depth and dark intensity
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by Allison Grayhurst


My Flower


A strange cup of blending flavours,

expelling creatures from the side of the house.

A gift is given, a gift is received

as God makes good the sickness of the spirit

by giving equal strength to bare the need.

The money comes in its perfect place,

goes and brings my faith to the floor, then again

arrives to give relief to our hungry household.

My temperament is flanked by despair, rage

wonder and belief and so it will always be as the years

walk over me and I walk over them.

I hold these cards. I hold them without decision

or seeing another way to stand. I must come to peace

with my colours, lift my umbrella and love the rain.

It is my stance

that will-power or therapy cannot change.

In waves the darkness spins around. With only light and light alone

the miracles of God abound. I call to you. I am

owned by you. Your mercy is my mercy. At your core I

find my womb and my stretching ground. Help me to be still

and therefore to be free. Let my love for you overtake

and these disappointments that plague, help me to see they will never leave

but your love will heal and the healer

will not condemn.



a line, (a blue one)




             Bleed and cup my blood
into the robe of your ever-after.
Be on your feet and bark at the joy
that lit fire and now is nowhere.
             Spider in my sink, spider that is holy.
I want to kill you, but I will not. Today,
I empathize with your scurrying fear
and how you dangle, almost flying.
             How long must I sleep beside the lizards, with
their devouring claws and eclipsing cold scales?
             In a river, the laundry was made. Soft and thunderstruck,
you are in an open yard, counting rooftops
and dewdrops simultaneously, keeping in time
with the innate music that saturates your origami mind.
             Breastkisses, belllykisses. It started and it is
rushing, restless and rained-on. You know a place
where traffic will not find us, where fingertips are never afraid
of fondling, and noise is floating overhead like a weather balloon.
             Insanity scrapes the insides of shells until all flesh is gone,
consumed by a dead-hour echo of a pulse.
Step on me, I want to be stepped on, torn
apart by a moth. Gritty nails and wrinkled throats.
             You give pressure to the cord. I am
losing myself to the undercurrent surfacing -
thwarted by my own aggression and desires growing
a thousand eyes.
             Bridges everywhere I will not cross because I have crossed
into a more real role. I don’t smile unless I feel it. I feel it
hardly looking at pictures. But at you,
it is different, always established that I will fall backwards
into the water for you and you will be warm for me,
lap at my earlobes, under my knee caps, morphing your
temporal needs with my own. Faith, you said,
cannot be a part-time affair.
             You land on my petals, demonstrate
vulnerability, wise in the ways of how to gently land
and how to bud at zero speed.



a line, (a blue one)


Small Thing


Small chaos

surrounded by the plain,

brings flavour to the ordinary,

brings dance to the immobilized

and pattern to the monotone.

Small thing glistening

like a heart inexperienced in hope

but wanting the privilege.

Small pain attached to the nerves

slicing away all good pleasure,

making solace impenetrable.

Small thimble that holds the glory

and spills over onto the soft ground.

Small night that doesn’t have an imprint

but has ability for irreversible change.

Small window I look through

seeing what is small

and wanting nothing big.



a line, (a blue one)




Those years of voyaging
too long beneath your axe-shelter
on foreign terrain . . .

Those years of you with
your spiritual arrogance, your perfect face and
careless conceit, all behind me
now like a madness hatched and slaughtered.

Though I try to stand straight on the path
of forgiveness, in memory, I rebleed
my muzzled cry. And anger as deep
as your self-confidence bridles my
heart again in that old ache, that sick
humiliation; your vindictive laughter, your
manipulative smile.

From you, the cut neck, the finger pointing.
From you, something
to recover from.



a line, (a blue one)




Your voice is always frantic, shooting like bullets

randomly into the air. Your eyes are always electric,

tottering on insanity’s indefinable edge. At the corner,

I see you. Myself, wanting to avoid the face I once believed in,

wanting to slow and vanish before you lift your head and see me -

bright and unaware of the hesitation I harbour - pounds in my pockets,

I have nothing to give you but trite formalities and the illusion of ease.

I have been finished with you long ago. I have been raised up

from my desperation. I carry my lamp, fuelled by a trust in something better.

Your son, like you, has a beautiful smile. But in no way can he hide

his drowning - lingering for years on fear’s full shore, serving his dark mistrust

and the worm that he keeps under his bed.

Bless you both. Bless you for the green grass you tried to grow.

You reached, but never far enough to make a difference.

Bless you both. I have no hatred. I have no longing. I have only




a line, (a blue one)


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