Walkways – the poem – part 7 of 16


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Underguard. Crumbled tissue in my mouth.

A crazy way to run – hands in pockets.

Forward without, undeterred by reality.

Plywood I am keeping for emergencies,

for days when putting on the brakes just won’t suffice.

Speeding, retreating, torsos twisting beautifully in anticipation.


I used to make mortar by hand, no machine to ease

my impossible labor – brick carrying and scaffolding climbing

and voices that ceased for a while in my head, visions

foiled by exhaustion – overused and folding.


Injuries are bypassed for much larger connections.

Double-winged, it is all that counts, to be counted

like lightening, glazed like tile

and ancient bones kept as keep-sakes,

never a participant in trivial bickering or

watered-downed by petty grievances and

conditioned responses.


Sometimes I think of dying.

I think of the unread newspaper that stays folded,

wrapped in an elastic band.

I think of a broken bird making broken bird sounds,

too broken to be saved, treated by most

as a mild inconvenience

to be walked around and grimaced at.

Except by the man with the warm dark eyes, soft

furrowed brow, and a child who will not forget those mangled

wings or the hard lesson of helplessness, the inability to heal

or to be a vessel for a miracle.


It is hard to love me. I am hard, uncompromising

and never still. I am needing intimacy at every turn,

needing space to brood and build my solitary house.

I miss no one I’ve lost except the dead – a parent,

many animals that once shared my life. I am not easy, not

easygoing – bloodletting, bloodtesting, phone calls

avoided, coiled, almost mad and never understanding.


Sex and perfect reciprocation. Hands that know more

than words, keeping in the margins, layering synergy energy

into peaks and mounds, like mountains and fractal heartbeats,

fearless of falling, or of clouds. You and I,

it has to be our reward for not selling out, not

building cages of adult-overload, for constantly

clearing room for any divine equation no matter

how it threatens our already-precarious security.

We love our children, but not like others love.

We are less of this place, more reliant on grace

than our own worldly ingenuity to keep food

on the table, the bathroom fixed and cleaned.

Dear Jesus,

are you still mine, and I, yours? It is a lot to take in, decades and

mouldy walls. I am afraid of going off track,

of being dead and seeing there is no more I can do. That

it is done and inerasable. I am afraid of not feeling

the warmth of your hand when I walk, because

you are always holding my hand and I love you

with a personal love like Kierkegaard did –

his hunchback, a deformity that kept him pure.

And the loneliness.

Knowing you, but never any other.

I am not that alone, but I remember

space, lightyears of carved-out quiet. It enters me often

and I cannot get out of it. Breathing becomes separation,

a tool I must remind myself to use.

Remind me again, demand

my unwavering loyalty, trust, and all.


Copyright © by Allison Grayhurst 2014

Walkways cover 2 As My Blindness Burns cover 8




First published in “The Muse – An International Journal of Poetry” Volume 4, Number 1, June Issue 2014



The Muse cover


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. 



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