Showing all 39 results

0 responses to “spiritual

  1. OH MY GOD…

    you have just become a part of my morning spiritual practice!

    I LOVE IT!

    Wow… I LOVE listening to the audio – it takes me somewhere – profound and important and reminds me of what is most important in life

    …the poetic majesty behind it all!

  2. Awesome! I love especially:

    “I should just learn to not be real, maybe

    see a psychiatrist for all my pent-up disappointment,

    for the way I want to shake the unshakable sea…”

    “It will be a challenge to learn detachment where there should have been

    connection and accountability.

    I will not be connected, but be sweet, swallow

    the stone in my throat and close the shop

    with a smile.”

  3. Pingback: Desires | Clare Flourish

  4. Writers/poets/philosophers/musicians/artists/people who have inspired me: Rainer Maria Rilke, Dostoyevsky, Kierkegaard, Dylan Thomas, Theodore Roethke, Sylvia Plath, James Baldwin, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Thomas Hardy, Kyp Harness, Van Morrison, Pablo Neruda, Nietzsche, Mozart’s The Requim, Yoko Ono, Rodin, Taylor Jane Green,Van Gough, Elizabeth Fraser Williamson, Jane Goodall, Kate Bush.

    your influences name all of my fav’s but one that I am not familiar with so- o.k how do you feel about, Roland Barthes, H. Arnendt, Bauderlaire, Lyotard. Foucault. Sontag, Byron, Bishop, Pinsky, Frost, Rimbaud, Camus, Fuller, Gibran, Chardin, Soutine, Louise Bourgeiois, Goya, Ingres, Giacametti, Chrissie Hyde, X, Gang of Four, Mitchell, B.Holliday, N, Young, S. Nicks
    books-Camera Lucida, The Penal Colony, In the Cave you live in, The Archology of Knowledge, Being in Time, A wrinkle in time. I’m sure you did not get close to naming all. until I got sick, full blown vegan!

  5. OH my God…

    I especially like:

    “my child-grip is short, as are

    my obsessive desires.

    Too far down is the raging river’s floor –

    I am carried off. This time I will not panic,

    but sink and imagine I am growing gills. I will relax the

    burning in my mind and enjoy the end and then give in

    to the continuous flow.”

  6. I love this one, Allison. I’ve been looking for yr more recent work, and I feel as though I’ve hit the jackpot.
    Yr site here is quite unique w/ the sound of yr voice belting ’em out
    (strong, sure, sharings is more like it) Thanx for yr bold intimacies. G.R.

  7. Such artistry!

    I especially like:

    “Simply, I will keep my secrets,

    be at peace with the darkness, knowing

    my breath is still mine to take,

    and grief has found its perfect spot to settle

    and no longer control.

    Everything that has died has been buried.

    The moon paints a womb and the pulse of hope

    sings like it hasn’t sung for years.”

  8. Wow! You come up with word combinations that are so evocative, I wish I’d thought of them myself : )

  9. “Follower of Jesus. No church. No religion. Just the Gospels.”
    Wow. I’m not so conceited as to think I was the only one to believe this way, but thank you for laying it out plainly. It’s good to feel a little less alone.
    peace, –Dan

  10. This is really a good poem to read. Awakenings from periods of great pain are hard to come by and sometimes take a long time, but, as the poet David Agnew said in one of my favorite poems by him, “That is where I found the poems.” where the light of healing and a new path opens up the spirit. It is brave of you to post this series of poems, but the journey through them is powerful.

  11. “This balcony to stand on” kills me, it’s a powerful, very sure and powerful
    metaphor, or title to a major novel, or major film, or major song
    yr major words talk to me again, thank you for writing, filming, & singing

  12. do you know Beethoven’s late quartets where you (or I certainly) don’t know where the music is going to but it grows and develops and you follow this process, listening without understanding…
    it’s like listening to his mind, especially since he was deaf.
    ANYWAY sorry about such a long roundabout comment but I read (then listen) to your poems in the same sort of way

  13. Brilliant. Brought me to tears.

    I love especially:

    “It is much more than an idealized place or perfect pillow.

    It is what we made here, heroes to our own love,

    bypassing blame, slaughtering resentments, screaming

    through headlocks or when kneeling on the bathroom floor,

    bonded to the midnight turn and years of heavy lifting.

    My love, remember us again, don’t be acid or an orchard

    of terrible ivy, fill yourself with renewed determination.”

  14. Amazing poem. The dark undertones are brilliant. My favourite: Like a crinkled cloth left on the subway floor, I waited – dry, malformed, avoided. So incredible.

  15. Especially love:

    “You should let the mad-ones go to India,

    trace a path up Tibetan mountains. You should be pleased to see them go,

    away from your boarding school, not there to tug your pierced ears

    or point out your visceral smothering of the gentle dreamers. They will go

    anyway. They will stand in front. Not because they want to

    but because they are not soldiers like that, forming their destinies

    in boxes. You can stay in corridors, make trenches by pacing the patterns

    of your congealed thoughts. You can be anyone

    you want.”

  16. I like ‘ let the mad ones go to India ‘; I like ‘congealed thoughts” I like the hesitation between ‘You can be anyone’ and ‘you want’; I’m not sure whether ‘Without’ means ‘outside’ or ‘not having’ and whether it is the title or the first word or both but I like it enough to think about it.

  17. I’m getting the hang of your titles at last! And the shape/structure/ momentum/cadences/rhythms of your poems. That final couplet, for example – the urgency of the two commas round ‘now’ then the release/surprise of the last line:

    “Put salt on my lips, paint me, now, please
    in turquoise.”

    Why ‘turquoise’?

    I cast for comfort I can no more get
    By groping round my comfortless, than blind
    Eyes in their dark can day or thirst can find
    Thirst ‘s all-in-all in all a world of wet

  18. You are so on target with my experience of the spirirtual journey.

    Especially love:

    ” I put away my grown-up philosophy

    to live by impulse and the pity of God.

    The task is done, the ice is swallowed.

    It is time to love the gargoyles and create

    a new form of beauty.”

