Stark Relief

Stark Relief



        Blundering, in disguise –

a gift masked in disease,

tongues imploring forgiveness,

love tested at its roots, glorious

as mountains.

        Boredom and fear meeting in unison,

finding a strange fulfilment behind locked doors,

venturing to walk in the open air, take hikes,

sit by the lake-waters and dream, alone.

        A gift that doesn’t carry a typical joy,

but breaks down the superficial slaughter

of what is truly meaningful, simplifies the one thing,

the all thing, that connects and is worthy of attention.

        Love in illness, love at death, love in gratitude

for the lifeforce we have been given – its sacred mission,

not meant to be plundered on distraction and greed.

        God is the only safe ship left to climb aboard on,

the only ship afloat on this burning sea.


The gift has come, and yes like everyone,

I am afraid. In my mind,

I join the people singing,

raw in mutual fear and faith,

a collective voice, harmonized, joined

from balcony windows.



Copyright © 2020 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “Synchronized Chaos” September 2020



You can listen to the poem by clicking below:





        A snail is a slug with a shell,

is like a hand with only one thing to claim,

was like my thoughts that leapt out of a stream,

fell on land and could not get back.

        Old life

like a spider caught in quicksand,

gone into the murky underground.

        Worry was a cavity,

a reservoir endlessly re-filled,

scooping up a cup, resolving a problem,

as old problems grew larger to fill the space

or infant ones formed.

        Leaving the dramatic spinning wheel,

mending the wounds of sacrifice.

        How long before the thirst to satiate

is satiated, then becomes thirst again,

greater than the first longing?

Why is there heat everyday and never rain?

Is time just the planets rotating

like spherical untouchable gods, or

is it nonsense, divisions made

for small minds to draw imaginary

pathways through stark oblivion?

        When I learned

Jesus walked with his arms open,

his hands empty, feeding, being fed,

then I arrived in God’s grace

as though I had always been there.

My past was relinquished,

incorporated like a candle flame

into a larger fire,

into the greatest summit.




Copyright © 2020 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “Raven Cage Zine” August 2020

RavenCageZine48- August 2020



You can listen to the poem by clicking below: