Do not define me
Do not define me
as a woman, or a wheel
of rolling curves, with lipstick
in my pocket and perfect polish on my shoes.
I am not interested in shoes.
I carry this body with two breasts
and I have born and raised children
like a sacred treaty between the unmarked countries
of time and infinity. I have loved with two arms,
lived with thoughts of Schopenhauer in my sleep
and nurtured the orphan pup. Do not define me –
my sexuality is not confined to the tender receiving sigh,
not to the congregation of gossip and giggles
and the making of apple strudel. I do not knit,
though I bow to the knitters
more than I do to the intellectuals, and gossip bores me.
Talking bores me unless it is about God or the many ways
we are given to love – children, animals, art.
(Lover’s love I only speak about in poetry, because that is
private). Do not define me. I would love to be
straight lines, proudly hanging, perfectly clear.
I would like to be brutal. Women can be brutal,
can be like a smile –
gloriously giving, razor sharp, androgynously
Copyright © 2011 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Blue Lake Review”
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.