  19. From the start I believed
    in never bending, but now I am a weather-vane,
    guided by singing.
    Starting from here you end up living by impulse and the pity of God…It is time to love the gargoyles and create/a new form of beauty.”
    This seems to be to be a poem of metamorphisis, moving from rigidity to extreme flexibility to a place where gargoyles can be loved and new beauty created. Again, this is wonderful poetry.

  20. Your voice in this poem is so strong that it shouts to the mountaintops. The center of the poem is in the line
    God, I am getting older, younger
    somehow then when I started.
    This is a poem of aging in conversation with God.
    I need you (God)
    final in my palm
    But, of course, you have
    this spoonful and a house too quiet in the
    early mornings, not enough connection – a wave
    that never crests, metal made into nothing.
    while you long to
    soak myself in this feral blizzard
    approaching, always just approaching.
    Why is your love so tenuous, powerful
    sometimes, and then, wispy, hardly registering?
    You remember, and this is the most powerful part of the poem, a planet
    spiked, clustered
    grass, almost blue
    filled with rawness you want back, but instead age has taken you
    away from sensual flavours and the mountains’ pulse.
    You are getting older, younger than when I started.
    Then the prayer/wish:
    Put salt on my lips, paint me, now, please
    in turquoise.
    Good Lord, what a poem!

  21. I like ‘my ever-ghost’ – the title, the idea, the poem
    and the alliteration – ‘formed my fingerprints’….’violence void of every meaning’ …. it has the touch of Anglo-Saxon poetic techniques

  22. The pain of life so perfectly articulated
    and then I love:

    “Will you find me, honour the primrose on my veranda,

    maybe even snip one, take it to your table and dream of a voice

    other than your own?”

  23. “Find me like science is found enhancing the faint glow of an almost-faith” – awesome. Nearly every phrase contains the essence of the poem, and it’s both beautiful and desperate. More soul-medicine.
    Peace, –D

  24. Stunning as usual – your eye for the DETAIL of life’s phenomena and the using of it as metaphor is … stunning and often uncomfortably visceral in it’s power to put forward the intensity of the pain which makes the release all the more potent. Thank you.

    I especially like:

    “An enemy is at my table.

    A horse is buried under American sands.

    My heart is water:

    It longs to quench the hot summer skin of sparrows.”

  25. I, too, want to be exposed as a lighthouse, to tear at the tendon heels of uncertainty/
    gosh, you’re pleasing, as the sun comes ’round again, and one is trying to get one’s bearings abit. Thanx again

  26. It’s like a sonnet without the rhymes and without the stanzas – no, it’s like a piece of music – crescendo, diminuendo, largo, andante….. I can see and hear its shape
    and then that sublime ending: ” There will be raspberries
    and grapes on every corner. Someone,
    will say your name. ”
    Makes me smile!

  27. Hi, Allison. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. If you would like to continue passing the award along, the instructions are here http://wp.me/p24rMG-3Z

  28. Especially like:

    ” I knock down garbage bags, pocket unsharpened pencils,
    buy myself some tea, thinking today I will let go,
    rid myself of your domination, purchase a splendid fantasy to replace
    your magnetism – saw at roots, trust the broken staircase and climb.”

  29. The creativity within this poem affects me in a strong way:
    Plastered with glue,
    sticking like betrayal like a spider’s eggsack
    to a branch. I watch your gorgeous
    pontificating, watch you mourn just a little. The injury
    rips only part of your body, fragments you. Grief becomes a tremor,
    an uncontrolled twitch under your left eye.
    The poem starts out as a startling portrait, then develops a counterpoint to the portrait, describing in wonderful language how the poet wants to let go and rid themselves of the domination of the one drawn so skillfully in the proceeding stanza. The it becomes a powerful love poem, ending in a stanza as impressionistic as the art of Van Gogh:
    …but you

    are still in my mind
    pushing, ploughing through and through,
    saving me a plot beside your plot
    beside the potpourri covering a stranger’s grave.
    The whole angst of the modern age seems stirred up in this stanza, negating, but confirming, emphatically, the love part of the poem and the poet-self part of the poem in the same breath.
    You are a wonderful writer.

  30. I don’t know about hiring you for my obit, but I would like to ask you to consider writing a short blurb for the back cover of my book that will publish this summer. And by the way, this is a ‘stellar’ poem, I came here to tell you so. Marvelous!

  31. A wonderful exploration of what poetry, beneath words, rhythm, rhyme, lines, and even meaning, is.

    … it is being intoxicated with the fullness of seeing God there
    with every thought – in the swimming pool while treading water,
    or at the hair dresser, drinking coffee, waiting for a turn.

    … True intensity is subtle,
    is equal in its magnitude as it is to its intricacy – It commands exploration.

    Even death, sometimes your sister,

    cannot revert humanity back to that interval
    before God exhaled, altering the playing field, resulting in
    such a mighty fusion.

    The themes in this poem are so large they seem to encompass both the self and the self in God. In the end the poet, you, all humanity, is part of the mighty fusion that the poet sees when they see God with every thought during every moment of the day no matter how mundane the moment.

    Life begets life:

    a forceful synergy of the round and the sharp,
    splicing, splitting, until more splicing and splitting until
    dependency on oxygen is born.

    begets what the poet who sees the self subsumed by poetry misses in their concentration on self and self subsumed. This is fascinating, vital poetry.

  32. Wow. Especially like:
    ” I have known death’s jolts, have known its harrowing cripple

    and crack, and know it cannot revert humanity back to that interval

    before God exhaled, altering the playing field, resulting in

    such a mighty fusion.”

  33. Pingback: Breakthrough « Postcard Fiction

  34. I did not talk to a single person today that did not tell me here in New Mexico that they had trouble sleeping last night. We have finally had a couple of nice, reasonably warm days, but mostly days of rain, snow, and cold, and they’re predicting more of the same for this weekend.
    I think we humans are always affected by weather, rain or snow, as the post office says, but also by
    that creep and curl along the
    ceiling, hovering with the stillness
    of death…
    and our troubles and this is all true:
    …To watch a love-one suffer is worse
    than shame, worse than feeling
    futility collapse on your throat
    or a weapon held at the head…
    at least in my life. It is also true that
    Little by little the terror rises,
    and the world outside remains unchanged.
    For all the world encroaches into our head and leaves us with our troubles, the world does remain unchanged, moving from season to season, year to year, decade to decade, century to century in its endless circles. As usual, Allison, this is really good poetry.

