Words

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Words

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I

 

The words came

and killed the hostages,

killed the ghosts stuck

in crevices of crow’s feet eyes

and in the long book of regrets and what ifs.

 

The words came and said:

the greatest indication

of spiritual immaturity

is the lack of gratitude.

 

The words were singular, pounded their plurality

into one soft mass, or like pieces of glass

heated, liquified, blending smoothly

the dangerous edges.

 

The words came as two hawks hovering

in surreal stillness and then came again

in the small measles-scar of someone I knew

as a child, seen again as an adult, flooding me

with a memory and an affirmation

 

that the spaces between

this time and that time

do not exist, not as a ladder, not as fossil bones

but those spaces somehow existing, contain

the intrinsic value of eternity.

 

 

II

 

The words came

and were excellent company – said:

 

hear the melody while joining with each note,

be absorbed into its specific portrait.

 

The words said: pause,

brought me into the sun rising over the field,

out of the dark forest that was covered with bramble

and dead rooted trees.

 

I found a way out, I held a hand, briefly,

but long enough to be healed.

I saw the old cat smiling on the mat,

the old dog as happy

as he was when he was young,

a house embroidered with the harmony

that comes after journeying

through the trapped corridors of hell.

 

 

III

 

I am on horseback with my chestnut-red friend,

galloping near the round edge, certain of our flight –

both of us embodying a perpetual exhilaration,

 

          and where, where are we going? so fast?

          so in tune? – no words now –

          just a sweet-nectar symbiotic flow.

 

Call these words a dream. Call them bohemian.

Back away. Throw the stone. Seal them.

 

All bars and walls are purgatory-spent,

blown over

(lick your lips, let the spider live)

 

blow it over, behind.

 

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© 2018 by Allison Grayhurst

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in

 

 

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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A Glimpse

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A Glimpse

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There was a glimpse

of a sunrise, a dazzling ending

and wild grass, lush and life-filled

to walk towards, into, barefoot and perfect

as God’s grace is perfect, reducing the darkness

unnameable and innocence, reclaimed.

 

There was a moment

when I could see like a prophet sees

or a sorcerer, flexing joy in dimensional

vividness, dilated, stripped of

my armour, tension and dread.

 

Army on a hill, hungering for the water flowing

downstream. Woman on a ship, surrounded

by the sea with a kicking babe in her expanded belly.

Is there land? Is it heaven or just a dream?

 

If I risk, I risk it all

with nothing to risk it for in sight.

If I stay, I am a drowned clover,

no different than the meat-eaters,

the non-shapeshifters and the drones.

 

 

***

 

 

What do I say to the arrested vision,

the backward plucking?

I had a glimpse, a gift

of jewels overflowing.

Am I mad, believing? I think I am,

trapped in this curse – hours upon years

chipping at the granite with my teeth, pushing

my way through with no end in sight, damaging

the sack around my heart,

relentlessly fulfilling my duty.

 

There was a glimpse,

something of God in a ghost-filled place.

 

Someone tells me to believe that this darkness

is ending, that the gamble is launched

and victory is already

in my hands.

 

 

***

 

 

If I could astral-project, I would go

to that place I glimpsed, just to be sure it was there.

If I could be more than I am, I could find peace

in the corner of this prison cell.

 

The birds say one thing, and my body another.

 

The glimpse was here and it was hope.

I will not deny its existence.

I will not fight its wound or its expectation,

but surrendering to my limitations,

into the wet earth,

I will give way, pacified.

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© 2018 by Allison Grayhurst

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Outlaw Poetry” November 2018

https://outlawpoetry.com/2018/a-glimpse-by-allison-grayhurst/

 

 

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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Slipping off the Side

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Slipping off the Side

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Never holding, always holding

up, down, back

past the white-light knockout strike,

the broken dishes, the failed vision.

Always guilt as agency – sweet sun

out of reach, when reached, just a hot huge

stone that must be released. Watching the reptilian

garden diggers, the small-soul claim joy in evil,

sit on the hay stack, seeding its throne

and start a royal lineage.

 

Entire bloodlines behind bars – Children hated.

I see the same name on all my friends’ faces.

My insides have become strewed. 

