Buckling up, keeping pace

never knowing when the heat will rise,

and overtake your sanity with its little alien

leaf worms burrowing into shallow crevices,

making crevices into canyons, unmanageable and ripe

for more irreversible destruction.

Normal as the sun and its radiation,

glory be the farce, biology, a pre-disposition

for madness, suicide


at 4 am – gunshot to the head

all for a ruined reputation or for love

lost during an Indian monsoon season.

A child playing early morning, opening doors,

a door, four-years old finding his father,

dead on the floor – blood pooled, drying,

vacuumed out blue steady eyes.


It was right for that boy to become a man who

turned to God and charity and

not to status, right that he knelt every night for his

five children, never knowing he would make it through

the violent revolutions, make it through losing

money, home, country and dog.


He made it through,

but not long after that. Not long after

the boat ride across the Indian, the Atlantic oceans,

leaving Eastern philosophies for a cold rainy winter pavement,

he died, giver of coal, on a doorstep,

finally home, in a country where he no longer belonged or

could find a way to honour the majesty, the tenderness

of what he built before.


Fingertips tingling too long

and lasting to not be a disease,

What does the chaos filter into, focus on,

transition to? The sky is green

against an even greener tree.

You count to the minutes through each day –

this thing, that thing, to do, get through,

not for yourself, but because you are committed,

because you love and know the consequences.


Dandelions under chaos,

fold the covers –

go back into the




Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst

First published in “Stay Weird and Keep Writing Publishing” October 2016
You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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