By Allison Grayhurst
I swayed and found fire on my backside, in my insides, quaking, cracking the edges and the surfaces, melting the dream that sustained me. Down the slide, there can be no laws but the law of commitment to love, to making up for winter by honouring the snow and days of hibernation. Though I have been broken like a broken dolphin’s fin, I find hope, in the piled-up books I plan to read, on the peninsula I leap onto, leap while I am sinking, leap from one ledge to another, leap for summer is ending and I refuse to go with it. I refuse to sway, joyless, no music.
Then they took what was mine to keep and I tossed like a broken-winged bird trying to gain elevation. I am in the land of bright and golden limbo and I am listening. Is it courage I need or a miracle that will arrive like a true and lasting foundation? I am hoping to pass through these narrow corridors once and for all, significant, conquering, not forsaken. I am hoping for a buffer zone, for a hand to help and make my climb out that much easier. I hope to say thank you, all traces of decay are gone, to build something beautiful not side-by-side an equally growing intolerable loss. I hope to gather myself, seal all the holes, see what it will feel like to lose my rage, my despair, exiled no more.
My clothes are loose my mind is out of the shadows, stern in its unwavering demands. God is my one protector from disaster and from unhealthy bonds. I will keep my faith as each day draws me close to the gaping maw quaking darkness that I know will consume my strength and my peace. I will hold faith each step I get closer, trust in my rescue, blind as I am, wobbly and languishing. I will have faith and grow myself a brightness that will flash and flood the tangled thorns, blast through doubt and time and impossibility. I will trust in my saviour, the One who sent him, merge with him and play the tambourine in joyful abandon. I will find my feet lifted from this path until I see this path below and then never again. Grace fills the air like the scent of incense burning. Grace is revealed as the only door out and into a good life. I will keep faith, have my yoke lightened, fueled by a journey of less dread, more alignment, sacred dependency.
What I need to see, I can’t - the shape, the vibration, a mouth full of Amens. What I need to happen is the gates I’ve laboured in every way to lift, to at last be lifted, and there will the re-arranging of disorder, hopelessness vanquished, along with the dissolving of cursed errands and their damaging and rippling influence. What I long for is to be released but I cannot find a way, surrounded by chaotic void, as I lie belly-up capsized in a space of cruel and perverted punishment. What I dream I can only envision, clear as the scuff marks on a white floor, clear as a male cardinal on a snow-covered branch. What I dream is to hail a hidden strength, to drive a wedge under these barred doors, lift, just enough to fully slip through.
Milk and Honey
The time has come to say goodbye to sticky death, the thick latching-onto shadows following you from the laundry room to the dinner plate. It is time to shape your future on the other side of this impossible wall, unite with a merciful tide, join a breachable adventure. Pollution rises in this captivity, stiffens the air and brings transgressions. If you want to leave, ask to leave and you will be on the other side of this raging torment. The time has come, your intentions are exact. Release any malice, release all unnecessary bonds. Walk forward, the way is cleared. It is time to receive.
Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Four of her poems were nominated for “Best of the Net” in 2015/2018, and one eight-part story-poem was nominated for “Best of the Net” in 2017. She has over 1,300 poems published in more than 500 international journals and anthologies.
In 2018, her book Sight at Zero, was listed #34 on CBC’s “Your Ultimate Canadian Poetry List”.
In 2020, her work was translated into Chinese and published in “Rendition of International Poetry Quarterly” and in “Poetry Hall”.
Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then, she has published eighteen other books of poetry and five 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. Also, 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). More recently, her book Tadpoles Find the Sun was published by Cyberwit, August 2020. She is a vegan. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com
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