Govinda in the mud
This line of devotion that moves
bitterly as lust tracing unresponsive thighs,
cups a poor groan of invisible blooming,
following you underneath a diseased tree,
smelling as you spread your aloofness
and mingled your affection tighter with the dealers of denial.
It came to me at first in healthy moderation,
as a permit to appease my obsession. Then it grew indecent,
flushed through me like a spell, drowning
my apprentice music with your own reclusive master-drum.
I found you in the carcass, in the millipede’s dart into the drain.
You swelled your glow across all my sunny spots, mighty,
but not brave, only bored with the circular twists
of relief, thirst and sorrow – diamond clear,
you asked for everything, wanting nothing for yourself.
I knitted together the practicalities of decomposition
to the voyage of your ever-increasing detachment,
understanding what you did not – that love
is not living alone on a dried-up hill
nor is it consuming every crumb of dream-life
until the flesh is reduced to accident.
I cannot rekindle my devotion, so I must leave you
to authenticate a future. This deed of leaving is like you like
a star – old, seen many times over by many eyes,
power with no purpose but to be bright
and desolate, eating away
waves of darkness, emptied of praise, tenderness, the bullet
needed to puncture a human heart with revelation.
I do not believe in nirvana. I do not believe in immortality:
when things change they die and do not revert.
We were, it seemed, perpetual, connected
by the red rope of my loyalty.
I am dawning. I that is I,
cracking the dome of my hereditary inertia.
I leave the shadow-guilt of solemn yearning, and also you
of coral-reef intricacy, simplicity, perfection.
I know I am alone, though permanently imprinted –
by my years of unnoticed devotion,
by the shunning of personal expectations
and by your long finger,
tanned, transcendental, a spiritual aphrodisiac still
Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Sentinel Literary Quarterly” February 2016
You can listen to the poem by clicking below:
“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,” Eric M. Vogt, poet and author.