Wednesday, March 17, 2021




In a murky limpid place

you speak to me, vanquish my

anxieties with your radiant flame,

speak and say

the circumference is the sphere, is the line

and the space beyond

the sphere.


Cruelty is natural, mercy takes effort,

choice, consciousness.

Accepting mercy takes even more, a leap

out of the perpetual karma-shadows, a daring

to be without a past or a people or pebble stones

in your shoes.


You speak and say

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.






Episodes, cascading



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

spiritual certainties.


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.






Down Stream



Savage poison

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.









Unyielding heat

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.

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