Now and again, the parade of kisses
and mourning. Thunder raging at the autumn winds
and at the first sign of human folly.
Winding up like thickened blood and vowels
helplessly hanging without a word.
I may be marble, or made of damp wood.
The shattered hymn swirls around like the cry
for hope, any hope, after death.
I may be without a garden
or a plot of land to call my own,
but I do own the hours I’ve spent
digging beneath the crust,
spying on the soft turf uncovered only in prayers
conversations of the crying.
I walk with these doubts as though
stranded on an unpredictable slope,
coiling and uncoiling
as I speak, and then, I hold my breath.
I heard the lies ricochet up like an island
rising and sinking from
corner to corner. I heard the wish to forget
and the need to widen
the bed of memory, sharp and just as blank
as the eyes of those
in shock or as a heart drained of music,
calmed by nothing, not by bread, not by good fortune:
This season of grief just beginning.
Copyright © 2008 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “194, a literary journal” August 2017
You can listen to the 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.
Reviews of ‘The Many Lights of Eden’:
“’The Many Lights of Eden’ is a journey: a journey of the heart through youth, anguish, struggle, spiritual awakening, grief, death, love, loss, guilt, struggle, despair, hope, surrender, God, sensuality, imperfection, motherhood, aging, the vanquishing of the devil, indeed, many devils, the inevitable fall from perfection and the casting off of old wineskins for a new one. Perhaps speaking of this book as a chronicle of spiritual maturing would be more accurate, the realization that there is spirituality within imperfection and that handmade temples cannot hope to compete with the spiritual temples within each of us. ‘The Many Lights of Eden’ is a diamond. It is a beautiful collection of insights. Allison Grayhurst’s thoughts and writings are a deep well. Drink from it, for the water is clear and crisp. This collection is a MUST-READ,” Eric M. Vogt, author of Letters to Lara and Paths and Pools to Ponder.
“I have been slow at responding to reviews for Allison Grayhurst due to summer’s busy days, however she brings life to each poem, heart to the images and everyone should have a collection of Grayhurst Poetry,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, poet.