succumb, and I will take your greed of self-knowledge,
all of your knowing, intelligence, reduce it to vapour,
collapse your preconceptions with the tranquility of
the first morning, and you will praise me with the wonder
of all who are newborn, without guise or storages.
Fall down, you say, to your hands and knees.
Look up, you say, to the charity of the sky.
Your being that was before is burned.
You say, love,
and I will be your restitution,
your water, your vortex, your art.
Phoebus Apollo, cascade your light
around the dreary onlookers singing,
singing for the smooth edges of their many cracked bones,
for their children moving off the jagged rocks,
for the perishing of wasps in autumn,
and for the loss of those who pretended their hearts were pure.
Twice I fell away from all I knew.
Twice in one year the earthquake-volcano-tsunami
erupted, sickening my house, my loved ones
and all my belongings.
There I bent like a moist twig,
rose out of the waters, slug-like, cold like
the first touch of hot hot fire.
Once more God’s name is intricate, exact,
washing me aimless in my once
Once more, every bridge is broken, the waters
swell, jut onto, swallowing, the shore.
My fear is a razor frantically cutting.
My panic is plural, multiplying,
tightening its barb-wire around my chest, throat,
and my eyes are hurting, pinprick pain when they open,
my eyes when they open
have gone silent, silent, blank.
eclipsing the Wolf moon.
Time is putrid, embracing me
like an impending slaughter.
Can’t stop the attack no matter
how hard I strain, or promise
to defend the purity of my thoughts.
It will come to no good end, going on
to this end, head in a block wrench,
dreams staggering crippled
out of sight.
Come back before
I smash my back
on a long fall down the stairs,
into the darkness, past purgatory,
past the tragically resigned.
Come on, enough of this fated disaster.
For months now I’ve held my own,
held my head high, praised
every morning with directed action.
I can’t go back, picking through the rotting carnage,
pretending, giving energy to the pretense,
when my energy is sacred, belongs
to you O God and nothing else.
Please save me from this hissing atrocity,
this lethal succubus and the flashing behind
my eyes - the gigantic war inside,
knife wielding, piercing, rein-less
and the dark blood pain.
Please O God and Jesus, breathe your light
into me, fully. Let me love you the best I can.
Is there anything I can do? Is there any chance
for a miracle?
The shades are being pulled. The dungeon steps
are steep and I am heading down,
into that familiar filthy chamber.
Please take my hand, O God, lead me
into the open air and say “Go on your way -
you are mine, no longer a stranger.
No grief, No madness
See yourself with real eyes,
there is no need for useless mythology.
The winter has come, the plants have died.
In spring they will take root and begin
to show promise. Just like you,
nothing magical –
You swell in times of joy
and deflate in times of sorrow,
stitching the inflatable boat.
This is your seat, accept it.
The struggle is the dream,
a hot order of suffering, unnecessary.
Stand up, kiss the Buddha and sit down.
What were you as a man Aristotle?
Bend the mind in fifteen different places
to pull out a particular, that
at the moment of capture,
shifts form and demands further
through definitions, substances,
entities - modeling God
on unity, and evil on chaos.
What genius generates such a mind,
dilemmas purely in abstraction -
a voice swimming in a multi-layered
vortex of ideas and sophisticated vocabulary,
adept at defining, circulating, making movement,
unparalleled density in each paragraph,
in each line of unmatched cerebral dexterity?
So I found you and I don’t know how
to take you in, if I can, but your observations
of elemental spirituality are exciting, and each read
is a like long dive into a living coral reef-barrier -
colours alien, animals sublime - both prey and predators,
proficient in the art of survival, and the energy!
Take me in -
if what I thought would take a week,
takes months, and I sift through
your summits and grooves slowly, tasting
sugar, sour wine, touching
the tips of wings from the flight of many birds zipping
around my atmosphere at capacity - sometimes
as shadows, sometimes showing their bright plumage,
and those times I can glimpse, participate
in your singular reasoning, hear a man’s voice
labouring under metaphysical complexities
and bend my mind to the cyclone of your gospel,
spinning, upside down but in perfect order -
maker of an intellectual sermon,
thinker uncorrupted, unlike your mentor Plato was
with his didactic prejudices, with his what-fors
his where-fors - but you!
piecing out the divine,
making meals, ideals without rigidity,
chaptering out the primitive and the holy combined
with your plying, delving, ricocheting symphony
The Peace of Angels
I will release to receive
the peace of angels.
I will count the changes
as realizations, tip over
the radicalized, and be singular
in my transcendence.
Purpose is a translation. Within
are experiences discarded
or validated by memories.
Floating or being summoned
are counterweights, dangerous to stand
but in the middle.
Loss is a hot vapour - burns as it first rises
and then, no more.
Love is everything - fills a moment
with the breath of eternity.
I will find the colour that draws me
the closest and I will choose it.
I will release the rest, know this surrender
as an exhale, a baptism to witness
that splits the sky.
joined to the glowing trees
and take-away flowers.
My pleasure is broken
like a dream when waking.
Today I vanquish my delusions, eat
the green strawberry and circle
my loneliness, ghostly but growing
bones and ligaments.
My choice feels like a crime
when there are only some I can help save,
when my soft embrace must yield to stiff arms
and August has just begun -
no shade, no signs of rain.
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 1300 poems published in over 500 international journals. She has 21 published books of poetry, five collections and six chapbooks.