I tilt back and see above


I tilt back and see above



a tiered canopy

that rises great heights, separating pockets of sky

– some blue, some with clouds –

layers, textures swaying in gentle phrases,

opening the hilltop-cap of grief

more like pouring in

the truth of helplessness,

setting free depths unspoken,

domed in such beauty.


Perfection that cannot be matched

or misplaced as mediocre or somewhat flawed,

but is flawed, not one straight line

or obedience to symmetry,

all space taken up with its fecund flesh.


No cell or stem rotted without reason, rotted

because of regret or the weight of culture

or the ridged mind-set of past tradition, but all the past

contained within it.


The ancient trunk expanded equally in the roots

and the leaf currents, intertwined with other currents

to build a blanket, thick enough to feel protected,

mesmerized by the soft motion overgrowth bloom,

a place to anchor a home, release all weapons, comforted.




 © 2018 by Allison Grayhurst




Published in “Night Forest Journal Issue 1,” January 2019



Published in “Synchronized Chaos” November 2018





You can listen to the poem by clicking below:








Call it in,

into the palm,

into the spoon,

the upsidedown shell.

Hold its liquid grace

and walk slowly over hunchback hills,

tall weeds and cracked pavement.

Do not spill a drop.


Shield it from the sun

so it will not evaporate.

Shield it from the stars

so it does not recognize its kin

and claim its home back amongst them.

Shield it from the children

who naturally harness such vitality.

And also, from the animals,

they will gather it in their mouths

and feed it to their early-summer offspring,

knowing its worth.


Instead, call it in

because this small measure is only yours,

as long as you call it in and let all other things go,

go to serve your house and others.

As long as you know, possession here is paramount,

protection is integrity, is the way

to keep the sponge saturated, your jaw firm

in prayer.


Call it in,

into the brown jar on your sacred shelf,

anoint it secret, pay the wages

to ensure its safety. Sip from it,

sometimes a little, sometimes more than a little,

like rejoicing, like uncoiling, caught

pure, naked, in a space fully lit with

no off-switch or walls.



 © 2018 by Allison Grayhurst




Published in “Synchronized Chaos” September 2018





Published in “Chicago Record Magazine” August 2018



You can listen to the poem by clicking below: