All Hands Down


All Hands Down


Into the seams of non-existence

the cherished expectations of life descend

like a mother who loses her infant to the

turning of time, or a seed its husk

in May’s noon light.

There are heights to head towards,

compacted by the weight of reality’s call,

and a carpet to tread, unfamiliar with your footsteps.

In August, the summer will soon be over. It is

the shadow that falls from electrical wires

that makes you sink

into a moment without hope. It is watching sparrows

on eavestroughs that removes you from your daily struggles

and puts the flower back in its perfect place.

Waking to dread like a wave that pulls you under

every morning, motioned by the same ten-year cause,

and all the time you know the grave awaits you

like every other,

and it is just a matter now of growing old.

The street is still, even in late morning.

The buttercups have not yet bloomed.

You hear the wounded at your doorstep.

You have stopped waiting, but even that is not enough

to see you through.



Copyright © 2002 by Allison Grayhurst




First published in “Spillwords Press” May 2017

All Hands Down


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:


“Absolution” – sculpture and photo by Allison Grayhurst

Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst



“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.



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