One small awakening to accept
acceptance – a lethargic arm on my shoulder
weighing down. Air that is security
has never been my ocean.
I have never been able to trigger kinships
in a field of sunlight. No light
has more volume.
I am content in places where my imagination can reign,
where definition is arbitrary, redundant,
and not very useful.
I tried to love you, dive into your trachea, show
you the substance that enriches my cells. But we have
different vocations: I make windows. And you stand outside
with your scales of distraction, participating, socially at ease.
You have grown tall, wedded as you are
to the world’s expectations.
What once was lean, marvelously eccentric,
has become typical, robust
as an animated ideal.
You gave up your awkward insecurities, replaced them
with suave affection and loveless sex. You are not warm,
though you feign warmth. You know how to act –
teeth set in alignment, and your apparel – clean of cat hairs,
with the appropriate amount of ingenuity,
just enough to generate interest but not alarm.
Old people are getting older and dying,
they can hardly believe
it has come down to this. They lose their lovers,
have appendages aching with weakness – fingers
that cannot move on cue to stroke a cheek,
fingers that want to flesh out, plump up,
become tantalizing again.
I have taken you with my fingers,
awakening the soft space between
your naval and groin. I have laid across,
massaged every ounce of need
into the vulnerable region separating your hipbones.
And I would go further.
But you have no natural shade,
and it is too exhausting to keep toting around your wares.
You supplied me with inspiration. The postage is paid.
I must move closer to the edge of the road for you.
I must make room,
walk past, surpass, enter
my Rosewood red front door, without.
Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Napalm and Novocain”, 2014
Published in “Wax Poetry and Art Magazine”, Volume 3, Number 5, 2014
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.