  35. I am not sure to say about this one, except that it is up to your usual high standards. I am old now, though still in love with Ethel after 44 years of matrimony, and though our passion is different, slower, longer, less filled with breath, I remember when we were young.

  36. Your sure words, forthright, intense, are bold with gutsy sensual & spiritual
    symbolism, It all stirs up a spell of delerium at this end
    Thanx, from another dizzy reader

  37. How we’d like the world to stop spinning, for even a moment, just a moment, to show us that our pain matters…as a child when I experienced a great loss, a death, I wondered why the world didn’t stop. At such a young age, I felt the passing endlessness of days.

  38. I sense a merging here with God as well as man. I think about John Donne’s Holy Sonnet 14. In fact, in many of your “love” poems I find myself floating in and out of flesh to spirit, what can be a love relationship with a person is also, somehow, one with God. At least this is my sense in your poems. They carry an intensity which feels to me like the kind of longing or love one has for God, but this intensity is also in our home, in our beds.

  39. Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    Allison Grayhurst at the self named blog: “Allison Grayhurst” has done it again folks….another elegant yet simple group of words arranged in such a way to make me think. I love that about her poetry.

  40. Beautiful…Especially like:

    “On the rafters a single flower is born.

    I look to that single flower, like I look to spending

    the afternoon with the ones who have endeared,

    like the pulse and turn of my infant within

    or a brief morning solitude –

    open for interpretation.”

  41. “What speaks of holding on when the world is pale/ with grief…” though there’s no description of color, and it’s a stripped down idea, there’s really striking imagery in there. The first commenter said it..

  42. “on the rafters a single flower is born”…to me, this poem is all here in this one line. That flower emerging from the rafters is the unborn fetus in the woman who cannot find her seat…and holding on when the world is pale with grief…the rain in the rafters, the flower…beautiful.

  43. I understand you are not into accepting awards, and that this blog is all about the work, and not you, that aside, since you inspire me and my blog, I nominated you for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. What you do with this award is entirely your business….but you have been given this based on how your words effect me….which is what writing is all about, reaching someone.

  44. Yes! Witness consciousness! Fearlessly seeing and feeling it all, not dissociating.
    Especially like:
    “I am far from a solid core,

    far from the plane ride to paradise,

    far from the sodium dream,

    but I am here

    and here

    I am looking around.”

  45. I often feel that your words start with a trickle and end with a down pouring, and end again with a trickle but with the sense of a “sigh” or “breath”. Reading your poems usually has this feeling of oncoming rush and then a pause…

  46. Beautiful… I especially like:
    “Outside, the children go inside, readying for sleep.

    I tread waterways in my mind

    and send my kisses mid-air.”

  47. Allison, this poem starts with a dark, dark vision that is almost frightening:
    In the whisper of tomorrow
    the wood is burning and the trees
    have died.
    You then take the hinges off the door, doors being the instruments we humans use to keep the outside away from our inner lives while allowing us to go outside.
    …waiting as my hunger works like
    midnight in my stomach, dictating
    the flavour of the coming stars.
    These are powerful lines! You are waiting to see what “outside” comes through the door, not afraid, filled with hunger, letting that hunger dictate the flavour of the coming stars.

    Then you ask a powerful question:
    …will the answer come before the grave
    or will obscurity greet me every new dawn
    like a hand unheld or a gate torn down?
    A question which probably drives all of those who become poets.

    It is humming, the sound of this underground sorrow.
    It hums of poetry and the earth and the bug eaten leaves.
    It burns and cannot bloom in bookstores, will not bloom
    in the silence of a single decade or in the darkness of
    a closed drawer.
    The craft of poetry in these lines, with the repetition of the It, is wonderful. The question, and the feared answer, humming an underground sorrow: It burns and cannot bloom in bookstores…
    (poetry, of course, not matter how great the poet, seldom does)

    But then your triumphant ending, at triumphant from where I sit:
    Outside, the children go inside, readying for sleep.
    I tread waterways in my mind
    and send my kisses mid-air.
    For in spite of the eternal question you have asked, you watch the children inside, reading for sleep, and send your kisses to them–and perhaps all of us, “mid-air.”

    The previous poem deserves comment to, but when I read this one I could not help myself. I had to comment on it. Ahh, for only more time during the day.

  48. You’re a sculptor too! Wow! Am I impressed. You are like Ethel! Art pours out of you in multiple ways endlessly. This is fascinating work! I hadn’t noticed the sculpture link on your page at the right before.

  49. This is a love poem, Allison, but has both angst and sadness mixed in with the love. There is beautiful, original language, as in all of your poetry,
    sorrow like a grey October morn
    stretches between us, leaves us each
    alone watching out the same window.

    fascinating ideas:
    We are locked like the shore to the sea,
    perfectly different and merging in natural
    rhythm – each shell and struggling fish
    exposed, until we hide in separate elements,
    bonded to our own.
    “each shell and struggling fish/exposed,” talking about the inner being of human beings! An idea that stops you in your tracks and makes you think about what the poet is really saying. Each of the lovers expose themselves to the other, and then they “hide in separate elements…”, trying to escape the exposure.

    and the counterpoint of a complex relationship:
    Often I am bruised by your laughter,
    counting pennies on the table with fierce concentration.
    Though you with your hands,
    hold all the mystery my heart can fathom,
    pressing with gentleness my folded brow,
    or blending your legs with mine, sure and warm
    as the summer earth.
    where the laughter of the lover bruises and causes a retreat into the “counting of pennies on the table with fierce concentration,” but also presents hands that “hold all the mystery my heart can fathom…”

    What I get out of this is that the mental/emotional part of the relationship is difficult, but the physical part is “sure and warm/as the summer earth.”

    The questions raised by the poem are the old ones: Can the physical excitement of love last? Is that enough? Or does the physicalness of human beings translate into a rhythm powerful enough to overcome the emotional/mental difficulties we all face? Can love of any kind break through the “separate elements” and build a bonding that is strong and lasting? What is the nature of love?
    This is, as usual, powerful poetry with a sting that makes the reader examine his/her universe.

