Thursday, May 9, 2013

Two Poems by Allison Grayhurst

             We sorrowed far when the sky tore,
but moments of union bent us
to glimpse a lavish paradise, yielding
to our bodies stripped of speech,
becoming portals to the ever-now,
our aggression was holy
as we hunted for sacred acquittal.
             Evolution, we often think of being what we are -
counsellors to elevate the potency of each other’s dread.
Talk is a hood, a roughly-strewn path to our tortoise-tread. Touch
is precision, absent of air, rattling staircases, galactic
in its suction of sand and hair and pores
that voice complaints and monetary aches,
tethered to this cruel house.
             We live inside the march, ruined by darkness.
On this earth, we have one pasture. Churches will not do for us
what they do for others. We have outgrown
our guilt, our last names and the bitter sword.
             Our colours are common only to us, thickened
by our mischief-tar and unspoken humour. Ours is hushed
and chasing, dripping with moods, unreflected in the polished
              On a new planet we will be remembered,
congregating among the fractured
as a shaft of gracious amalgamation.
              Drenched with this mercy, we will be a light switch
that spares no memory or obligation,
brightly displaying the decayed and burning,
colliding in composite, fashioned by our fusion.
              Among the first fully twined, what we are
will sprout then thrive, be immune to misinterpretation.
Dimensions we will enter as an interchange, our feet warmed against
the soil of the moon, locking calves in place,
digging and dropping, basking
on the plains of our emancipation.

Fill the ghosts with upward rejoicing

so that clouds turn to fishbones
and flies become islands learning a primitive mission.
Obey the shuddering perplexity of dwarfed aspirations
and still be able to cry clear, continuing ardent, when it is time.

I wish I was an actor, acquiring
the yolk of another’s journey, or the ear of an elk
twitching at the panther’s controlled inhale.

Flags and conquered greatness. Death, you
never share. You open and we watch you oil
every boundary with your vanishing act.
We smell you in the honeycomb and in the suffocating
many mutations of thriving pleasantries.
You are sharp as a broken shell -
blowing shame from our feelings,
stiffening the streets we walk on so we walk on
straight, with the purpose of a mortal silver sun.

Here and here, there is nothing, not language, not history,
only forkfuls of burnt coal and some framed pictures.
Being a traitor to survival’s code, I have no use for finality.

I lived close to the rapids, skipping stones, beating back shadflies.
I was riding my blue bike. Some almost-teenage children
hung my cat from a tree. I found him that morning,
a shadow swaying across a shadowy sky. I wasn’t allowed
to take revenge or cradle him, broken, a husk, goodbye.

Over 200 of Allison Grayhurst’s poems have been published in more than 125 journals, magazines, and anthologies throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and in the United Kingdom, including Parabola (summer 2012), The Antigonish Review, Dalhousie Review, The New Quarterly, Wascana Review, Poetry Nottingham International, The Cape Rock, Journal of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry,; Fogged Clarity, Out of Our, Quantum Poetry Magazine, Decanto, and White Wall Review.  Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published nine other books of poetry and two 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 recently published by above/ground press December 2012.  She lives in Toronto with her husband, two children, two cats, and a dog. She also sculpts, working with clay.

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