Allison Grayhurst – Four Poems
For My Son
You are before me –
a simple light, a vibrant light
void of the world’s grey core.
You are beautiful enough, my son –
miles of green terrain surround you.
You whistle, and the strangers beside us
are held captive by your song.
I will not abandon you,
though you fear the anguish of loneliness,
and you feel the uncommon strain
of a raw dimensional heart.
You bring me joy.
I have watched you drown
in a stupor of unharnessed emotions,
and I have seen you laugh at the stars –
you, so much brighter
than the whole of their celestial countenance.
This Love We Hold
This was the endurance sought,
moving without sorrow away from
spear and shield, loving again
chained to the most-impossible-dream
and yet surviving unveiled,
with each envy rectified, removed.
Happy are the flowers that pierce
with swift vibrancy the
down-trodden eye. Happy are the flowers
that briefly shine then suddenly collapse
without sacrifice or a moan.
Never did I hope to own a stone
so cold, spread across my flesh
like a darkened shell. Never did I know
a void so dull and so insatiable.
Never ascending like I ascend now in a gathering
of clouds that eclipse the birds and mirror
on the lake so grey.
I went walking and knelt before the trees.
Wise days of youth and fresh love that
made us bare of questions, made us sick
from such intensity. I held your presence
in my breath and breathed my spirit
free. Freed from phantoms awakened,
freed from the pendulum tide.
Free to outspeak the wind
and ride beyond the parasite of time,
beside you and sustaining
Grandmother is reciting
a rhyme from Indian lore,
in the evening on the sofa as her
90 year old mouth loosens in the firelight,
and I am crowned with knowing
that here, beside her is a warmth
I never before could drink,
that beside her, other than strength and conviction,
is a softness that journeyed on in spite of
her husband’s death, that lives in the motions
of her caramel hands clasped on her lap
in the evening on the sofa as this Christmas day sun
shimmers its last ray of savoury gold.
I love you under water
in the crescent cracks of rocks
where the roots of the rose begin,
inside the weather’s tailspin
where you colour my sleep
with your dance, and loving you
is worth more than I could ever offer.
I love you beside the coral reefs, even when
the serpent and shark are near. I love you
in the sandbox as we make our miracles
daily, pointing at every passing bird.
I love you with yesterday’s dinner
in the fridge, before and after the starlight falls.
I love you in each bubble we blow, in every fever we share,
and in our synchronized laughter, gracing
this mother and daughter sphere.
Author’s Statement on Beauty
True beauty is an experience of awe, it is a momentary recognition where the interconnectedness of everything becomes clear as it sits on the edge of chaos, of knowing the chaos and the precarious tilt towards it, inside of it, but also knowing that chaos for what it is – an illusion.
It is a transient intimacy with truth, when the layers of life are exposed, revealed in a completed majesty. It is a fleeting experience, a halt in existence that our temporal selves cannot maintain. It arrives unexpectedly, when looking at the face of a child, an old person’s hands, an animal’s tenderness to another outside of its kind. Or when knowing the starlight patterns, forest root fungal patterns, brain electrical patterns are one in the same patterns, that mountain ridges and heartbeat ridges join in identical rhythms, that what is in the forest is in the branch is in the leaf, and that singing is simply opening up, letting in, then letting out.
Beauty is being in love. It catches our breath, brings peace, uncovering perfect symmetry before dissipating with a thinning intensity. It shields the heart in hope, it is a glimpse of God, is bigger than dying, than death, though denies nothing. It shocks us with a sense of synchronicity, and for a moment, seeing it, we return to the source, restored.
Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has twelve published books of poetry, seven collections, nine chapbooks, and a chapbook pending publication. She lives in Toronto with her family. She is a vegan. She also sculpts, working with clay. More at: www.allisongrayhurst.com.