  50. Poetry does not have to stir hymns and hosannas to be poetry. Sometimes poetry gets under the skin and smashes the reader in the face and forces confrontation that is not to be quickly forgotten:
    The ground that grows
    the wasteful blight and
    estranges the kiss and hiss of wildlife
    is in me like a slaughtered tribe
    that has no face.

    Whew! This is one powerful description of a blackness that has descended singing angrily into the spirit.

    I am in the nightmare cloud, wrapped
    in tar and rotted wood. I hide
    beneath the blanket, undone.

    But poetry, if it is any good never stands still, but moves:

    Sickness has walked around me, mile
    around mile and names me this stone chiselled
    in two. It is the beginning, but it is midnight
    and I am marked to be unmoved.

    There is a hint here that there is a “beginning…” of sickness, of stone chiselled in two,” but a stirring beneath the blackness even though “it is midnight/and I am marked to be be unmoved.”

    This is not the poetry of dazzling light, but of the spirit’s darkness. Still, there has to be a beginning out of darkness even though it cannot move and the spirit hides under a blanket, trying to be unseen. Sylvia Plath wrote powerful poetry that sizzled with emotion. We feel the fire in her lines, but, in the end, she needed to find a new beginning, a path out of despair and the darker emotions. This has the power of Plath, but I see in it more hope even if the hope is lightly stated and perhaps half meant. I recognize you as a poet, Allison. A significant poet.

  51. I like your use of language. . .very effective I think. Reminds me of Ferlinghetti and his Beat Poetry in the 60’s. Also (for me) has a Dylan quality to it. I really like your poetry!

  52. I’ve seen a lot of insipid, cliched “love poetry” on Word Press but this I like.Tender and honest, with some beautiful lines, “blending your legs with mine, sure and warm etc-
    I hope your loved one appreciates it.

  53. PS – Yes, this is so true:
    “Holding is indefinite…

    With each lip-graze our fears are gradually disempowered.

    They shrink, and then we shrink-wrap them before they fully decay,

    offering them an honoured yet secondary place.”

  54. I wonder what the process of sculpting a face is like? is it tender? is there a sense of reflection? those and other questions arise…the feel of clay under fingers, malleability…wet and cool.

  55. What cathartic comfort for angst!
    You are the queen of cathartic comfort!
    Certain lines should go down in Bartlett’s Quotations.
    They boom like thunderous sharp true insight!
    “I drink necessity’s authority.”

  56. What a wonderful prayer to read on Easter morning! No matter what faith tradition anyone might follow. The two poems I’ve read today, Allison, are as clear and fresh as water tumbling over stones out of the San Juan Mountains. Achieving that clarity is as difficult as any other task a writer might take during that lifetime. It is not a necessary component of poetry. The puzzles spun out by Jim Heinz, ExtraSimilie, have their place in the body of poetry as do more complex poems that are not as challenging as those done by Jim. You are a true poet. These two poems are worth celebrating, although the truth is that much of what you write is worth celebrating.

  57. [21:31:45] Subhan Zein: Hello there,

    You write wonderful poetry up here. Well done! 🙂 Keep penning and keep inspiring! I am sure one day the door will open for you and that lots of readers will find your poetry both entertaining and interesting! 🙂

    Have a lovely day my friend! 🙂

    Subhan Zein

  58. In the spoken version ‘the hollow log’ becomes ‘death’ and woods becomes ‘words’…?
    “Tomorrow is a keyhole/ that shapes my hopes with tiny possibilities” – I just like that for the way it sounds and flows and changes meaning as it goes

  59. Well, I’m ending my Saturday night with beautiful poetry from Allison Grayhurst…but, I must go to bed and tomorrow I will finish reading the poems I haven’t read yet from April. I’m glad to end my evening here.

  60. It feels classic to me from the first lines onward.
    I lift the bullfrog from the waters.
    Bread, parables and staying close to a legend –
    these are things of joy…
    If I heard that at night around a campfire beneath a shining silver moon, I would say, softly, amen, amen. But of course this is a poem of grief, of the grave by the willow tree, a sailing ship with no port, and it gains part of its power from the contrast between the opening lines and the following lines. There are so many metaphors and such limbic power in the early lines of this poem that you could almost write a book about the poem and how metaphors relate to its emotional content and the human heart..

    My father, I dream of your flame. I miss the woods
    and your kind goodbyes. Tomorrow is a keyhole
    that shapes my hopes with tiny possibilities.
    These lines are so meaningful, telling us so much about your father in his kindness expressed through goodbyes, and how time has shrunk to a tomorrow of key holes that is left with only tiny possibilities.
    The ifs at the end are exquisite in their expression, reminding us that inside grief there are always ifs, but they are not the ifs of possibility and hope, but impossibilities that fill us up with remembering.
    This is a great poem.

  61. Especially like:
    “so I would have no choice

    but to lean on hefty roots, sleep at the bottom, wide as earth.

    Will you keep me, stop me from compromising a cold solution,

    from peddling the fruits of my incandescent plateau with weak convictions?

    Or will you turn me wooden just to protect what is soft, and not,

    interchangeable? “

  62. Awesome…charged, clear, sharp to the point!

    “I heard my name spoken, calling me to dart alert

    from a shrinking sleep, to walk the hallway, carve

    myself an inclusive center, to answer boldly,

    unconditionally step

    into the dictates of a personal command.”

