through windows, keeping
vigil with homebound strangers, unlocking cupboards,
storing gifts on laundryroom shelves.
We welcome the red squirrel, make love
most afternoons, tie-dye our t-shirts.
burning colours hotter at the edges.
We meet old mentors perishing,
drunk and mutated, mentors who taught us
to read the lines in our palms, how to find music underwater,
poetry under siege, sometimes showing us
the pitter-patter pace of caterpillars on a damp park lawn.
Depths pushing out like a well-nourished womb,
depths we perish in, drained of desire,
listless in the light. Don’t bother complaining,
we were made to perish, grow a revolutionary peace
in the crisp leaves of burnt sage, discover mercy
in a backwards fall.
Copyright © 2013 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Kritya”, 2013
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.