Too bad you got burned
on the spell of worldly accomplishments
and comparison, that you fell
into the snowbank and drenched yourself through.
Friendly false eyes in the flame,
in the sweating ruthless ocean - you lost
the hand that held you to truth and the longing
for a deeper betterment.
But now you are home, proclaiming
the invisible as your building blocks - piled high
and mortared together strong against every storm.
You almost got pulled into the everlasting pit, fooled
by fool’s gold, but you reached the upper edge and
lifted yourself to a safe landing.
Eat from your bowl and be grateful.
Everything you asked for is already yours.
Walk away from the party,
shake hands, give uncommitted hugs,
then read by the dim light, knowing your true riches,
knowing all that you treasure is complete, thriving
in this compact tried-and-true family
and in the landscape of your evolving solitude.
Jesus in the Marrow
You arrived again, reviving
the groove, clearing
out the debris of lingering
madness and anxiety, brilliant
blazing again with your miracles,
your compassion that leaves me breathless
with joy, surges within with affection, protecting,
feeling like a did when I was a child
and my father walked with me on his shoulders
and I could see higher, further than ever before,
safe and moving, knowing
I would never be harmed, never abandoned,
knowing the freedom of a child’s fearlessness,
trust in the strength of the one who loves me,
trust in the power of the one who carries me like
a queen, like someone special,
unshackling my imagination, restoring my vigour
You arrived again and I remember
all of it, all of your love,
dazzling, perfect, saturating
my seat at the table, overflowing.
You Heard Me
You heard me speaking
and you shook the floor,
loosening the dust and devastating
sadness until that floor
was dismantled and replaced
by a stronger, easier-to-clean
platform, until the miracle
rose unpolluted in a continual
swelling, sinking the darkness for good,
calling brother to sister to the truth
of your perfect temple, worshiping the work
of love, relieving the weight of chaos.
You heard me and I know you are perfect,
more real than the burrowing fears inside my head,
more powerful than the churning sickness of
anxiety that overtakes my gut, overtakes and takes
me away from you.
You who heard me,
through paralysis and poison,
through my weak overtures, ripped away
my unhealthy accumulations, cleansing
my desires that missed the mark,
until I saw and committed
to one voice, one priority, listening.
healed in the eyes
of a tender receiver, blessed
by mercy and the promise of perpetual drink.
Soft, silky warmth beside me
fragile and more precious than
any perfectly-cut gemstone.
Faith once mangled now restored
to a richer glory than introduced before.
Solitude in communion - God inside
a gentle touch, mutual bond and loneliness appeased.
Sweet waters of fate receive me,
my neck is stretched high,
my arms are a basket.
Let the unassuming reign,
place me secure in this place
where the private and the meagre
are honoured, quietly
This killer yoke
was pieced together from another century,
enforcing brutal labour,
swollen joints from overload
and depression swamping the upper ground.
You know it has always driven the hunt,
from your parents’ childhood homes
in Indian monsoons and Polish Februarys -
dishwashing, factory working, 4 a.m. typing,
deciding to plot an unexpected ending,
yet still, following form.
You know you can get out only
if you stop defending all of its creation, only
if you drain your devotion and broaden what
you are and are not permitted to be.
You can get out, flashing, golden-sea eyes
flashing and leaping in celebration of the door touched
and opened, the re-wiring that burns every wire
and sets down the players
and the playing board.
Do this emptying.
Trust it is done and it will be done.
You can hold your shoes in one hand
and your truth in another,
put on those shoes and yield to a direction
Mark it down
Great joys approach
like weeping harmonies in music,
relief in the course-correction,
astonishment in the manifold beauty.
Decorations placed around the table.
Declarations for devotion riveting
through the backyard garden where
everything overflows with abundance,
is a tapestry of young blood frolicking.
Shared surges of strong faith between us,
because our love is never ending
because the loudest boom has exploded
altering the vibration here and forever,
a higher octave, a mountain sailed over,
a vision walked into, gallant and kind -
to fully bathe our bodies, open a fortune box
so we can step away from restrictions, step into
a beautiful anticipation.
I can see my mind in victory
over the clinging contaminating thoughts
that used to spiral in a vigorous loop
through my days even when in joy,
even when hearing a tambourine tune
rise up, happy and fresh.
Now those thoughts struggle to stand,
abandoned in a desert vast
and widowed. Dehydrated unto death
they sometimes whisper, but barely have a hold
or exert a reasonable authority.
My shame has packed its belongings and left.
My self-pity has reduced its wound
to a pin-prick along with my bitterness.
Gratitude is the only dream worth feeding.
I will feed it and not be overwhelmed
or react to desperate hungry
rumblings, not react in desperation
to what is lacking on the canvas, on the alter,
or in my understanding and this growing surrender.
Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Five times nominated for “Best of the Net,” she has over 1375 poems published in over 525 international journals. She has 25 published books of poetry and 6 chapbooks. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay.