Safe In You
In you, mystery is masked
by no one’s hood, has grown
away from the tyranny
of world and the gloom
of nations betrayed by
In you the inexplicable
takes a womb, a rhyme
from your sweet blood
And love, once pale and clay-like-cold,
selected you to partner my hope,
to resemble visions vacant of sentiment
and teach me to abandon
death and ill-nourished joys.
Your love wraps around like a melody
undulating out from your exceeding
intensity, it wraps,
until I surrender, unable, unwilling
The Last Walk
of the Mayor of Casterbridge
the pride in my mouth that will not drown.
After all love given and failed, to hold only this body
of a starved finch, gold but lifeless like all else
that has inspired me on. I shifted extremes, bandaged
my disappointments in bitter hate and landscapes
where only serpents were resurrected.
Of my self, I have no virtue to defend, what I have
is impulsive and merciless, and a fortune
that has placed my fate at the feet of a cunning enemy.
That I was saved from the seal of drunken suicide.
That I saw my own image float in the river, giving
seed to a non-judgemental faith, and she, my daughter
(who knew nothing of resentment), cradled my cure
in the compassion of her eyes. I walk with a simple fool
trailing behind who says I was rough
but somehow kind, who seems to show concern
when I stumble and for my face so down,
it will never see daylight again.
He carries me to an abandoned shack
where soon I will die – he, unaware of the killer that I am.
If my daughter finds me, never let her know
the loneliness that drove my desperate deeds or the fear
I felt of losing her natural devotion. If she finds me, t
ell her not to put flowers where I rest. Tell her not to grieve
the aftermath dust of the likes of me – a crushed,
the drake of dreams
and heed the head that
knows it is blind
to all the mysteries.
My hand is here, my
hand to follow. I love your
cleft chin and your strange blue eyes.
I love your laughter at night.
Live like no other has lived.
For you are more than a kaleidoscope,
more than six months of hope and happy endings.
Thank you for arriving, for changing my view forever.
I watch your sleeping face
and feel a thousand souls merge behind your
soft skin. Every day is your birthday, when a new
part of you is revealed like the most beautiful of wonders.
Play with the ropes of many.
I am here, and will always be
yours in love.
No warmth in my
shoes. No gently touching
of my eyelashes.
The crater has left its imprint
and my only child is weeping.
Love has sunk below the line, grows painful as
a thousand papercuts. Why is there this
push into the primal darkness, where everything
is surface and small and contagious? Why can’t
we, of all lovers, overcome?
Touch my fingertips, tell me we can breathe it out
and return to the depths of our true connection.
Tell me we are brave enough to walk away
from this cancer breeding side,
face each other like we use to,
free of defense and the bitter masks
of useless pride.
It is not new
to hold out a hand
and find something dead
It is not love that loves
through essential compromise.
It is God we speak to
everytime we verbalize,
and God will mend even the ones
who think they’re saved.
It is the cracked jaw,
the splintered bone and expressions
of boredom and greed that
disease a child’s innocence.
It is how we deal with the senselessness of being
that makes us either deny or realize
a gift of spiritual wonder.
Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Three of her poems have been nominated for Sundress Publications “Best of the Net” 2015, and she has over 1000 poems published in more than 410 international journals and anthologies. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published twelve other books of poetry and seven collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012. In 2014 her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series. In 2015, her book No Raft – No Ocean was published by Scars Publications. More recently, her book Make the Wind was published in 2016 by Scars Publications. As well, her book Trial and Witness – selected poems, was published in 2016 by Creative Talents Unleashed (CTU Publishing Group). She is a vegan. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com