From the Corner of My Eye
Torn from the spirit proclaiming,
and now revenge has abducted the anchor of
my feeble wisdom, has cut my coffin in half,
punishing with the anguish of duty and survival first.
Again I sing, disciplining myself
out of the clutches of madness, and
the dialogue of infants I hear in a terrible
dream that blames my rage on all the living.
I am yielding to the charms of my enemy’s poison,
to the aftertaste that promises an antidote
but gives only a look in the mirror or
a bath towel in the morning.
I am grieving my imprisonment, welcoming
the nightmare because resistance is but
a shadow struggling against a real thing. I am
taking the canopy off my bed. I am gleaming with
guilt and the sheen of ingratitude.
Forward is the highest goal, to keep moving
in spite of words like ‘freedom’ and ‘happiness’,
in spite of our nature and our greed to
accumulate, to be outward looking for distinction,
or to obey what is in place because it is all
our private thoughts can explore. I made a sea creature
with clay and two hands. I kissed a cloud
with both eyes open. Let the world be crowned with
its two-week-vacation glory. Let my hourly wages
get the better of me. I am fixing to fail. I am reaching
for something strong like belief. And over my shoulder,
I see a gift of a thousand roses.
Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst
.Published in “Poetryrepairs #226” July 2016
Published in “The song is…” November 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.
Review of The Longing To Be:
“The contents of Allison Grayhurst’s book The Longing To Be are both personal and universal and are described in such thematic and golden terms that one can see that a lot of thought has gone into each line. The poems are written mostly in free verse throughout, with both rhythm and soul weaved into them. For some poems, the layout seems experimental, and there is definitely a playfulness in the way that the words and verses fall onto the page. Others do conform to a “norm”, whatever that is. All are dramatic and thoughtful. These are layered poems with new horizons presented to the reader in every re-read. The effect is to keep things fresh with poems that constantly surprise in spite, and because of, the number of times being read. I thoroughly recommend The Longing To Be as a poetry book to study carefully and cherish far into the future,” poet Brian Shirra.