like precipitation, infusing
iron seeds that rest atop the ozone-dome
and flourish. Somehow I am coming to terms with
churches I will never go back to, and last-year’s friends
who own creative nobility but fail to nourish.
It is starting, culminating like a blood clot,
anchoring me to my drive, wringing out my squishy insides
until they are parched, until the robin’s song registers austere.
Escape happens in the morning,
wading through yesterday’s debris,
fascinated by scars and euphoria that comes opening airways.
Can I conceive of a crime that will not haunt?
There are rules to follow, bones that fit into sockets,
sacred formations that must not be tampered with,
and speeches spoken, brave enough to own on paper.
Biting is war; be it biting on silver,
gently marking areolas, or lacerating wet teabags.
I forfeited what I thought was a shield, sure it was
more than only emptiness swelling. It was
a birthmark, nihilism reclining over my pre-destined zenith.
There are things that start then overtake.
They emerge pure as children,
touch ground and vaporize. August is hard.
In that critical heat, everything that wavers between worlds
gets erased – splits up into two categories
of corpses and lifeforms that take celestial flight – ends up
where water sinks or where water concentrates,
either way, falls
but does not flow.
Copyright © 2011 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “The Muse (An International Journal of Poetry)”
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.