Past obligation


Past obligation


Perched and listening,

a point of war.

Several days I lived in a hole,

shoulder shot by the blast

of a rubber hammer coming down.

Clear as pacing, counting

the clock ties, permits overdue,

you stayed like a waning moon, unobtrusive

in a cloud-cloaked sky –

the only light left to have. Somewhere in

that shady disaster I bought a dream,

almost new, with you, carefully walking

the wet rocks. I fell asleep and you stayed, documenting

my close-to-death dawn. Fishing me out of the fishtank,

releasing me into wide open waters.

Middle age is best, sea-worn but still pursuing.

You stayed – an island never claimed by reptiles,

a freight train, moving slow enough to chase and board.

Thank you for staying, for your fervent destiny

choke-collar-chain and your eyes

of tender extremes. I lay it down.

The lizard with the leaf.

The primal mysticism I built my struggle on.

I lay beside you, knowing you climbed many stairs

to find me, and you stayed.



Copyright © 2014 by Allison Grayhurst

Walkways cover 2

No Raft - No Ocean



First published in “The Bond Street Review Summer 2015” August 2015

Bond Street Review 1 Bond Street Review 2 Bond Street Review 3 Bond Street Review 4

The-Bond-Street-Review-2015-Summer (1)



past obligation

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“Her (Allison Grayhurst’s) poetry appears visceral, not for the faint of heart, and moves forward with a dynamism, with a frenetic pulse. If you seek the truth, the physical blood and bones, then, by all means, open the world into which we were all born,” Anne Burke, poet, regional representative for Alberta on the League of Canadian Poets’ Council, and chair of the Feminist Caucus.

“What a treasure Allison Grayhurst is. Her gift? To unfold for us life at this intensity of feeling and revelation. Who knew truth and beauty could be so intertwined and so passionate?,” Taylor Jane Green BA, RIHR, CH, Registered Holistic Talk Therapist, and author of Swan Wheeler: A North American Mythology, Swan – A Planetary Mythology, and The Rise of Eros, 2014.



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