Smudges, under siege, patches of calcified tissue
and the swamp I enter in – fuming with failed love –
connections broken under the Buddha fire. Detachment
will not save me – nailed to the pavement stone, looking at birds.
Summer where have you gone? Smells rise to meet me,
and the air is still humid, pressing on my cortex,
corrupting my ability to choose joy.
Grasshoppers hopping. Will my heart be broken?
Again, again, squeezing, squished
fermenting at the sides, foaming and fizzling, burning sage, but
it is not good enough, not enough to teach me the strokes
or how to steady the raging chaos gestating large
in the pocket of my throat. Continents on fire, inside organs necessary
to function – why the children? Why not me?
Livingroom-light-globe like a crystal ball,
opaque but powerful enough to predict possibilities.
I was never here before, never heard the angry rodents
vocalize, never slept with aching joints, dreams
of running low and ferns and moss
covering Zen-garden displays.
What else are we going to do here, but procreate, create,
dissipate and die? Van doors left open.
Lawn chairs on the road for pickup.
The windmill, the tilting tops of trees, heavy
with clusters of fresh pinecones.
I am an orange peel, orange, peeled, drying
next to the sewer grate.
I am limp with the weight, the burden of random happenings. Always
I love you and always, I am breathing.
Take me into the arms of your protection.
I don’t want another day.
Mass of thick porous grey hovering, no space for hope.
Why the children? Couldn’t you spare just them and all
the up-for slaughter animals?
I am done with this place, the tripping curb,
callous indifference – the rippling consequences
of blind destruction.
Copyright © by Allison Grayhurst 2014
First published in “The Muse – An International Journal of Poetry” Volume 4, Number 1, June Issue 2014
You can listen to the poem below:
In response to the poem – Walkways:
“This is brilliant! Brilliant. Reminds me of when I first read Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass”. And I wanted to stand up on the city bus and exclaim aloud: “Listen to this!” A comprehensive capturing of human earthly experience in all its dimensions without missing a beat – beyond the conscious mind – dancing with the levels of our knowing and sensing – that we feel but do not always recognize, and rarely, oh so rarely articulate. Clearly, Grayhurst’s poetic journey has taken her to the mountain top,” Taylor Jane Green, registered holistic talk therapist and author.