Because today you descend
the broken branch and meet
the soil, be hot against the vaulting
of your despair. Turn and let die
your mangled wanting, want for
tomorrow and that is all.
Angry terror troubles your eyes
and gloves your admirable strength.
But your fingertips are gentle, stroking
music out from death’s dim head.
And your pulsing vision crosses city gardens,
repelling every complacency.
Because today your life is in bondage
to the ill-luck groan, and each obstacle seems
to make your desires
both a burden and a disgrace, I who know you
and know life’s tyrannical fault, have only belief
to effect your numbed hopes,
have only what I know –
the greatness of your labour
and the way you have moved
my most hardened of vices, to turn
and face a kinder shore.
Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst
Published in “The Seventh Quarry, Issue 24” Summer 2016
You can listen to this 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.