Death and other Possibilities - The Poetry of Allison Grayhurst

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Nature It is hard to reconcile.

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The trees turn a stunning orange. The streams run clear and sweet. It is hard to reconcile. Valerie Bacharach. Male, female flirting from tree to tree shrieking notes of love and warning.

Death and Other Possibilities: The Poetry of Allison Grayhurst

In my front yard trees bud delicate green, small white flowers drift among branches. Their beauty blocks my view. My mother shovels oatmeal inside her bowl, thinks the aides hate her, sobs into swollen hands. I ignore her phone call, carry guilt for hours. I love you.

Poetry from Allison Grayhurst

The azaleas in my backyard bloom lavender. The pond in the cemetery still wears its bareness, the water broken by two mallard ducks. Thomas Locicero. Seeing There the tree with its wrinkled torso and malformed arms exults; though headless and legless, it is forever pointing and bowing to the unseen.

Death Is Not The End! - Spoken Word Poetry

I sit, my back against it, trying to see. It hunkers down and takes on all that nature is permitted to give; I complain of every pain that slinks inside my bubble. But the tree is not one to fret the fall, the winter, the animals, the axe. Were it to fall and fold me now, would I suddenly see from some other realm that I was among the fortunate to have been planted there where my roots were free to clutch a place worth clutching? Would not billions from across the world trade their lives for mine? Because I have not wept in waters not clean enough to drink, I have seen.

Louis G. Who but the Insult was the leveler; Deliverer and bedeviler?

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When books, in numberless infinities, cross-fertilize the teeming brain, and warring, vex the Soul with Vanities, and Insults hurtle, Insults rain: Who but the Insult is the leveler; Deliverer and bedeviler? And when we too shall cease to be, like all the Kingdoms of the Past, and groaning, gasping, wrenching free, we bite, at last, alone, the dust: Who but the Insult is the leveler; Deliverer and bedeviler?

When church-bells fill the wandering fields with Love and Fear, the Flesh and Blood of Jesus yields deliverance dear, to them who believe in the Compliment Sinsear. I guessed not all Gospels could so tiresome grow— the same words repeated for twice a thousand years. But middle-aged I have become aware of all the paranoia, boredom, pain, where with lame hands I grope … of empty air and dust, and chances lost, and littlest gain. Yet here I am, my God, where I relax in warmth of heaters, and Thy glowing smile, where words, repeated, securer are than cheques, the Love which then I felt, now lost awhile.

I have never been a fan of the Christian dogma of hell, or of the Christian religion for that matter, but at least Joe puts an original twist on the subject …. Many people, in particular modern Catholics, are scandalized by Dante, particularly by his Inferno, wherein Dante positioned real, historical figures among others which are mythological.

Why does Dante make you such a terrible insult with Hell? Because he hates you? Or because he wishes you better? The critics, the poetry lovers, the professors understand Dante correctly, and so do the artists … the artists, in particular, are right to love Dante so deeply because they know that his honour is a sincere honour to them and they understand him most correctly in that they understand that his intentions are to save them! If people do not like them, people should control their own —damning powers being, most likely, the only supernatural power most people have.

I have been known to observe that there are precious few poems of note written by poets about their mothers. Once again, Joe is the exception to the general rule ….


I was hungry. My Mother gave me to eat. I was thirsty. My Mother gave me to drink. I was naked. My Mother clothed me. I was bedridden. Mother watched and prayed beside me. All in all a simple soul, Mother was most capable, and most clever at what she did well. She was everywhere, she did everything: the heartbeat of our family. Every day she cooked three meals from scratch, proof of her love, for father and all seven of us: her cooking was, in its own right, a unique, genuine cuisine— the proudest thing in her devoted life.

She did the laundry, washed dishes, knitted wool, and scarves with the colors of our favorite soccer club , sewed our clothes, helped us all, with father, with our schoolwork, and often read my writings. Her frugality was a work of exquisite art: nothing was wasted, all scraps of food consumed, and the leftovers went to the birds … With father, she economized fractions of cents, supporting all seven of us on pennies—not a lifestyle that I could ever grow accustomed to; but excellent preparation for publishing poetry ….

Though she cared for the Arts, Mother did not know better: to adjust her vision to feminist viewpoints called for a contradiction to everything she knew, everything she learnt, and was conditioned to be, since early childhood, by her own parents and upbringing; a major readjustment which could have positively unhinged her and unsettled her.

Mum and Dad were happy, a Man and a Woman, permanently in love, always getting along: their Marriage was a sacred Memory of a traditional Past; with no guarantee that modern marriages are happier! The Mother who, with untold self-denial, bore us, bred us, fed us, clothed us, educated us, and every day said prayers with us … is in her grave: but her spirit of prayer knew no bottom, Mass and her Rosary being her favorite charms— her frugal way of maximizing fractions of idle Time! Laying up treasure for herself in Heaven, she lives on in the fragrance of her prayers! May the Divine Will be fulfilled in her Life and in her passing!

And may Saint Mary Christian still pray for all of us below …. Islam and its culture remind me of just that, sublime jazz! As I read on I could hear it in the atmosphere: making me think of sex, at the same time making me think of God, lifting up my mind to higher things! That is precisely what jazz ought to be like, I thought, and I cheered you, old Rumi, who, centuries ago, in the middle ages, understood so well something so primitive, and yet so modern!

More recently, she has a chapbook Currents pending publication this Fall with Pink. She lives in Toronto with her family. Your pale cowardly stride, hiding from intensity as though it were a pathway out. Your miniature thumping soul, bereft of courage or compassion. You chose to seal this circle of darkness and kill the daybreak. I want no part. I want to burn the clocks, wishing we never met, wishing I never trusted your dysfunctional loins.

But I did. You graffiti my house with your emotional crudeness, trading in my clothes to pay homage on the altar of your fears. I pray I have no connection. That I walk this edge focused only on God and the gift of this difficult awakening. From now on, you are nothing. My rage is reborn, re-directed. My pain is a fire that will warm me, warn me for the next time. No one will touch me until they make it through that fire.

No one will know me.