At the door
strenuous circulation, eclipsing slow knocking
for a faster ring – two times, ten times – no number
is sufficient to enlist satisfaction.
I am fatigued but not maturing, still devolved,
using sluggish generalizations with ingrained attitudes
of defeat – owner of tedium and isolation.
I circle the entrance, attempting to widen what
I trace but there is no way in, no probing
magnificent enough to fracture the tight curve,
and my spirit is different than it was when incense
eased my fixations. Chapter books
are passed over. Details do not help nor
do the angels when they sit beside me as they are now –
their hands over my neck and waist, and their low voices
humming to keep me swallowing, to keep me
from being swallowed: Nothing has changed
since I was 16 and I left my home. I circle – my tongue
a witness to the locks upon the gate. Index finger, thumb –
their dexterity and desire circling,
wanting sensual ownership, malleable distances
narrowed and overridden, wanting to be
crazed with fullness, to turn the lamp on and read,
not have impatience rack across my flesh like it is
like surgical lasers and flashing letters I do not need.
Because I need
a way in – to clean my house of this disordered ignorance,
to dive across the equator, burying myself in the heated air –
become an instrument of refraction, drilling into
unheard syllables, taste what’s inside this closed-off cavity
and be received.
Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “RoguePoetry Review 2015” September 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.