Poetry: Allison Grayhurst

Allison Grayhurst


We walked beside the wall
on a grim February afternoon.
Our lips parted wanting to speak,
but words grazed the soundwaves like
ghosts and our hearts sank.
We walked together, over logs of rotted wood,
through slush puddles, avoiding snowbanks
and icicles dangling from high trees, beside the wall.

This is love, you told me, and I knew it to be true.
I grew tired and you linked our arms. You grew despondent
and I looked into your eyes like looking at a flower.
The winds turned on us. Family dug ditches of judgment
around us, expecting our downfall.

The cardinal arrived, leading the way, navigating
us through – stopped on a wire while we rested, called at us
to turn a corner. Around that corner, holding hands,
the wall disappeared.

Our hair damp with snow, our gloves ripped
at the fingertips, we sat on a neighbourhood rock, in a yard
where nobody was home. The cardinal left when a stranger
appeared. You helped me up and we continue on

houses all around us, children going to school, and us together
inseparable, strong in love, stronger than the hard hard world.

Stream of Dark Nectar

It does not end today, in the morning, in
these sapling hours of blissful solitude.
It could end and be a bone, dried and crushed
by the pressure of circumstance – but the
veil has lifted. Jesus speaks his anarchy
and raises the grass strands, blooms the flowers, swiftly,
miraculously with perfect sense before my eyes. King
of time and gravity – the weather listens to him, the water,
coins and food all bend to his majesty and authority.
I watch this like I would a landscape sunsetting sky,
vast across forever and wide as the sea.

Cards are in my hands,
they have living pictures, moving in sacred gestures,
gathering force, corresponding with bird conversations,
rising in crescendo, defending in their equal chaos
and innate harmony. One tree opens its branches.
One child remains.

This morning I see upright, shed
what was never mine to own.
Jesus is near like the beauty of eternity, sitting
across from me, touching my knees then holding my hands.
Power that is peaceful and velvety soft as it is
a black hole of mystery, infinity contained.
This morning God is strongest,
cutting the threads of mortal memories, leaving
only the imperishable wind.


The vanishing sequence,
removed like a ghost from
the body whole, now whole
and no longer leaking out
toxic bile of directed hatred
or the spirit-force leaking,
weakening the core, extending
to the appendages. Contained,
aura sealed as it was in the beginning even before
this body, this birth, dreaming in temporal form.

There are no enemies and no significance in battle zones
or winners – it is just a shedding of skin, dead cells
turning into dust, whisked away by a sweep and a soft blow,
a light breeze from a window open, opened,
all parts collected into a singularity. Faith in
the sidewalk turn, in the emptying.

The conquering darkness is placed in a storybook, a tale of long ago
that holds to personal sorrow - raw chafing bonds
of bitterness and regret. Fears become detached,
become a horse in an open field, unclipped from his halter and lead.

It is stronger than charity because
there is no giving, no division
between what is given, what exists and what is received.

It is a dried curled leaf, opened -
the colour cracks and crumbles, its flesh like confetti,
gazed at in awe, dropped and lost, vanishing in luscious folds,
beneath high grassy ground.

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