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:
River – songs from the poetry of Allison Grayhurst
He turns his hawk head
to view the shells of turtles streaking
the still-shroud of water in tanks
as blue as sky.
He lifts a leg and talons tensed,
pivots to defend against an enclosing shadow.
With whitish eyes and an impossible urge
to fly, he hops along his man-made perch toward
the cages where squirrels leap
from metal to wood, scattering like leaves
in unpredictable flurry.
He listens to the ducks’ lipless sounds.
Spring, he will never experience again, nor know
the scent of a pent-up life released like
sunflowers blooming, or the feel of the moon,
colder but more comforting than being touched.
He is without time or tribe,
and like fire, he haunts
by just being.
Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “UC Review”, 1996/1997