I have only a guiding breath breeze in

a state of blindness, dialectics, repetitions

saying “Do not be attached”. Out of the box

then back in again.

 

I would make a casserole if I knew how.

I would connect everyone

with a wink if the power was mine, if the cracking

double-take shame would release me-

moult and moult until it was small, easy enough to crush

and smear on the pavement.

I have shed these chains twice, maybe more,

maybe their returning power is just an illusion,

a phantom captivity.

 

When I was in the blue room with an entrance to the attic,

entities ripped into my skull when I slept,

channelling their destructive vocations.

I prayed on the forest floor and burned pages and pages

of long-hand. That was when

I stopped swimming and learned how to ride horses, before

I almost joined a neighbourhood,

whizzed past neighbours on a bike, leaving a mark.

I wish I was caught in the loop of simple competition,

knew my place at the starting line,

claiming trophies at the finish line,

climbing tall chunky trees in the summer or

racing up and down fire escapes for the fun of it.

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© 2018 by Allison Grayhurst

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Outlaw Poetry” November 2018

https://outlawpoetry.com/2018/slipping-off-the-side-by-allison-grayhurst

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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I tilt back and see above

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I tilt back and see above

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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

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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Published in “Synchronized Chaos” November 2018

https://synchchaos.com/synchronized-chaos-november-2018-the-things-we-carry/

http://synchchaos.com/15244-2/

 

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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Dried Heroism

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Dried Heroism

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The void comes and contains me.

Who picks the last straw

fated to carry the dynamite?

On shore, near a fern tree

I saw an umbrella break

and a worm exposed to the wind’s wet fury.

 

How I long for more than a nickel’s worth

of comfort in my shoes,

for a spoonful of light in my mouth,

to kiss its translucency and praise midnight

gone.

 

Shame is not my therapy, but fading

fragile as sanity often is,

wanting a sign from God but finding

cars recklessly racing over speed bumps, rain water

flooding in mid-winter and an empty stomach.

 

How to dance on this floor of dread, learn

to feed my horses washed seaweed

when all the grass is dead

 

How to see my future as more

than a tiny creature scurrying helplessly

in the folds of an infant’s hand  

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© 1991 by Allison Grayhurst

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

 

First published in “Vita Brevis Poetry Magazine” November 2018

https://vitabrevisliterature.com/poems/dried-heroism-a-poem-by-allison-grayhurst/

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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Years Before His Resurrection

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Years Before His Resurrection

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   On the sidelines

in a tale as lasting as fairy tales

he recounted the details

of his Russian heritage,

several centuries past.

            Through an open window

he stretched his neck and laughed

at all the sidewalk walkers

walking beneath him.

            With tortured eyes and soft, cold skin,

he spent his time playing piano in candle light, sometimes

counting his collection of exotic butterflies.

            He longed for death or for some substance

in the wind. He caught the night between

his eyelashes, reading Nostradamus outload.

            Behind closed curtains he nourished the cavity within

by reciting the prayers of obscure saints, offering appeasement

to his guilt that no hope could overcome. He was not

            a typical man, not proud, not tender,

but full of churning lava, full like a storm cloud

before the storm, like the belly

of a soon-to-be mother, full and focused

like a predator sensing

the frightened heart of its prey.

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© 1990 by Allison Grayhurst

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

Published in “Chicago Record” November 2018

https://magazine-record.blogspot.com/2018/11/years-before-his-resurrection-on.html

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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Something New

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Something New

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I hold my love before you

in the silver eye of winter.

I nudge myself from a restless year,

dancing upon the crust of a breaking wave.

I feel the taste of Japanese ginger enter my mouth.

My head is full of phantoms. My fingerprints

are held hovering inches from fire.

Starships and everglades are overturned.

Thumbs are caught in car doors.

The blunt scythe of Death carves, shredding

history’s figures of ruthless pride.

Ideas of beauty change from century to century

but not ambition, not the way

the ego demands to be heard,

regardless of brutality or waste.

I open the empty pantry. I write down names

on the pieces of a shattered lamp post.

In the silver eye of winter,

I hold my love before you.

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©1990 by Allison Grayhurst

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

Published in “Chicago Record” November 2018

https://magazine-record.blogspot.com/2018/11/years-before-his-resurrection-on.html

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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