  63. Allison, I just read the poems I hadn’t read since my last comment. I always do that, then choose one or two on which to write a comment.
    I actually found this to be a difficult poem. It starts with two questions;
    “Was I bound by the artificial?
    Driftwood down an interceding flow?”
    Are you real? Or just driftwood flowing from a direction you cannot control? Then the poem takes a leap:
    “Horse stance, back muscles rolling, lines of twine, and fishing.”
    almost as if you see yourself in a great river like the Columbia out in the current tossing lines over and over again into roiling waters. This is an answer to the questions about how you really are. Then the poem leaps again with two declarative statements:
    “I will not fish or tighten my spinal cord for the appearance of strength.
    I will not bask relaxed in hot spring nobility or lick the nose
    of prey I someday plan to devour.”
    At this point you seem to be defining yourself by denial, contradicting the vision of “Horse stance, back muscles rolling…”
    You will not give the appearance of strength through strenuous action or bask in the hot spring of nobility or lick the nose of prey you may someday devour in order to be who you are.
    Then the poem leaps again, telling us of a 2:30 a.m. dream that fits into this contemplation of self and who you are:
    “Loudly, my name was spoken. It was God, I am
    sure of that. And it was angry, pressing, urging me
    to wake and take nothing lightly or so hard.”
    This “angry, pressing” voice lifted you “from the gardens of my despair.”
    And when you understood the voice, you had inside yourself “a permit to build, to trap the past inside the future…” to “absolved by the fact/that nothing can escape the impact of eternity.” This last quotation, as an aside, is a powerful line.
    The reason for including igloo before mansions escapes me, but the next part of the poem essentially says that mansions you once erected inside yourself, “cerebral justifications of indignant loneliness,” are natural and cannot be dismantled.
    Then comes the affirmation in answer to the questions at the beginning of the poem:
    “I heard my name spoken, calling me to dart alert
    from a shrinking sleep, to walk the hallway, carve
    myself an inclusive center, to answer boldly,
    unconditionally step
    into the dictates of a personal command.”
    The voice in the dream gave you permission to be active in life, carve a center that is inclusive of life, the world, others, inside yourself, “to answer boldly,” to follow the personal commands from your inner voice, your self.
    This is clearly mystic poetry as opposed to the confessional poetry of Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, et al. It is closer to what William Blake wrote than it is to much of the contemporary canon and thus has a tone that is commanding while, at the same time, giving an answer to the self about its reasons for existence. This takes a careful reading to “fish” out its multiple meanings. The word fish, for instance, in the early lines is not only there for image, but for the idea that you are not going to fish for who you are or for the meaning of life, leading to the vision that you describe in the poem. But a little effort gives substantial rewards.

  64. I am on part 3 and will read more of this — your awakening. It is very intense. The humility is very apparent, the willingness to receive, the willingness to be loved and known, loved and fully known…

  65. For some weird too-literal reason, I’m reminded of Spike Milligan:
    Things that go bump in the night,
    shouldn’t give one a fright,
    it’s the hole in the ear
    that lets in the fear.
    and the absence of light.

    • Just to say, in case anyone has the flicker of doubt, I didn’t mean to suggest Allison was in any way borrowing from Spike; it’s just that the words “hole” and “fear” in the same line, took me back to Milligan’s poem, which uses them entirely differently. This is what happens when I drink in the morning.

  66. Hello there,

    You write wonderful poetry up here. Well done! 🙂 Keep penning and keep inspiring! I am sure one day the door will open for you and that lots of readers will find your poetry both entertaining and interesting! 🙂

    I have a joyful ride in your blog, and now I’d like to invite you to visit mine. Thank you and have a wonderful day, my friend! 🙂

    Subhan Zein

  67. This is incredibly beautiful, Allison. It does not need a long scan to understand it, so I will refrain from doing that and will come back tomorrow if I can and try to do a proper comment, but I could not leave this evening without letting you know how wonderful this poem is.
    The start of the poem, with its formal phrasing, leaves me breathless:
    At the end of the day, the pears will be ripe
    and the ones I loved and died will float before me
    in waves of growing beauty.
    The formal solemnity of this gives it an unearthly beauty that I’m sure you meant, brewing contemplation and making us remember back on all those we have loved who have died.
    Then you talk about yourself,
    At the end, when all of this leaves, then I will breathe
    an owl breath, still in my tranquil sky.
    “I will breathe an owl breath…” wow! What an idea.
    Then the poem gets more complex, stating your intent to find someone who left you in chaos, a garden hit by storm. The whorl of these two lines leads to:
    I will give life again to the little birds, insects that have no
    use or concept of glory. I will return with you
    to the Buddha waters, happy to know so much love.
    and an expression of love that wraps all of us up in Buddha waters…and the beauty of your thoughts. Then you say that you…
    will walk out my door and there will be summer,
    and you and your love will
    …will walk into the warmth:
    ultimately loved, unequivocally whole.
    Beautiful poetry! Even though it still has that complex whorl in it that gives us pause and thought.

  68. Brilliant! Love it!
    “I see the darkness fully. I face the sword

    to slice clean the cancer blotting my soul.

    I dive in the sewer, side by side with bacteria,

    holding my face straight up. I let my fingertips be

    severed so I can free the rest of my body.

    I am frightened, looking beyond

    the murky fear into a faith, small but glowing.”

  69. “I have been the caterpillar/Not for one more day.” These two lines say it all. Metamorphosis. The way everlasting…though, I grapple with these things (as far as not knowing, not deeply experiencing whether or not I “believe” in the sewer anymore…but, I understand it. Yes.

  70. In this poem, I see failure alongside new beginnings, but perhaps it is only perceived failure, a kind of failure that constantly waits for the “answer”…

  71. I’d like to know…did you really hear a voice? This poem is like a testimony. “Into the dictates of a personal command…” This line raises the hairs on my neck. I once saw freedom in such “personal commands” and “dictates”…but now, just not so sure. This poem seems clearly about an awakening, a calling into a new kind of way of being, away from cerebral justifications that lead to loneliness and despair.

  72. ”Altarwise by owl-light in the half-way house
    The gentleman lay graveward with his furies;
    Abaddon in the hangnail cracked from Adam,
    And, from his fork, a dog among the fairies,
    The atlas-eater with a jaw for news,
    Bit out the mandrake with to-morrow’s scream.”

    Your use of ‘hangnail’ brought this D.T. poem to mind. I’ve always liked it.

  73. Damn… What a wonderful capture. I enjoyed reading this very much. Thanks for sharing it.

  74. This is a wonderful poem, Allison. The start of it is mysterious:
    You who saw the
    morning fall on leaves
    all rotted and brown but
    kissed this darkest turn
    and threw your coins to the sun.
    Part of its mystery comes from the fact that it is incomplete sentence. The stanza leaves us hanging in the air–who is you? There is some sense to it. The you is a person when morning fell on leaves all rotted and brown, kissed the darkest turn and then turned around and threw coins (your coins) meaning special coins, wealth, into the sun.
    As we read on we find out a lot more about “you”:
    You who loved and always learned
    that love is nothing earned.

