Linked to this love
that lives on the cliff's ridge
and below the waves of water and sand.
Linked like the spinal cord is
to the brain or the squirrel to the tree.
This love is hunger with heat,
it is words that stop the gallow's blade,
it is the thing that brings two souls together
and walks them home.
This love is naked, shelter, empty air
that has a purpose.
This love pardons, shares my bath and bed.
This love I circle like a sacred fire, but still I cannot see.
This love is a lanced abscess, a camera hidden in a wall.
This love cannot betray and buries all abuse in tenderness.
This love cures the dying swan's cries,
has mercy on the insect and also on people
too broken or hardened to care about
In rooms of wood
and desire's breath
they move like beggars
in one another's arms,
lulling their elements together,
lucky to forget the world outside, to live
inside passion's timeless dark,
ebbing in their throats and loins and in
the touching of hands.
Blue like hot fire and like water
nakedly combined, the signature of love is
mounted on their foreheads & toenails,
on dust cloths and in the bathroom sink.
Fully revived, they are like infants
awake to all the animals and sounds
It floods them in dangerous peace.
It is shadowless, apple-pure, a blessing
to cling to when time drives their hearts
into realms of pride's separate sleep.
Nothing Without You
Like a hawk whose
shadow falls first on the mouse
before its talons carry the prey away,
so first falls the static shade
where confusion and useless struggles reign,
before the soul is scooped into a killing sleep,
and all that was familiar falls, below the manic moon.
I tried to give away the things I was wedded
to keep, I tried to drown in the fire of your demand,
but the wage was too high though my glass eyes still glow
for the house of your deliverance.
And in my bed where the prayers arrive to grip
and alter my unconscious flow, I feel you near like
a lover and like death, patiently waiting my embrace.
Your drink is wonderful, though
my passions falter and my habitual fears are relentless.
Your love beats the bitterness from my breast, rapes my nightmares
of their shields so that I crumble like a wood-stack with
one middle-wood-piece pulled, until I have
no reverie for all these worldly things.
And with my self-might crushed and your mercy
by my side, all but that love is made the fool,
subdued then denied.
Jesus in the Counter-Stream
The grip was lost,
chocolate was made
and the makers were magic.
For this I bled
then opened my heart
to a difficult wonder.
It has been worth
a pile-up on the road,
no rubber under the foot
and a year of hard breathing.
With this I have come to understand myself
and place my hope outside the framework of
In the closet
in the here-and-after
mercy is the lipstick,
the colour of the camera.
What is lost is lost and all that was lost was remade
when he was found.
Into My Mortal
I look at the deck
where my vintage love was torn
and spoiled with smoke and hard tales,
told after sundown and music being judged
beneath a piercing sky.
Outside where my personal angel
binds her matterless arms,
a voice reels like heavy breath.
My children are autumn born,
as though humming and hewing out new
pictures to awe over and learn the endless
plateaus of heaven.
I am on all sides in a Sunday,
charged by what I do and do not do.
It would be paradise,
but often the coat rack and broken switches get in the way.
© Allison Grayhurst
Bio: Allison Grayhurst is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has over 500 poems published in more than 250 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. More recently, her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series in October 2014. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay; http://www.allisongrayhurst.com