Ghost of Poverty
The second time I ran from the ghost
when it wailed victory over my strength,
altering my imagination
to conform to its sparseness and struggle.
The second time I fled
because I could no longer hold
that piece of broken window, injured
by anxiety, prey to its see-through horror.
I wrote down what I knew. I could explain it,
compact it, but never change its substance
or its tyrannical influence.
That second time, running, I realized
it coveted my self-respect, it wanted to turn me
back into that child, caught by chaos and monsters
under the bed. So I turned the second time, I faced
my history, walked into its nightmarish form and believed
in love like nothing I ever believed in before.
The ghost still lives, but like a bug nesting on my shoulder.
I let it nest for I cannot defeat it. It bites,
eats and itches, but only on that shoulder.
The rest of me belongs and is safe
with the vegetarians.
Copyright © 2008 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “The Galway 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.
Review of ‘The Many Lights of Eden’:
“’The Many Lights of Eden’ is a journey: a journey of the heart through youth, anguish, struggle, spiritual awakening, grief, death, love, loss, guilt, struggle, despair, hope, surrender, God, sensuality, imperfection, motherhood, aging, the vanquishing of the devil, indeed, many devils, the inevitable fall from perfection and the casting off of old wineskins for a new one. Perhaps speaking of this book as a chronicle of spiritual maturing would be more accurate, the realization that there is spirituality within imperfection and that handmade temples cannot hope to compete with the spiritual temples within each of us. ‘The Many Lights of Eden’ is a diamond. It is a beautiful collection of insights. Allison Grayhurst’s thoughts and writings are a deep well. Drink from it, for the water is clear and crisp. This collection is a MUST-READ,” Eric M. Vogt, author of Letters to Lara and Paths and Pools to Ponder.