We lie in a long neck,
in a roach-ridden cell, in the trunks
of earth-weary trees.
We are like the octopi
stretching all arms available
but finding only weeds, the droppings
of guppies and a child’s broken bracelet.
The weird breath of birds lights up the sky as we lie
in the places darkness knows best, as we lie
in a gesture of chaos, biting our shells,
our eucharist hope.
Wine on our foreheads, thick as whale blubber,
wine like drink to our intelligent kisses. I kiss
my lover floating homebound on black ice,
flowershops and hearts of many hues.
My lover lies where I lie in promises
vague but quenching.
Down the screaming nerve. Through
outside crowds and social duty.
We do not believe in the contagious code
but in the slug at midnight under the stone,
curled tight against the predator’s paw,
in flesh-driven grief, in the bed-pan
under the invalid,
and the infant’s hanging feet.
We rest in both grey-soiled glue and in sunset haze.
We rest with appetite, beginning.
Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Smashed Cake Review” (Sidereal Journal) Issue 1
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.
Review of The Longing To Be:
“The contents of Allison Grayhurst’s book The Longing To Be are both personal and universal and are described in such thematic and golden terms that one can see that a lot of thought has gone into each line. The poems are written mostly in free verse throughout, with both rhythm and soul weaved into them. For some poems, the layout seems experimental, and there is definitely a playfulness in the way that the words and verses fall onto the page. Others do conform to a “norm”, whatever that is. All are dramatic and thoughtful. These are layered poems with new horizons presented to the reader in every re-read. The effect is to keep things fresh with poems that constantly surprise in spite, and because of, the number of times being read. I thoroughly recommend The Longing To Be as a poetry book to study carefully and cherish far into the future,” poet Brian Shirra.
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