There are lines that frame me in negative expectations.
There are sweet tufts of weeds I would like to pet like a kitten.
And eyelashes that spark a gentle nostalgia.
There are too many eras
walked through, never to be re-entered,
and remnants of lore and legends
like pigeon droppings on pavement, washed away by storm.
I have grown too used to the drapes being closed,
to all mannerisms of my fugitive vitality being ignored.
Saturn is a vacuum, galactic in its weighty substance
and in its cold temperature push –
condensing my liquid garden into impenetrable ice.
A tightening in my intestines. Shoelaces undone and left.
I eat the seeds I am supposed to discard. I am beyond knowing if
I am broken. And oh the circle of things! Up the escalator.
Colour-coded stars. A dermal abrasion.
Things conspire like sunken feet in the mire
unwinding of doom. Archaeology I cannot speak of,
guaranteeing a false result.
Straining to sound a faith that will cleanse.
Distances crossed, to point to and witness
the handicap of being a single being
amongst a kaleidoscope of organic tapestry.
Shifting to let go, to imagine archangel
power and not have it substituted with
a neutralizing force – a force that stops the growth
of artful transformation.
There are hills and hallways that draw me to their altars.
Little did I know that dreams too long waited on become waterlogged,
that suffering is not a stigma or a banner
to flaunt, and love,
is mostly about honouring inner limitations,
challenging them to consolidate, regain momentum then
unequivocally be breached or be immutably restored.
I am dissolved into this squeezing, into denying
the little that I know that quivers precise,
deconstructing the intricate
solidity of greed and hard resilient walls.
Orbits are barb-wired.
Countdowns counting, dictating short spurt breaths.
As my tendons stretch
only in my imagination. And these doorways become
sunsets I stand straddled across.
History is a hyena, grotesquely curved,
pulling down royal constellations.
I have learned that peace can be a pyre
were loins burn exquisite, can also be a dishonest maturing,
where desires are reduced to fruit fly annoyances,
where coming to terms with reality is a step toward
Little did I know that bodies melt with their spirits –
more than dead houses or gloves, defining one tick, one
conjoining of fibers, pulsing a fingerprint, pulsing
one lifetime possessed.
Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Rasputin” August 2015
Published in “The Voices Project” December 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.
Book reviews of the River is Blind paperback:
“Throughout (The River is Blind), she (Allison Grayhurst) employs
reiterated tropes of swallowing and being consumed, spatial fullness
and emptiness, shut- in, caverns, chasms, cavities; angels, archangels,
blasphemy, psalms; satiation or starved. With a conceit of unrequited sex
as “my desire”, nocturnal emissions, awakening in the morning, the poet lives
at capacity, uninhibited, dancing,” Anne Burke, poet, regional representative
for Alberta on the League of Canadian Poets’ Council, and chair of
the Feminist Caucus.
“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. THE RIVER IS BLIND is a must-read,” Eric M. Vogt, poet and author.