Mapping out oblivion, putting
lines where there are no lines. Like the small moths
that live all year in my closet, nibbling at clothes
I forget to wear,
making a feast with what has been discarded –
I feel connection, but only at one end, like cutting eyelids
out of clay: Finger-made eyes that cannot see,
cannot approach my trembling body, gaze over it
and crack the distance.
Entering this thirst like entering a church,
climbing wide stone steps,
being bombarded with that floral, incense smell, or
like warring with a round whitish eucharist wafer,
stuck to the roof of my mouth.
There is no garment to keep me warm,
no thistle to swallow, scarring
all the way down. There is only the afterbirth of this thirst, void
of the fattened wail, shadow, the kind the tv traps in its frame.
How am I to dissipate this growing, encroaching wave, rest
like before, when my mouth was not so dry, rest
on a raft, my head leaning over, under seawater,
conversing calmly and feeling one with
schools of curious but contented swimmers?
.Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Wax Poetry and Art Magazine, Volume 3, Number 5”
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.