    You who opened your heart to a child
    and let her wed and weave her own.
    There is a wonderful truth about love in these lines, the idea that love is nothing earned, but is a gift that you then have to let go so that the child to which a human’s heart is opened, can then go on to weave her life.
    Then the darkness:
    You who felt the wanting grave
    when you felt the skeleton hand of a friend
    The wanting grave, the skeleton hand of a friend unchained (from life?), the sorrow that happens even in the midst of love and goodness. The unchaining of life from death, the last remains of a friend even if they are still a friend with a skeleton hand…
    Somberness leads to my favorite lines, as you might suspect of me:
    You who beheld your wife like a sunrise
    and gave her everyday a new light to live for.
    I have failed to achieve this ideal, but I have beheld Ethel like a sunrise, and I have tried to give her light, even though I am afraid that my attempts have not always met the mark. But what wonderful thoughts–that giving her everyday a new light to live for might be possible even in the face of the darker moments in life, the losses we face in life.
    A person who could achieve that central blessing deserves the next lines:
    You who are so beautiful and always beginning,
    like a band of circling swallows, like a whale
    first seen in the wild, like the scent of home.
    They are like the glory of the earth, beautiful, and always beginning, and a you that the poet describes is the sum of a thousand good men on a walk, like a chapel bell awakening, a man
    …sweet and deep
    as the true belief in miracles.
    This is not the most powerful poem of those I just finished reading, but it is the most wonderful, Allison, and therefore I felt like picking it out for comment. There is goodness and an observation of goodness in this poem, and though I deal with trials and tribulations of people everyday at the college as they try to deal with complex lives, I still appreciate goodness when I run across it and believe I should notice it when I encounter its presence.
    Thank you for this poem. It made my day.

  75. “Let us go then, you and I,
    when the evening is spread out against the sky
    like a patient etherised upon a table…”
    (I think I’ve quoted this before in some other comment, about Eliot’s ‘Objective Correlative’ probably) but what he is saying through his ‘metaphor’ is not this is how I see the sunset but how the sunset makes me feel – it’s a bit like trying to explain the impact of Munch’s ‘Scream’ – in fact it’s so hard to explain an artist’s use of imagery (“the invisible worm/that flies in the night”) it’s sort of stupid even to try! Liked your poem though…

  76. wonderful, again/ I intend to enter an american bookstore sometime soon and
    plop down my filthy lucre for clean & sure words in a book of poetry
    good job, allison

  77. Allison, once again, I find your responses to darkness quite atypical. How is “exposure” and vulnerability and such (almost surgical) light the answer to our nightmares? to the darkness in us? It is quite the opposite from what you want — to hide. Freedom comes from being known, I do know that, from allowing your darkness to be seen and loved even, yes even loved.

  78. Just the right level of allusion for me. Atmosphere of claimed contentment, seeing things positively, punctured by “One more day without”. Bathe in blessings is beautiful, and then- afterall no matter. Those last two lines bring the sense of loss crashing in on me, Saying what the person was without would puncture it. More anguish would lessen the effect for me. Without “no matter” I would forget the “without”: just quiet content, no harmonic of Anguish. I love the way you have put this together, I take a lot from it.

  79. Again, you set and asure a sure tone/ a listener & reader feels a soul’s downshift/
    Yr trustworthy words reach a hand back..to lead us solomnly on to yr declarations

    Oddly, my favorite lines were introductory to yr messages, but I like ’em

    “In the evening, close to dark,

    hair-clipping all dishevelled expectations,

    pin-pointing a place to lay down, to rest and witness the uneventful view”

    Thanx again

  80. Thank you!
    “God has provide me a horse to sit upon –

    here with my companion there is a loyalty between us

    that no despair can swallow. There is a connection that grows, that I know

    angels and other heavenly creatures

    will rush to defend.”

  81. …timeless moments oblivious to thought…Like being at the place where

    water and earth are like fingers massaging mud

    into a vision – a weight

    unattainable to the cerebral mind

    These are beautiful descriptions. I think they are describing faith or belief, and the mystery of forming and being and creating.

  82. Allison, I ordered two of the books, and Ethel and I will eagerly be awaiting their arrival in the mail. I did not realize you were going to publish all nine at once. I’m in awe. We’ll get more when we have the funds to do so. Congratulations, although the editing must have been herculean. I actually enjoy editing, by nine books in one go? Wow!

    • It’s also about time I bought some books to show my support for the poets I enjoy here on WordPress — Thomas and Ethel included. Perhaps I’ll buy them together and they’ll come in the mail all at once to my reading pleasure ; ) Congratulations, Allison. Excellent.

  83. What makes your poetry so special, Allison, is the way you marry language to idea so that both the language and idea become surprising or unique. The start of this poem
    Cradle the handle under the sleeve
    and watch as the sun changes shadows.
    reminds me of that magic you have. The first line is mysterious when you first read it. What handle? Under a sleeve, and then the second line, watching the sun as it changes shadows. Then the word, “Blue,” to start the second line, blue as related to shadows, but also blue related to
    …the private everafter with
    the future under my fingernails and an orange seed
    in my throat…
    This is not just the everafter that we all must face in our everyday lives and at the end of life, but the private everafter, the handle under the sleeve, the shadow on the sun, where the future is under your fingernails and an orange seed–which is a symbol of fertility in some cultures–in your throat. Given your recent publishing feat this symbol or orange seed and throat, indicative of speech out of the throat, seems appropriate.
    Then the questions:
    Will it happen or will it always be ‘the wait’?
    Waiting in the moment just before bloom
    but never arriving into full colour? Or is it only
    a long pause, gathering breath for the final
    swing that will bury all dullness that has gone before?
    Each question queries the self, as I read this, or your personal life. Ethel once wrote a poem with a line that went something like,
    Is it to be a woman?
    To always look on windows instead of doors?
    These questions seem to strike the same poignancy, the wondering about life and what it means in its fulfillment. These strike to the heart of who all of us are in confronting ourselves as human beings.
    Then the answer to the questions and the poem’s powerful denouement:
    I see a tree I have walked by many times before. This time
    I noticed it and smiled.
    Maybe this is not darkness at all,
    but a line to follow and focus on
    like a child watching rain drops – one at a time.
    Perhaps if we learn temperance, patience, and only look at a tree we’ve walked past before and notice it and smile, then we will find that we are not in darkness, in dullness, in the everafterlife’s end. Perhaps, the tree and life is a line to follow and focus on “Like a child watching rain drops–one at a time.”
    This is absolutely wonderfulmagnificent.

