Monday, August 17, 2020




Ration out the unified soul,

make it many instead of one.


See the breakdown of what is holy,

split into particles

uncomplimentary, wasted.


Trust in the brute because he has

no self-doubt, no self-examination,

Because it is easy to sacrifice

autonomy for certainty

and slice the swan’s wing

for monetary gain.


Before the circle became a line, some

nutshells still held their core - arguments were

for the sake of reflection and deeper knowledge.

When the circle became a line, tyrants were given

free-reign - the mutual exchange

between fear-and-getting replaced morality.

The ones of lights passed away

passed over their passion, replacing

faith with conspiracy theories.


Describe this gift of life.

What does it mean to you?

There are many waves,

one water

equality within the hierarchy

value in no-control.


Death is automatic

but choice

          no God

          yes God

is always


         an open door.






Open Wide



On the table, the whole of humanity

burning with fear, this onslaught

of harm, but love is not the victim.

All who have a soul within them, end up

rising up to meet the challenge of justice

and compassion.


The few who died long before their death

are now indisputably barren

and frighteningly corrupt.


Acts of mercy, acts of grace –

all of us deciding

which side we believe in.

All of us are now citizens, heroes of our charge,

children of the divine, effective, more

than helpless, feeding off God’s mercy, day to day

hour upon hour - held hostage to our inner world,

stripped of superficiality and distraction,

called to claim the slaughter we are accomplices to -

to choose the resting-nest of gratitude.


We are all asked to perform doubtless music,

formulate our morals and digest them

like a cure we have no choice but

to adhere to


for the horseman is at our tails and his shadow

is hard upon our shoulders.











Strength has changed

appearance, ends with a mask,

begins with food of only a humane source.


In the late winter I built my nest,

made a cradle from branches and waited.

Now that spring is over and no offspring came,

I consider this cozy island a curse,

feel the heat approaching and have no joy to give.


Upstream, blood soaked in debt and weapons

I cannot wield, weapons

on the floor, by my feet, too heavy to lift.

I embrace the dread like I once did grief – inhabiting

my days with failed effort, trying to dull transgressions,

manage my Sisyphus rock

– push for the prize that never comes – push,

believing it will, knowing it won’t.


My barren longing, unremarkable, repetitive.

I would change my name, my shape, if it would help,

grow plumage where there is none, but my energy is crushed

with clinging, and the freedom that lords before me

like an oasis is only finished fiction,

a book of great magnitude, but

foiled of substance and lasting nourishment.









By the whirling heap of fate

a new being is born – one that

watches, moves and holds.


One that stands without future plans

or regrets but takes two days to make

a decision and then sticks with it, in spite of

contrary opinion.


Blood on the knees, covering the unborn joy

that does not know if it can withstand the first breath,

but still kicks its way out of the womb.


There is nothing easy here on this planet,

its sharp beauty cuts and bends everything living

to the cruel unpredictable violence of survival.

Collapse, famine, or warm nest out of the rain –

the same parallel process of dying and becoming.


Standing noble when in weakness,

or succumbing to slavery

is the only vantage point choice.


Touch your eyes,

touch an outburst of sorrow,

touch beautiful geography underfoot.


Faith is a house, takes you in

to live sometimes as part of the furniture,

sometimes as a carpenter,

making furniture, sweeping,

making more furniture.







Mercy without Miracles and

Miracles without Mercy


A day 2,500 years ago

and life was the same, struggling

to understand God and fate

and how the stars may hold

prediction but lack all means

of mercy. For mercy

was an evening without power, was weak

as was seen

the majesty of forgiveness.


It was before Jesus came as sibling, as friend,

revealing the depths of God’s grace, the redemption

in surrender and late evening devotion, breathing

with the direction of the wind, open to hardships

as to miracles, orchestrated by a loving hand.


First God was many in our minds,

segregated, dissected, tangled with human

hypocrisies, pride and jealousies.

Then God was one in our minds,

higher, mightier than death, closer still,






let us hold God in our arms, be held like

a tiny flower head is held by a child’s hand,

cupped, yellow buttercup, glowing,

treasured by God, each of us,

a necessary and loved creation.


Back then, even great minds glimpsed

such profound greenery,

but could not complete the joy.


Jesus is

humanity’s completion with God,

connection, void of complications,

like an infant’s first smile or that infant,

growing, learning,

holding out her arms,

saying your name.

Water Wings



Taking off my water wings


maybe in a year or two,

maybe in ten

I will front crawl

fast to the edge, go under, somersault,

push off and speed,


or climb the high diving board,

up the steep metal steps, gripping

tightly, half-way there to the edge, three quarters then

race and leap, arms outstretched, thumbs locked and

going down, hitting the water fast, gliding across

the whole of the deep end.


Letting go of spiritual infancy, primitive

magic-tricks that sometimes worked,

most of the time, didn’t,

to soothe my anxiety, needing

the evidence of God, instead

of trusting faithfully, fully

- water wings off, front-crawl free.






Wind – Marrow – Bone



Death comes softly

like a small wave or

a blanket, lessening

the stroke. Slowly

the energy leaves and also

the will power to not let it go.

Death is gentle as a spider’s steps

or like the innate laws of decency

methodically, incrementally, ignored.

Death, I rejoice in you, as I didn’t know

how easy your touch was or how

pain and weakness arrive like your welcome mat.

Unless you arrive violent, but then, that too,

because it is quick, is merciful.

Bravery on the altar where you are worshipped

where you demand every part of a soul unseen to be seen,

equal parts of cowardice and courage, the darkening whine

and the warrior who makes it up the stairs

when the body’s strength is but a secret, barely

audible, straining to be heard.

Death you are tender,

you ready us for the quiet nod - yes

or the scream that ripples across the ocean - yes!

You make sure to narrow us completely

so you are the only way out, and we want out,

we want you – like a lover - Death,

lover of the drowned, the burned,

the cancer ward occupants, the accident fallen

and illness that compresses the lungs,

topples over the perching bird.

In the end, we all want you,

jealous lover of the living,

you take us all

either with a breaking virility or

smother us in a maternal fold.


Beautiful Death,

I have come close to you

and I learned

you are made of love,

embracing completely,


in the final surrender.

Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Five times nominated for “Best of the Net”, 2015/2017/2018, she has over 1260 poems published in over 500 international journals. She has 21 published books of poetry, six collections and six chapbooks. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay;

Helpless I do not know if good intentions prevail among the elected, among the appointed, leaving me apprehensive that the fate ...