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
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.