  84. It stays and the surface is its meaning…what does this say about the depth of things that need to be forgiven? this image of the rock has both solidity and transparency in it and I think this is wonderful, Allison. It is both hard and vulnerable, hidden and all apparent.

    By the way — I bought four of your books tonight!

  85. Over the last year you have challenged, stimulated and delighted me daily. I love your shimmering, mercurial metaphor, and your spirit wisdom. Thank you. I wish you deep wells of creativity, and delight in your work.

  86. The whole thing is briliant and graphic and dances – and especially like:

    ” I could ride a train, take it across the border.

    I could be like the young woman who fell – was she

    dancing on the bridge’s rail and forgot the distance? or simply

    bloated on drugs and insanity’s youthful wake?

    How strange that her asymmetrical face

    and lithe beauty remain, so you think of her

    as one of the fortunate – because of the fall,

    because she fell while dancing, and you have forgotten how

    to surrender.”

  87. I saw your books in person, held them in my hands, opened them and read at random. They are so, so lovely. I loved the covers with the photos of your sculpture – all people, mostly faces. They were presented as they are – with no intention to manipulate, just straight-up, fresh-faced for all to see. like children are, so very dear and unaffected, your sculptures are beautiful. Just like the writings, full of consideration, questions, and trust (nakedness, whatever one wants to call it…there is great strength in vulnerability).
    Thank you.
    Just keep doing what you do.

  88. Oh – I forgot to say one thing…I just took another look at the sculptures and there is “someone home” inside of each one, there is someone alive in there, inside of all of them.
    Beautiful. Don’t change, stay pure.

  89. There are some lovely lines in here; the way you capture ‘that one hour’ and the simplicity and complexities of love. I think the image at the end is wonderful.

  90. Allison, what a wonderful interview! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it especially your answer to the question, “What is the best thing about being a poet…and what is the worst?” Fabulous.

    • I can also really connect with the quote, “Reading it fills me the strongest with my own voice — which I think all great art and true inspiration, should do.” I have yet to find my list of poets who do this for me…I can think of one.

  91. This poem is incredible – like a rich gentle fierce painting – wow:

    “Carelessly moving from place to place

    but changeless as a brick under a porch

    and strong as that brick”
    “Take this mortal thinning and give nothing to regrets:

    We sing for each other and you are free. I feel it

    in the sparrows lined along the roofline and in

    your tired features morphing into winter branches – richer brown,

    moist – like just before a spring bloom.”

  92. Pingback: My Picks For 2012′s Most Influential Blogs « The ObamaCrat.Com™

  93. Pingback: My Picks For 2012′s Most Influential Blogs « The ObamaCrat.Com™

  94. Pingback: The REALITY Blog Award « The ObamaCrat.Com™

  95. Pingback: The Very Inspiring Blogger Award « The ObamaCrat.Com™

  96. Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    If you love poetry, you must visit Ms. Allison Grayhurst….she is a phenomenal talent. Thank you for sharing your poetry with us Ms. Allison. I wish you, your family & friends a wonderfully joyous and healthy, safe, fun Happy New Year….Namaste

  97. Pingback: You’ve Been Nominated For The Very Inspiring Blogger Award « The ObamaCrat.Com™

  98. The poetry continues to grow and writhe into shine after shine in it’s depth, passionate cry and beauty.

    “Let it come like the wave with
    the salty foam. Let it reflect
    my insides like a face held towards
    new cutlery. Let it take my rhythm for
    its own, express it in the wings of angry crows
    and the trees in communion with the wind.”

  99. Pingback: The “Shine On Award” From Ms. Emily Guido « The ObamaCrat.Com™

  100. Allison, this is a powerful poem about change with many very salient and tangible images that tug and tug at what the change means, what if feels like, how it assaults our senses and every part of our lives. I enjoyed it very much.

  101. Pingback: The 2013 Reader Appreciation Award « The ObamaCrat.Com™

  102. ‘hardly solid, like butter left out of the fridge’ – what an exact image for such an inexact state! – and there’s a rhythm and sound to ‘hanging on hinges’ that makes you nod and smile

  103. Stunningly beautiful! True Eros – on the perfect Day!

    “I hold you. You are my language

    dying to be born.

    You are the one I will never recover from,

    the only companion my heart has known.

    I cannot envy the stars, or

    the soft-spoken trees.

    For there is landscape

    enough, here beside you,

    where all of heaven’s disguises

    glow bright,


  104. This poem really grabs me this evening. It has such agony in it and to have held it in your hands for its last breaths…the image of a “feeble resurrection” is one that has never occurred to me and I find it very striking. How can a resurrection be feeble except that somehow we bring our weakness into heaven…

  105. Congratulations – a breathtaking poem alluding to a breathtaking experience!
    The rhythm of this poem seems to capture the moment and then release it. Beautifully written. 🙂

  106. “I will turn while in my days of darkness

    and feast upon fireflies.”

    I keep turning your opening words over and over in my mind, Allison. It sings like a mythical song. Closely identified with the theme of your piece.

    Wish you the best with “Into My Mortal”. 🙂 Eric

  107. BRILLIANT – and dead on! Glorious, poetically transportive!
    “A new groove will capture my flight

    and lift chairs from the floor.

    I will be the one whose radio still sounds,

    whose sandwich has been eaten

    and whose telephone calls have meaning.

    It is just a matter of believing in mercy

    and not much more.

    It is appreciating the smell of my baby’s neck

    and the times when reading with my child.”

    “The days will turn over

    and the unexpected will enter

    to bless then break

    my fall.”

  108. Love it! Crisp, feeling, spacious, promising in its beauty.
    “I am waiting for motivation, for a clarity of purpose

    that I once owned like a beautiful stone

    I sunk under the St. Lawrence rapids. When I was a child,

    I watched those rapids without fear,

    stood close to the edge and never wondered about the slippery underfoot,

    never worried about the shadflies arriving like a plague of river insects

    or about my loneliness that turned into a ghost companion

    comforting me in those grey Quebec afternoons.”

