Poetry is Breath

Poetry is Breath


       Poetry is breath,

not a sailboat sunk

decades ago mid-ocean,

far from any desire for discovery

let alone retrieval.

       Poetry is everything,

not the thing never talked about,

avoided into non-existence

because it is uncomfortable

and far too strange.

       Poetry is like God,

only not God, but tied to God

like a puppet to the puppeteer’s strings

dependant on God for any and all


       Poetry is coming,

burning down the aisle

to its lasting consummation.

       Deny it and it will by-pass you,

and its gift, its magnificence

(like a first love that feels

that first love unending)

you will never experience.

       Poetry is not song.

In some ways (thunder-lightning beat)

more primal.

In some ways (blood-curdling word connections)


       Poetry is not like birth

is more like death –

only mentioned when necessary,

but always inevitably


       Poetry is breath.

If you love it, you will know it

like a lover, satisfying, surprising,

strenuously demanding.

If you pretend it is not for you,

then it is not,

and you will go through your days

without it, missing that meal,

that next-layer rare connection

that has no substitute or important equal.




Copyright © 2023 by Allison Grayhurst




Published in “Cultural Reverence”  June 2023






Published in “Fevers of the Mind” June 2023




Published in “Cultural Reverence” June 2023



You can listen to the poem by clicking below:



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