Old Goriot


Old Goriot


He eats the fruit

of the dark arrow


The half-moon rises

like a halo

over the thick, draping sky.

He is sleeping with

a locket:  his obsessive

love burns


at his doorstep.

The gracious garden trees lean,

shadowing his eyes

from the Parisian summer.

Two little girls are playing dress-up,

tickled by thoughts of an enduring grandeur.

It is late in the decade. The lamplight is fading,

he calls out

on his deathbeds that he has learned the unteachable:

      -Love too has its limits

        as the world keeps turning


        towards its own destruction-

He reaches his frail fingers

and finds

no companion to comfort

his setting soul.

His smoldering, old eyes close

as his last breath

sings, sending

a final blessing

to the indifferent moon.



.Copyright © 1991 by Allison Grayhurst




First published in “Beneath the Surface, McMaster Creative Writing” Winter 1990/1991, under the pseudonym “Jocelyn Kain” aka “Allison Grayhurst”



You can listen to the poem by clicking below:



“Grayhurst’s rapturous outpouring of imagery makes her poems easily enjoyable … Like a sear the poet seeks to fathom sensual and spiritual experience through the images of a dream.” Canadian Literature

 “Allison Grayhurst’s Common Dream is a massive book by a talented and enthusiastic young writer, with a feel for descriptive, meaningful verse. Philosophical and very deep,” Paul Rance, editor of Eastern Rainbow, U.K.,  spring 1993.

“Her poems read like the journal entries of a mystic – perhaps that what they are. They are abstract and vivid, like a dreamy manifestation of soul. This is the best way, in prose, one can describe the music which is … the poetry of Allison Grayhurst,” Blaise Wigglesworth Oh! Magazine

“Rich images and complex, shifting metaphors drive Allison Grayhurst’s poems. She focuses on sexual love and interior landscapes, widening to include the heart, eternity and all.”  Next Exit



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