How does the breath know it

is not water, or some other

element to rename the senses?

How do you plant and minister

the love of dawn into the ground?

How do you carve a coin from wood

or turn your tea into coffee, make

a fossil from a flesh-covered bone?

In the days of the dead mare the river

was darned with weeds. From the eyes

of an old woman, I saw the milkyway in a stone

and grew to love the quietude of the woods.

Born and then lost to all vows. Eighty-five years

of seeking salvation in clay and from

all the little stories told by like-minded friends.

Then it is an impersonal room, poetry laced with paranoia,

and your limb hacked off at the thigh.

Then it is those who love you praying

for a quick delivery onto death, and those who

know you, holding your hand and telling you

thank-you for our time, for those Sunday phone calls,

telling you how deeply it hurts

to say this last goodbye.



Copyright © 2002 by Allison Grayhurst




First published in “Eye On Life Magazine” April 2015

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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.



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