Revival by Allison Grayhurst

Be still, in the hostile landscape, be still,
find provision, refuse the fear.
Firmly self-sufficient, valuing your
success measured by fulfilment of God’s commands
and the sweet exchange of eternal experiences.
Is there anything to regret? No,
there is only what must be given up
– self-pity – the grotesque body
that grew beside your own, grew because
of your suffering, a deformity that
grew to help you carry the weight of that suffering,
a deformity that held a place for your secret pride.

But now, unbound, you must mercy-kill it,
release and dissolve its surface layers and under-layers.
It is always in a state of perpetual decay, supporting.
Release the poltergeist apparition,
re-distribute your cells, align
without its sickly features haunting and its whisperings
that lead to madness, whispering
“This suffering is yours. How amazing you are to carry it!”
and “No one will love you if you don’t carry it.”

Be loved in your joy and crazy impulses,
your sinews riveting creative overflow.
Be bouncing, impossible, wrenched from its illusion,
off your leash, off your rocker.
Discover dignity under the high trees,
by the rapids, skipping stones,
stepping on the slippery rocks,
stepping closer to the thrashing contours,
closer yet to its elemental song.

©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;


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