    “But here, in this riverless realm,

    I cannot place my hands down. I cannot stretch wide enough

    to feel whole.”

  109. Brilliant! Peppered with keeper lines like bullets of insight in a gray world!
    “Now you know the honeydew nectar

    spread across the light – like a

    limit – sweet but blurring.”

    like a mind unable to hold one clear sentence”
    “You do not exist the way you once thought.”

    “never finding the way out.

    It has been this way.”

    your dream is gone.”

  110. I LOVE IT! The power of myth, magic and mystery – like a fairy tale!
    “By the last leaf changing

    and the voice of rivers calling,

    by the presence of an

    unwilling hero

    a great light is born.”
    “The aspirations never hooked up,

    but neither

    did they die.”

  111. Reads like a dream, like a song, like a touch – a tenderness filling my heart like a strong feather.
    “I live inside the gentleness of your mind.”
    “In dreams I find you

    beside me for always,”
    “your eyes rich as the colours of earth

    and your rhythm, profoundly ancient

    like the dance of a seabird upon water.”

  112. I LOVE this! Passionate, strong, solid, vital, instructive. BEAUTY. Wow.
    “Over the highest evergreen I race

    with my emblem. I lost

    nearly everything I cared for to gain

    a new soul. I lost a passion and gained

    a rage against death and the wilderness outside.

    I drink from the underground and am blessed.”

  113. Brilliant, beautiful. Full of the power and majesty of the wholeness of life.
    “Because of so many things

    lost and remade, I have been left without a plan

    but to lean without shame or resistance on

    the bosom of God. That is the role, the flesh

    and backbone combined.”
    “Because I know it is all for you and all is given

    by you – we sing, we paint our stories – this story

    rich with surprises and laden with disappointments.

    I sing and paint and wish for other things,

    though I am satisfied with love and with the way

    you see fit to carry me across.”

  114. This says so many things to me, and I feel like I can identify with so much of it. I read a few times and I’m saving it to read some more. There’s real beauty here.

  115. I really enjoyed this interview Alison, I always enjoy the concepts in your poetry even if it takes me 5 times to read. Sometimes it seems like your trying to release the elements of the spirit and sometimes its like you want to imprison it but life tears it away.

  116. Allison, I really enjoyed seeing your face and listening to your soft voice while you read your poems and your answers to the questions. All — very engaging.

  117. Oh my god, how beautiful.
    “And from the beginning the miracle

    sat on our shoulder like a butterfly”
    “I give no more from the side of my mouth,

    for the seductive shadow and the running crowd.

    Plain as the path to heaven, I kiss the dread

    and let it drift down sea. I open a room

    where the light catches my breath.

    I am breathing a morning glory.”

  118. So nice to see this! Thanks for posting it up, Allison. I really enjoyed watching and listening to your thoughts here. 🙂

  119. I really enjoyed how this builds and builds, and the final lines are like an epiphany : ‘I open a room …’
    Wonderful poem, and so appropriate for springtime too. 🙂
    I hope the sun shines for you today, Allison.

  120. This is a nice piece. I love the second stanza and the last one. The last one hangs with you for quite a while after reading.

  121. Pingback: The Sunshine Award | The ObamaCrat.Com™

  122. Pingback: SUPER SWEET BLOGGING AWARD | The ObamaCrat.Com™

  123. Nothing is perfect in life with absolutism … However … “True love is blind and hard to find” … It is like the amazing course of a river that never ends … But … Goes on and On … And …… *That Is a Perfect Flow* … Thanks Allison for sharing …

  124. OH MY GOD… this is sheer poetry – about one of the most sacred of human experiences FINALLY being done justice to in one of those rare instances when it is DONE JUSTICE TO. Thank you for your depth, your breadth, your breath, your words and your fleshly soul.

  125. I love it!
    “I would give my capsized house,

    my bed, my favourite corner

    just to feel the rise of their quickening tides

    clap over my bones & spirit. To know the fury

    of feathers skilfully slicing

    the skin of clouds. I would say this

    is worth my enemy’s claw, worth a mouth

    full of laughter. I could speak again

    of love without weight, of a saffron flower

    exposing all to the sun.” !!!


    “It’s the end

    of my kind,

    the last of my line

    unfolding. And then

    all of it will be different –

    both the edge and the enlightenment

    both the things precise

    and the things undefined.”

  127. Intense, gripping, aliveness – the raw, fierce, stunning grasp of a Great!
    “Deep-set eyes like the eyes

    of some brooding god,


    the earth to pieces.

    Breath of an invalid, gambler

    & saint, weighed down by


  128. I love this – it reads like a song, like a warm and soft poetic blanket, like a hum, like a beauty ever so intimate and profound and real and true.
    “He hurts with uncommon intensity –

    liberation balanced between his two lips.

    Like the slow hum of rain, I hear him

    treading the snowed-in cities, hear his kiss

    like a prayer of protection, flowering.

    Freedom stitched to his smile,

    he crosses the sea he’s never seen before,

    as he carries his guitar

    like a lover’s warm hand.”

  129. Your poetry bleeds and sings at the same time. Grieving paints in both colors and in black and white. Wonderful portrait! 🙂

  130. This is very real, and has some breathtaking images.
    The description of memory is particularly strong and affecting to me.

  131. Loved the music – kind of hoped for a slightly mournful Dylanesque harmonica in the background (er but not the sharp harmonic type), But I guess you will both know what I mean

  132. Imagination is all we need to reach the climax … Thanks Allison … I can’t fully describe … How thrilling this poem is feeding my special thirst and hunger … 🙂 …

  133. Pingback: The taste | eleganzabello

  134. Wonderful word choice. I could actually taste it all go down! Just ordered this book. Should be getting it soon. 🙂

  135. So beautiful! An explosion of the intensity within compellingly written, as usual!
    A toast to the power of the interior sensual world that so needs it’s erotic world spoken of in these terms, as opposed to the shallow and hence toxically hiding cover up expressions of pornos or pornography – versus the true eros of erotica being shown, exposed and honoured in this way.

  136. Pingback: TheObamaCrat™ Gets The “Semper Fidelis” Award From idealisticrebel. | The ObamaCrat.Com™