Allison Grayhurst

Courage Where I Lie
It’s been my right hand on fire,
my eyes undertow
and my lips sliced by ant bites
that brought me to this landscape
of difficult beauty
where there is no allowance for sun,
but still, there is joy
within the darkness. There are shapes
and there is
possibility.
This land of undefined lines
and little colour, where the warmest beat
has died, and even that, somehow, is
surmountable. A land where miracles
will not be defeated by death
or by a torn perfection.

 
I Try To Breathe
God said
I didn’t do it out of malice,
I did it out of mercy.
And so I try to understand
through the emotion of purified faith.
I try to recognize the truth petrified within
like a soul cracked and brittle
but still shining its unique glow.
The cold egg sits in my pocket.
I keep it there for when I get hungry,
if I get hungry,
which doesn’t seem to happen much
anymore.
So it sits, cold, rubbery and whole,
sits, an egg too squished to roll,
sits for potential nourishment, as security without salt.
I try not to use it. I try to hold onto what God said
and breathe that in
as my only necessary
sustenance.

The Many Lights of Eden
The one with many lights
standing by the new water
traveled by carrying a throne on his shoulders.

Bartholomew came and
Bartholomew wandered
like a visitor where ever he was.
The one brought by fear’s inception
(fear of being rejected and a
desperation to be loved)
also brought a strange deception.

But the one with many lights
speaks softly on the inside
and leaves all bodies easily breathing.

Husband
The one who found me
in the schoolyard by the old tree
fell to his knees with patches of burnt skin
along his pale arms. He tried a pack of suicide
with the sun, many times, but his inner ache
gave out, replaced with a potent drive for revenge.
Then through a threadbare journey where
he never allowed his passion to be quenched,
he turned from revenge
to a window where he saw heaven, sliced and untouchable
like a painting at an art show. He saw a way to find me, past
the hospital ward, past the mushroom cloud of his existence.
When he found me, I too was shut
in a sea of quicksand, waiting
on the final miracle. We smelt each other’s hair
in the openness of a winter sky.
I told him my faith was at his side. I left him
lingering by the tree – his old darkness staked and
a new one, sure to be born.

Blank Stare
Sitting on the porch
disenchanted by complications
and by words that have no honour
or action. Thinking of the railroad
by the river where my dog and I were musical,
unaware of our short-lived joy.
I tried to triumph. I tried to stick
to the vision even when dismembered by
the axe and its hard, calculating strike.
I tried to rub out the sounds of dueling desires
and focus on the plateau.

Hour upon hour, my children are playing –
messy, free and pretending. On the porch
I watch them, and watching is
feeding me, freeing me
like looking into my dead father’s eyes
in a dream, in a moment meant to help me,
sent by angels, hailed as madness to most.

I hope for little traffic on my road.
I hope for 10 miles to feel myself fully connected
to the other parts of me
that are sometimes adrift, sometimes violently
speeding, and other times, only imagining
myself connected, imagining myself able to maintain
a forward motion, and not to fall back
into a comfortable place
of diminished expectations.

Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has allibeen nominated for Sundress Publications “Best of the Net” 2015.  She has over 675 poems published in more than 315 international journals and anthologies. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers in 1995. Since then she has published eleven other books of poetry and six 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 in December 2012. In 2014 her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series in October 2014. More recently, she has a chapbook Currents pending publication this Fall with Pink.Girl.Ink. Press. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com