This Love


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

this love.




New Lovers


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

spirits make.


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

normal time.

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