I turn the corner and
someone has been here, picking up clover,
invading front lawns, rebelling against privacy.
A rat’s corpse as slender as a leaf lies at my feet.
I kneel down to meet it and I am stuck, retrieving
information about decay, the smell of a flattened skull
and the effect of dehydration. I get up. I walk
around not over, and butterflies are moving. They are
wrinkled energy lines, producing abstract patterns near
sturdy bushes. All roads are shattered
if I look closely enough –
mini-fault lines of labyrinth tubing curiously crushed
like the nutshell is under my heel.
Summer is almost beginning –
heat encroaches and people smile
untrustworthy but predictable.
Dogs are minerals of volatile emotion
which they never struggle to conceal.
The moon is still in the sky. It should not
be there like it is, a half-faded stamp,
pale on blue, larger, closer
than the obvious sun.
In my fantasy, pine cones are eatable. There,
there is courage enough in every relationship
to feed the demands
of wedded intimacy. And I can sketch tall, yellow weeds.
I can even paint
the striking space between them like dialogue.
I can carve the curves
of a sitting brindle squirrel, carve
where the tail meets the spine
and the spine, two twitching ears.
In my mind I am actualized, verified and seen,
vague dread is much like a pebble tossed and lost
under a parked car. Anytime I look into another’s eyes,
be it a hawk, child or mild foe –
there is the colour of wet river stones,
a healthy delirium, the feeling of faintly floating
through deep-breath ministrations, into
Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Cosmonauts Avenue 1.8” August 2015
Click to access 20151023No_Raft_No_Ocean_by_Allison_Grayhurst.pdf
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.
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