Structures I pretend to own
God is a scientist, a retina with constricted veins,
dictating an obituary with every birth.
Circular spots; ink-stains, light-stains . . .
there are so many preconceptions I need to let go of.
I must grasp that rationality and chaos both
are immature theories, primitive understandings.
Nothing can be drawn to scale. Inside the void,
it is fizzing, being expelled then absorbed with
a brief division and then a brief collision – beautiful osmosis.
I saw a strawberry swallowed,
progress from being a fruit to being
a taste-bud treasure. I was engulfed in vastness,
cultivating a pattern.
But there is no pattern, though there is geometry, formula,
and muscles functioning by invariable laws.
God loves most things with a sense of humour,
with an unexpected discharge. Energy cannot be
damaged, but it can pulse too quickly,
get caught in a tachycardia loop,
be confined to a fixed pathway like a spasm, repeating,
stagnant in its activity. That is not love.
It leads to heart failure, lacking
arousal, inflammation, surprise. That is a condition where
sludge is formed and purity is suffocated, and all and all
it is not very crisp. The result is not creation,
movement only, not breathing.
I know I am not meant to hear the angels flutter,
but I hear them anyways. Some nights
they enjoy a quick wing-shudder, jettisoning
in and out of phase. On my sloping rooftop,
near my bedroom window,
they say to me: pregnancy demands a gentle cultivation,
a willingness for a foreign inclusion.
They say: do not look for equilibrium because exact balance
would mean obliteration.
Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Of/With Issue 3” 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.