Never Holy by Allison Grayhurst

You asked for a light
at the end of the tunnel
and was told
there is no light at the end
because you are the light
guiding your escape.
You are the living fresh-water fountain
you seek, the high rock in the ocean.

Then you were told there is no tunnel,
no distance between the dark and light.
There is pain and loyalty to that pain
and false hopes that claim us
like a deceitful friend plotting betrayal.
You were told to be glad at daybreak, when the battle
ensues. Against the rain, don’t have any secrets,
even let your own death be revealed.

You were told never stop longing for the clarity
of your spirit, give no one up to the slaughter,
eat only what does not scream or thrash.
If there is a high wall, climb.
If a steep incline, find a rope, tie a rope
and edge your way gently down.

You were told to make bread, give a loaf away
and you might never go hungry.
And even if you do go hungry, then hunger
is the season you are called to endure.

You asked for light at the end of the tunnel
and was told
six more days, then seven – open sail –
eventually the wind will wake, spare you
the cause of your consuming dread.

©2019 Allison Grayhurst


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Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Four of her poems were nominated for “Best of the Net” in 2015/2018, and one eight-part story-poem was nominated for “Best of the Net” in 2017. She has over 1200 poems published in more than 475 international journals and anthologies. In 2018, her book Sight at Zero, was listed #34 on CBC’s “Your Ultimate Canadian Poetry List”.

Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published sixteen other books of poetry and six collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012. In 2014 her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series. In 2015, her book No Raft – No Ocean was published by Scars Publications. More recently, her book Make the Wind was published in 2016 by Scars Publications. As well, her book Trial and Witness – selected poems, was published in 2016 by Creative Talents Unleashed (CTU Publishing Group). She is a vegan. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay;


One thought on “Never Holy by Allison Grayhurst

  1. judekelvin igbonekwu

    this is so beautiful, I read it, time and time over. The flow in the poem and the end message, it reminds me, this poem “Guilt”. Thank you and don’t stop, such work of art

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