Nothing Without You
Like a hawk whose
shadow falls first on the mouse
before its talons carry the prey away,
so first falls the static shade
where confusion and useless struggles reign,
before the soul is scooped into a killing sleep,
and all that was familiar falls, below the manic moon.
I tried to give away the things I was wedded
to keep, I tried to drown in the fire of your demand,
but the wage was too high though my glass eyes still glow
for the house of your deliverance.
And in my bed where the prayers arrive to grip
and alter my unconscious flow, I feel you near like
a lover and like death, patiently waiting my embrace.
Your drink is wonderful, though
my passions falter and my habitual fears are relentless.
Your love beats the bitterness from my breast,
rips my nightmares
of their shields so that I crumble like a wood-stack with
one middle-wood-piece pulled, until I have
no reverie for all these worldly things.
And with my self-might crushed and your mercy
by my side, all but that love is made the fool,
subdued then denied.
Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Eskimoe Pie” July 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.
Review of The Longing To Be:
“The contents of Allison Grayhurst’s book The Longing To Be are both personal and universal and are described in such thematic and golden terms that one can see that a lot of thought has gone into each line. The poems are written mostly in free verse throughout, with both rhythm and soul weaved into them. For some poems, the layout seems experimental, and there is definitely a playfulness in the way that the words and verses fall onto the page. Others do conform to a “norm”, whatever that is. All are dramatic and thoughtful. These are layered poems with new horizons presented to the reader in every re-read. The effect is to keep things fresh with poems that constantly surprise in spite, and because of, the number of times being read. I thoroughly recommend The Longing To Be as a poetry book to study carefully and cherish far into the future,” poet Brian Shirra.