The fault of sages


The fault of sages


     Love was there

spreading hope like jam over my taste buds.

Then the first skipping rope broke,

got snared on a fence and frayed.

I stole away on a subway train where

hundreds have gone walking into a warzone.

Amen to the end and the predator’s

happy-go-lucky disposition. One claw,

one tentacle, in flowing precise motion.

Another lifetime and it may be different,

tender as lovers beneath their first full moon,

or worse, like cartilage deteriorating.

I rehearsed a familiar pattern,

sabotaging memories to find a way to be holy,

to make only God matter, dismantling adult days

of calculation, days of stultifying impulses,

of consciously unplugging the push of inspiration.

I flicked the splinter and loosened its stem, learning

that every homecoming is different – some shed

their most treasured members, others,

an accommodating persona. Still others constrict

just to pitch thought and become a pulse.

Love I lifted like a heavy stone,

trying to grow flowers between sparrows’ toes

where they nested and puffed up under eavestroughs,

trying to weave myself an escape in the shade,

a carpet to lie back on.         

Solutions were bare,

offered crossword puzzle satisfaction

but no retreat from passengers staring

and the continuous stab of uncertainty.


Templates I now break and breathe and blow all away

into the sandalwood spring, into the eyes of my dog.

Stiff joints lend themselves to patience,

planting wings in my palm – empty spaces finally

accepted. Shadows I see take on a life of their own

and keep dancing. God I see in the sloping deformity

of all steps climbed, treacherously taken, born whole

from parallel paths of lack and yearning.



.Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst




First published in “The Furious Gazelle” June 2015



2 responses to “The fault of sages

  1. OK… deep breath! I hadn’t realized I read it without breathing so as not to break my concentration. Do I “get it” – me, the poetry challenged? I’m going to have to re-read several times, then I’ll likely come up with a personal image, or interpretation. So far, you’ve given me a jumble of feelings that are literally all over the map. Key words that make my heart jump. Fear, anger, doubt, and choking. Not bad for a single poem. At least I had been “prepared” as I’ve been reading some of your material on “Mr. Militant Negro!”

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