Gone blind down
the road that leads to
serenity. Cannot find
the open casket of my
awakening or the joy of exile.
Damned and committing to
the poorest of temples –
ruby like a miscarriage,
like a red flag at half mast
the spasm of a studied darkness
emerges in my mouth like a thrill
worth all its pleasure.
Everything but the torment is unclear
and that is my stigmatism, my success
and my heroic danger,
that is the sunny day I never find.
But the foliage of my terrain is too familiar
to be trouble, though my eyes remain as shells
where once a glorious creature flourished.
First and Only
The first time I found you
at the doughnut shop with the perfect beauty of youth and torment
absorbed in every feature and in every movement
of your astounding eyes, I knew I found an eternal friend, a lover for every stage.
The first time you sang I felt a journey,
a hope for fulfillment, a fiery and unexpected happiness.
The first hug we shared on the church steps
as the music played below was like a wave, strong and soothing
rippling along my back and arms.
Our first kiss outside the café, when the rain was about to fall, told me there would be
no number on our days, no greater gift but to feel this – our lips once a part
but now vibrant, like a new being – whole.
Our first laugh together as we drank our coffee told us
the depths we shared could be lightened by one another,
gave us more than important conversation, gave us
a rope to sometimes swing on and to always hold.
Our two children born was more than a bluejay on our shoulders,
more than any joy gone before, bringing us and still bringing us
further into one another’s arms.
We are the blessed ones, the ones blessed by a moving indelible love.
And here I am, overwhelmed by grace,
counting on nothing but on what we have,
strangely at peace like the peace I found
the time I first found you.
When the song started
and the dream was torn from its socket then
placed on the sidewalk,
the light from the window broke
and in came the lost shadow.
I saw that shadow but stared it down
thinking it would only last a short season –
The shadow stayed, made its way behind
bookshelves and old picture frames.
Since then I can’t say what is a reflection and what is truly bright.
The favorite plan has burned in the meadow,
the secondary one has too.
If we are right, we cannot touch it.
If we are wrong, the sum of all our efforts
and discoveries is naught.
I enter the shadow then I too am left without definition.
I found at times there is nowhere else to go but further in,
further obliterating my clarity. That is a grey day for the dream.
Other days God whispers in my ear to hold my head up
and count my gifts. That is the day of perfect weather
when the shadow stays under the bathtub
and tomorrow is fine.
Over the past twenty years Allison Grayhurst’s poems have been published in over 120 journals throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and in the United Kingdom. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published nine other books of poetry and two collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was recently published by above/ground press December 2012. She lives in Toronto with her husband, two children, two cats, and a dog. She also sculpts, working with clay.