Plain as the impersonal sun,
the burden breaks the space
between my neck and shoulders,
halts the cool breeze and places
at my feet a nest of highly intelligent ants.
I am not walking, but standing on one foot
and I have been here for so long. I am not saying
I have not felt the love, the gifts, the undeniable
kindness of others, but my blood has thickened
and runs like lava beneath my summer’s dress.
One expression stapled to a frame to the wall.
I look, I see, but still I cannot change its meaning.
If I am caught in a slumber I cannot behold . . .
If I am not free of the fear that clips
me to this intolerable edge . . .
then let the wind rip the skin from my skull and expose
the larvae festering beneath – let me see so the weight
will lighten for good and the pain that’s lodged in my throat
will loosen and go the way of dead misfortune.
I only want to know a new way of surviving, of riding
the pattern of my stars.
Copyright © 2004 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Eleventh Transmission – Issue 1”
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“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.