When you talk it is not
a shimmering sensation or
a delicate fluttering of
nature’s delicate best. Days
are not here like you are –
an open sewer grate, a crushed
locust. They are smudged and flat
as a textureless dream.
Helmets worn. Grievers
with their now-permanent-grief etched
under their fleshy eyes, checkbones and chins.
I buy buttered pastries, leave them
by their doors. I hear your voice.
You are trying to reach me with an old painter’s words
of resignation and reluctant wisdom – words
I cannot make use of.
The dead evergreen in my front yard will not revive.
Like me, and these things I clung to, it must be replaced
with something of less substance, of more obvious beauty,
like a red rose bush, birdbath or sundial. Or,
I could leave it there, brown and dry – a monument
to what was once lush, gorgeously plump, once withstanding
winters, the heat of global-warming summers, green,
wondrous against my window.
I could walk faster than this, chat with the neighbours.
But I won’t. Because nothing is here but you, only,
and my feet can’t find the motivation to pick up pace.
You talk. My aura is a smog-filled season
where your sun’s rays barely seep through. Days
with stones in my stomach, rubbing against one another,
pressing their hard weight into places.
I have no drug to ease my longing. Will it be long? Years?
Will I make it through to the Fall?
Do you have more to say? Say it then, differently.
I can’t go on repeating,
where nothing shifts but these stones,
sharp-surfaced, blocking my intestinal tract, pressing
with each step, demanding acknowledgment, denied
release, a minimal hope
Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Wax Poetry and Art Magazine, Volume 3, Number 5”, June 2014
You can listen to the poem by clicking below:
“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,” Eric M. Vogt, poet and author.