The fault of sages
Love was there
spreading hope like jam over my taste buds.
Then the first skipping rope broke,
got snared on a fence and frayed.
I stole away on a subway train where
hundreds have gone walking into a warzone.
Amen to the end and the predator’s
happy-go-lucky disposition. One claw,
one tentacle, in flowing precise motion.
Another lifetime and it may be different,
tender as lovers beneath their first full moon,
or worse, like cartilage deteriorating.
I rehearsed a familiar pattern,
sabotaging memories to find a way to be holy,
to make only God matter, dismantling adult days
of calculation, days of stultifying impulses,
of consciously unplugging the push of inspiration.
I flicked the splinter and loosened its stem, learning
that every homecoming is different – some shed
their most treasured members, others,
an accommodating persona. Still others constrict
just to pitch thought and become a pulse.
Love I lifted like a heavy stone,
trying to grow flowers between sparrows’ toes
where they nested and puffed up under eavestroughs,
trying to weave myself an escape in the shade,
a carpet to lie back on.
Solutions were bare,
offered crossword puzzle satisfaction
but no retreat from passengers staring
and the continuous stab of uncertainty.
Templates I now break and breathe and blow all away
into the sandalwood spring, into the eyes of my dog.
Stiff joints lend themselves to patience,
planting wings in my palm – empty spaces finally
accepted. Shadows I see take on a life of their own
and keep dancing. God I see in the sloping deformity
of all steps climbed, treacherously taken, born whole
from parallel paths of lack and yearning.
.Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “The Furious Gazelle” June 2015
You can listen to the poem by clicking below:
“Allison’s poetic prose is insightful, enwrapping, illuminating and brutally truthful. It probes the nature of the human spirit, relationships, spirituality and God. It is sung as the clearest song is sung within a cathedral by choir. It is whispered as faintly as a heartbroken goodbye. It is alive with the life of a thousand birds in flight within the first glint of morning sun. It is as solemn as the sad-sung ballad of a noble death. Read at your peril. You will never look at this world in quite the same way again. Your eye will instinctively search the sky for eagles and scan the dark earth for the slightest movement of smallest ant, your heart will reach for tall mountains, bathe in the most intimate of passions and in the grain and grit of our earth. Such is Allison Grayhurst. Such is her poetry,” Eric M. Vogt, poet and author.