I walked the Circle
I walked in a strange place
where light was named darkness
and darkness named light
and knew it was my new home.
How can this be? I asked myself,
inspecting each inversion
of authenticity. Gravity, I answered,
wiping off dust, pulling down the thick clouds.
Sorrow crept into my sleep, confusion
hijacked my taste buds.
Beauty was seen only
in the plastic, unnaturally perfect.
And the mortal gift, betrayed.
Among the ants and rodents I felt safe,
pretended I was their kin, and they welcomed me.
We crept through weeds, jumped
branches and collected.
I gave myself a name,
refusing the strength of my true identity,
refusing the insight
I first had upon arrival.
The rivers looked blue that were really red,
the petal of the rose lost its bright juniper green.
Love lost the nipple flow of eternity and I didn’t know
anyone I could lean my head upon.
Memory is rounded, has no starting point, is the point of time.
These are the consequences, linear trepidation and
the quenching of fear and the felt-superiority of every nation.
Because the bread crumbs became the feast and the feast
was swept under the rug, willfully ignored.
I love my chains, I admit it. I love the deep ache and bother
because it is familiar, inertia, mine. But here
I will trade it for connection, for inexperience, the courage
of extreme risk.
I will forge in unknown territory, set things right
at least here in my world.
I have no king in gravity. I have no sound
forbidden to me.
The war cry is a split tongue and it deceives.
My war cry is the path Jesus takes me on
– walk, run, sit down – that is the way.
There are better places.
I love the red tree. I love the folding cold fires, insects
on my arms. Take care. Descend. Pick up speed.
I had a father. I have a father no more.
I have children, now they are grown.
Shame on torment. Shame for not not
letting go. Shame on shame.
Judgement is set aside, hidden behind the bench.
The bird feeder is up, the bird bath too.
Let them come, the birds, all manner of beast and fowl.
Let them find sanctuary here.
All seasons, I am learning,
are holy places, and all colours
are sacred, unnameable, the same.
© 2018 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Night Forest Cell of Radical Poets” August 2018
You can listen to the poem by clicking below: