plunging into a chilled lake,
muscles arrested, infinity found
Flawless sheen in a ladybug’s eyes.
Elephants chain-footed, castrated at the core
without tether or lead. Burning wood.
Dead fish rocking, cold on the fisherman’s hook,
hamster in a toilet paper roll, rolling.
It is heavy, this voice you grow outside of me,
this voice I cannot mistake for imagination.
I wake up, examine the leaves, fold dishtowels,
clean counters, feed my children,
no water to cool my fevering wrists,
no nourishment of a practical nature,
occupying no worthier devotion.
A pillaging, reflection of
a doorway. Chimes have lost
their meaning a quarter-of-a-century ago
when they chimed in a make-shift Japanese garden,
where lifetimes remembered were gumballs pocketed,
to be taken out at leisure, savoured over, replayed, role-played
then returned to compartmentalized pleasure.
Lips move across hairlines,
back-of-the-neck lines, dry from quick breaths,
building beyond capacity, unforgiving
with controlled intent.
Waiting to be snatched
without hesitation, tasted like a ripe blueberry,
not to be a modern atheist, pruned of pure intensity,
but to be fresh as a baby’s full-body smile,
cover my calendar with a satyr faith flowing,
live with dolphins, participate in a kinder society
where the privileged and pickpockets have no play,
go on a pilgrimage, take my family, disappear
on a cold high mountain, watch animals
give birth and die.
Urgency escapes me,
months merge, asking nothing in return,
pulsing a diluted vibrancy, no more
as bread or fire.
Swing from a crane
or a swinging crane in a storm.
Indulgences dig as glass into exposed roots.
Ambitious notes fail, will always fail
before a greater sun.
.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.