These four poems by Allison Grayhurst confront and expose the struggle of an individual up against a chaotic, often violent and senseless world. Through the depths of that struggle a way forward, if not redemption, is found…
by: Allison Grayhurst
Visceral The voice breaks down into tiny fragments, each filled with a unique harmony, some clash in reckless bawls, others fill with a steady fever. The voice collects itself, gains frenzy like a stallion no one could tame or mount. The voice claims death, as even in death it will not be defeated or subdued, but will grow like waves in a storm, crash and come back, rising, swallowing the shore as it wakes. The voice is a raging giant wanting fleshy dream, rejecting limitations, leadership from a reasoning baritone. The voice outweighs imprisonment, carnivorous oppression and the sighs of consuming cancer. The voice is tall for its years. The fabric it wears is from the entrails of fate, from the sinews of predictive design. It has no cause and effect, as it shouts out its riddle, its savage roar.
Slingshot Itself, lips high off the ground. Answer twice and then no more. Retreat, understand all the world is a grave and still, sprouting. This journey, this climb collecting the many shades of intertwining foliage. Half-moon is enough moon to see. Dump yard turns into a mouse’s home, a place to raise her offspring, find food, with many secure hiding holes. Flesh is a revelation, is the end result of pure spirit sparkling. Tomorrow we will know why today we feel lacking when we find our watering-hole, a reservoir garden, glorious labour, cascading.
Triage The fragility of failure, sunset over the ruined city and life never the flowering garden it could be. All is captured by death, after leaving heaven and when returning - decay and fear and hope of eternity in spite of the silence. A wilderness of anxiety overtaking the summit, suffocating the interior with its acid juices, following the chain link until the grave. Waste and enormous hunger, rejecting reality to keep sane. This is no way to continue, no life of rapid transitions or stepping out of the mire onto solid land. Here, the temperature is predictable, the yawning pit of disaster is always expanding, nearing and nearing. So take this last bit of courage stand on the edge and let yourself go, know what it is to be truly radical, risking the fall, committed to the end result.
Initiation Punctured on the last step, from the last step. No openings, breath holes. Rigid boards, brick work for miles, and infestation in the corners, under floorboards. Call me a dreammaster, someone to remind me who owns me and how much I am actually worth. The landscape begins, first in ice-cream tones of frosted blue and whites, then into a rich mustard yellow and animated dark purple. Seeing this on the cold walls, under false lights and a dreary atmosphere, consuming, watching duties done, lacking eloquence or personal concern. Guide me into your soundproof room, tempt me with insanity, then let my accusations be muffled until they are inaudible. A clean bill of health, health in every salutation. Days spent spawning music and shrines to whatever passes as holy. Days showered with talkative sparrows, no spots left to rot or grow a putrid stench, just small spillages, here, there, easily wiped, not worthy of being recalled or inducing a lengthy tortured conversation.
Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Five times nominated for “Best of the Net,” she has over 1300 poems published in over 500 international journals. She has 25 published books of poetry and 6 chapbooks. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay.