Strips of clouds,
pink-grey like a snail snatched
from its shell. So many days I waited, waiting
like that snail for permanent protection, waiting
as an activity to delve fully into.
Nirvana was coming. I saw it traced
on the dated sidewalk, etched on the curvy lustre
of a raccoon’s still spine and in the devotion
of the rock dove waiting for its one decided love.
Nothing was ever enough to saturate my yearning.
Even for a moment, to remember a time before birth, before
the furious fluttering engine ulcerated my stomach lining or before
my sanity became a soft noise, fading. I could hear it
like a basic desire I was forced to forgo - sex, unquenched - like that
but even more. Like a crinkled cloth left on the subway floor,
I waited - dry, malformed, avoided.
The basement air is grooming me for an alien awakening,
maybe fluorescent, possibly ordinary, but better than
this sitting, tipping sideways on a broken chair.
Salt lamp on, a little fireplace or miniscule sunshine shining,
crumbling between my fingers, waiting
no more, moving at last
to another corner.
Blown like a grain of sand from a hollow twig.
It is beautiful to be blown.
Blown, into the winding forward thrust
where good happens with the movement
of each day and the fire-cracker burn
is a burn of celebration.
Carried through the radar-stream
into an easeful position where
the goal is getting nearer at a slow pace
and old patterns are disintegrating,
remembered but not renewed.
The line in front
is the line crossed
then left to rot under
the blazing day. The other side
is not to be feared but held
up like a delicate, appreciated toy.
The way out the door
is the door your father gave you when he died
and placed death’s rattle under your pillow
for the rest of your days. It is the door that won’t let you forget
how short a season life is.
The chain around your neck
is a chain of small but frequent miracles
that has sustained and held poverty at bay.
It is to be counted on when the last of the nectar
has been spilled on the rug and indifference consumes
the eyes of friend and kin like roundworm, there
even in the most difficult of barren
Bio:Over the past twenty years Allison Grayhurst's poems have been published in over 120 journals throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and in the United Kingdom, including Parabola (summer 2012). Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published nine other books of poetry and two collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was recently published by above/ground press December 2012. She lives in Toronto with her husband, two children, two cats, and a dog. She also sculpts, working with clay.