Poetry by Allison Grayhurst

Allison Grayhurst

When will it be?
The white bird says now,
the backyard sleepers, eaters,
say now
and the souls that left
and the souls that arrived
are deep in the immediacy
of an overpowering change
that will guide the current into the sea,
a coral reef barrier prosperity
a summer like a summer never
before -- blessed, pulsing with an infant
eternal song, glorifying the dissolving shapes,
the empty spaces now made complimentary,
now made into a rippling harmony singing.
When will it be?
It is, says the voice. 
Close your eyes. Open them
and see.


The end is almost here,
rises like a blessing 
like a storm, demanding
my commitment,
to go inside, hide and pray.

The end overthrows
the engrained pattern, arrests
the spread of illness and holds
the future like a tiny turtle in an egg,
struggling out of its shell.

The end is an escape route, a mind
losing consciousness, asking to be caught
before the body lands on unpolished
concrete floors, deprived of a buffer, asking
for a soft act of grace, holding, a reminder
that love exists even under the executioner’s hood.

The end is happening like forgiveness happens,
a miracle stronger than duty and grief, 
strongest of all efforts -- 
a clean slate, consolidating 
each action, blanketing over 
every direction 
to and away from home.


I am tackling my circumstances
void of myth or the fallacy
of wishes.
I am trying to see straight even
if I must murder my own liberty,
harpoon my freedom and go under.

I am not sure what capacity I am asked
to carry. I see the escape road but I cannot
take the road if it leaves my loved ones
in jeopardy -- parachute strings cut, plane
door open at high altitude.
So I must go back, bend over, pick up sticks, stones,
ache all over, unable to sleep or find a resting position
without pain. Unless

the gift of mercy comes, soon, today,
supplies unload, compassion arrives and strips me
of this brutal incremental starvation and I can
stand as I stand today,
unencumbered by the load, unashamed
of my joy -- no void of debt and doom 
slicing through my budding strength. 
If the gift comes it will come as grace,
undeserved but a fact of God’s great glory,
my house will be furnished and the way forward
will be cleared, blessed, at last and finally

Allison Grayhurst has more than 1300 poems published in over 500 journals, and 25 poetry books. She lives in Toronto.



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