(Photo of Allison Grayhurst)
This child will come
like the spinning of a maypole -
strong colours entwined
and all her blood in unison
with the sun.
She will be a glorious bird,
sure of her place on this earth,
sure of the love that moves from
each breathing lung to the unseen stars,
tied to it all like water is to the shore,
like a night breeze coming to soothe
the summer day's scorch.
She will be set free by her heart's
irregular beat, unique in her beauty and
in her strength.
This child will come, welcomed
like a prayed-for dream.
We will hold her and know her -
our highest visions united then separated
into an infant being.
The Gentle Seed
The gentle seed
has changed face and made
its being heard.
Thickened veins, oversized
breasts and hands that no longer sing
are reflections of the pulsing heart
of one who has not learned
the ways of the human cry.
No voice but the kick and turn, but
a destiny yet to begin.
The gentle seed
that has grown within me
is like candy on the tongue,
like fruit to the green insects and
spring to the marigold, is a no-turning-back
and a waiting-to-behold.
The gentle seed
that will forever be part of my own,
has turned death on its side,
showing me peace in the remains
of my burnt garden.
Of Fears and Thankfulness
Lines of dreams.
Inside the dream
I hold us close
though fear the passing
of our smiles.
Soon it will be like yesterday
never was, like all our
waiting and despair will be only
a mild memory left behind.
Soon you will be proud of your life
and know the taste of mercy in all
its natural splendour.
And I myself, with child, with you,
want us only to remain as close as
these nine years have brought us,
blending as a black cat with the darkness.
And though we both have lost irreplaceable loves,
both have felt the thunderbolt of death, on our knees,
beneath God's greatness, there will be only sunshine
for a while, a coming out with sorrow in one hand
and beautiful faith in the other. I see the plan:
We will welcome in
the good change and move into the future
like two inseparable fireflies, each dependent
on the other's flickering light.
In The Fire
With blood I cried,
I cried for you,
for this knocking on my ribs
and for a loss like the formless
angels would know.
I cried with panting breath
and wanted this and all life to go
into the picture frame, away
from the 'very real.'
I held my knees and felt the humid
air encase me like a crushing prong.
You moved in violent spin,
making your presence known.
I felt my inadequacies and my ugliness
like cold metal pressed against my throat.
I reached hysteria, then came out into the calm,
seeing my lover's eyes in the small space
between my fears. He took my hand and
I could breathe again. I could feel you were eased
and I heard a gentle whispering, saying
together as a family we three will live and grow.
This grief stalled in my throat
rises in small amounts
like a split seed moving from
earth to air.
I remember a warm protection
that I will never again know,
or see the fireworks of his grounded mind
fill the atmosphere with so much colour.
Time is like the moon in summer,
not so real when seen beside the day's strong sun.
But in winter, the moon is explanation -
is the weaving thread of barren understanding.
I think he must be near, after all
the wound still flows. Today eight months
have gone, and all my old hopes are altered
though renewed. I have nothing to give him,
no telephone declaration can I make in the passion
of true gratitude, or say why? to his passing shadow.
There is only this I am left with -
this sting of still raw shock, and all the memories
my love can hold.
The ringing bells,
the stone on high
that falls like a swan
with broken wings
are things that hound me
with a chill and send my peace reeling.
I wait for you under the arches -
May, June, July until November.
I am a silk sheet changing to a
woolly blanket - breasts and tummy large
like mother-icon, and the end is
a far way off. To meet your tiny eyes
is what contains me beyond the fear
of crazy labour and the pure moon
that swallowed my name. This is earth
finally, complete with no open edges.
Like another country's familiar animal are my
swollen ankles and weighted walk.
Sometimes I am bewitched by this declaration
of my mortal being and sometimes, trapped
in the change like a cat behind closed windows.
Will I be good to you, little one? Will it be
natural, our song and our rain? You come
without earned ugliness, wriggling inside.
We breathe as one, though still
to each other's heart and form we remain
If We Are So Lucky
If we are so lucky to know your face,
to touch your newly made skin,
to read to you in the mornings
and go walking in the afternoon . . .
If we can be complete under November winds,
maybe the hole my father's death
left within will heal, enough
so the sun won't pass me over.
In the hope of you and your perfect
dependency, we make meals at the counter,
lye together on the coach, touched by
vague expectation and awe. We are here
together at the throne of mystery.
Here, as my body stretches to welcome you.
If we are so blessed to smile into your eyes,
to hold you after midnight, then my father's voice
I could hear in waking wonder
as he says - be happy and carry on.
Thick and frantic rapids
moved us to believe
that the natural law is sensual.
We walked to islands of
greeny coverage, placed our
hands together and eyed the
We watched the rocks
with their majestic edges and strange white
colours as the water cupped them in its
thin transparent palms, promising to awaken
a memory of primal wonder.
The gulls speckled the cliffs as the
red-winged bird remembered its song.
We stood and stared at the heavy
waters falling, and in its thunderous
movement, we joined - contained
by our true love.
A Month Before Birth
Prepared to swing the branches,
steady like in days of another year,
when time was mine to pull apart,
to drive depression from my sphere.
But bluish grey is all I see through
these pregnant eyes. I see a change I cannot
cope with, and separation between those I love.
I see my dead father in every footstep and
wish to fade like the autumn leaves
into colours of gold and fire before I become
the earth's seasonal meat, before I am
further gone down the road of inevitable fate
where I lose over and over the letters of my name,
where my core is chipped and isolation
is my sole companion.
I don't see how the clock can turn or how I
can be stronger yet against this undertow.
But I bend and bend, and have not
broken, and soon
a child will come.
Throw in the towel.
Throw in the left side of your brain.
Remember now to speak against
the polliwogs infiltrating your dreams.
A dozen ships have sunk under the banner
of righteous revenge. Still, people
are talking about the end, as if
such a thing was predictable.
The end will come but not with wings of fire
or because of the clocking of the millennium.
Children are new. Antelopes are running
unharvested fields. Death has no beauty, though
some will tell you different, some who have never
touched lips with Death or felt Its cold, eternal hold.
There are patterns in the fallen leaves that none but
the birds can know. Wait now for winter, for something
immaculate to cover up, then to renew, the old.
We Walk Again
We walk again, becoming
the watery breath of lovers
touched by the same vision.
We feed our skins again
on the shifting flame
that burns all natural affliction.
We kiss again on home ground,
and do the things of togetherness,
full of letters and sighs and the bones
of our ancestry.
We stand under the umbrella,
nearing the darkness but staying alive.
We release all secrets
drenched in the soft light
of a fluid and tender joy.
© Allison Grayhurst
Bio: Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Three of her poems have been nominated for Sundress Publications “Best of the Net” 2015, and she has over 880 poems published in more than 390 international journals and anthologies. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published twelve other books of poetry and seven 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 December 2012. In 2014 her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series. In 2015, her book No Raft – No Ocean was published by Scars Publications. More recently, her book Make the Wind was published in 2016 by Scars Publications. As well, her book Trial and Witness – selected poems, was published in 2016 by Creative Talents Unleashed (CTU Publishing Group). She is a vegan. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com