3 Poems by Allison Grayhurst

Hard As Cain

Against the down and heron white
the earth lifts up its collection plate.
Rivers and forest are overflowing with
amputees - a million voices nibbling away the sky.
Sour death against the dried thistles
and clouds are heavy with death's pungent odour.
You draw the iron, you draw the fist
until at last you too will weep for the birds upon
the hill.
            Everything's making too brutal a sense
            as the yellow lawns are sprinkled.
You cannot give in to the ruling sun nor to the misfits
and courageous. Orphaned cubs and kids blank
with disease, ruined by the sanctity of your pocket.

Heaven is in a song. You strike a match
and burn all instruments with a shrug and a wave
of your formidable hand.

In The Day

In the morning, cured,
claimed and finally welcoming the wind.
In the early afternoon,
assembling the fragments of my faith
like the bones of a bird and then giving it the key
to fly.
In the evening, close to dark,
hair-clipping all dishevelled expectations,
pin-pointing a place to lay down, to rest and witness the uneventful view.
In the night time, quietly kissing my children,
speaking of a golden tomorrow with my husband
but feeling the weight of one-more-day without.
In the bed, almost asleep, checking and re-checking
memories and failures, then unbuttoning to bathe
in the numerous blessings laid before me
this day, this year
                        deep in darkness
                                                no matter.

The Quiet That Comes

The quiet that comes
at a fork-in-the-road, quiet
as we listen to the direction of the breeze
and hope for a voice to bellow forth at our queue,
is the quiet of waiting, the time between
pressing-play and music.
The quiet that haunts and never leaves
in times of action, just stays hidden like a spider
behind the bookshelf, slowly emerging on the dark carpet for a clear view
is the quiet of awareness.

The quiet that consumes
like a poison steadily, in droplets
ingested or like a picture of a lost loved one
that follows from room to room, is the depths of a pit
where our future is carved on.
The quiet that heals after the hell
like a promise of spiritual safety,
is the quiet of peace, a gift for where ever circumstances
lead - a show of mercy after
the acceptance of our defeat.