by Allison Grayhurst
The Spell was a Shield
The spell was a child
that fell from a high tree,
now broken, always
asleep. Blindfolded climbing
up a steep hill until I crossed
the pinnacle-edge and found myself laid
flat - a million fractures
puzzle-piecing my solidarity.
At the end of the labyrinth
into deaths mocking jaws, swallowed
into the heartless chamber, crushed in very direction,
no soft resting spot, no treaties for equality or deliverance.
The spell has evaporated, and with it, false notions
of guarantees, help from others, every earthly
security I tied my lifeline to.
Thresholds were crossed
only to learn they were never there, just to
learn the Aquarius-light I was drinking from was
no light but a bitter detachment from reality, a lack
The spell is charred, taken away.
I am open now, and new and
ever so fragile without a path or protection.
Everything is air, and what isnt air is thin glass,
meaningless see-through enclosures, a false
blocking off of some things from other things,
a false truth destroyed with no truth left yet
to replace it.
Too bad you got burned
on the spell of worldly accomplishments
and comparison, that you fell
into the snowbank and drenched yourself through.
Friendly false eyes in the flame,
in the sweating ruthless ocean - you lost
the hand that held you to truth and the longing
for a deeper betterment.
But now you are home, proclaiming
the invisible as your building blocks - piled high
and mortared together strong against every storm.
You almost got pulled into the everlasting pit, fooled
by fools gold, but you reached the upper edge and
lifted yourself to a safe landing.
Eat from your bowl and be grateful.
Everything you asked for is already yours.
Walk away from the party,
shake hands, give uncommitted hugs,
then read by the dim light, knowing your true riches,
knowing all that you treasure is complete, thriving
in this compact tried-and-true family
and in the landscape of your evolving solitude.
Bold blood brilliance,
the tactics, the uencroachable confidence
of his glacial brutality, clemency,
making victory out of nowhere.
Odds always against him, titling one way
to be seen and the opposite way to be heard.
Swelling with passion, with genius strategies
unthought of, fertilizing the crescendo of
music chanting his praise and undeniable
Introduce me, let me smell
his intake-outtake of electricity,
the absolute procurement of all his needs
through risk and never doubting his good fortune.
Let me see into his eyes
devouring like a blackhole stillness, a force
immune to resistance.
Let me witness his charm,
the slavish devotion he demands and receives
At once crowned,
(still frenziedly restless at the centre)
then blindsided by an unexpected,
equally violent, legendary and grand
of a haunted lion mourning
her lost young. In a cage,
another brow folded in grief
and grim expectation.
Entitlement massaged into the bright blank eyes
of the classless rich with their toothy smiles
and ego-feeding gestures
The lion is haunted, the rabbit
is caged and the mournful dog longs for kinship.
The sacred is devoured but not for long
and not forever
as joy overtakes with one relaxed touch,
one moment of complete enjoyable surrender
where nothing impure
That moment is worth poverty, worth
the fevered greed swirling around,
spoiling the atmosphere,
tricking with false kindness and ignorance of self
that leads to chaotic manipulation.
It is worth the penalty of no security
just to combine for a few moments
with anothers spirit, be grand
in such holiness, be humbled
by such rudimentary love.
Together like odours
that merge in a closed room,
we are continual - each the same
as the other - in plague breath, in worries,
and in peace-filled joys, hopes that restore
strength and future paths beautifully unfolding.
So we decorate inside, never letting on
how much care we give to each detail.
Truth is kind to us as we hold hands across
the sofa, smiling at each other because
there is no corruption between us, no hidden
regrets or festering resentments when we see each other
we see a gift of eternal faithfulness, a lifetime pact,
sure-footed, winged and light and rich as honey
on the tongue, as a friendship that has never betrayed
or grown stale, and a love in a constant cycle of aching,
being satiated, counting on satiation and thresholds
reached and surpassed, sensuously mastered
together, often weary, but never of each other.
Only you are my love, bound
like the stem to its flower,
and the hawk to its sharp eye.
We will give nothing to the rest
that does not join our great love,
tries to defile our green fields flowing
or make us believe in less than this miracle.
For all things of life are ours -
our veins, our holy light-strings,
intensely locked, tenderly alive.
Not a Mirage
Ambushed, held hostage, then forgotten,
discarded, starved and too weak
to move. I find myself in a dead forest
that was burned by a fire a few years ago -
just sprouts of trees and a few ants trailing
the chewed-up ground.
I will find a cabin to rest in and get warm,
then find food in that cabin and rejuvenate.
I will not think of them (those who took me)
more than I have to. I will not
devote my energy
to bitterness but fasten myself
to thoughts of a future where freedom
is mine and I am not obliged to sleep
my nights in a mite-infested bed or
pull at my hair-strands
My burden is unloaded,
my shackles are far away
after so many decades.
It will take commitment to shine
in order to shine, but I will shine.
Near a country river
I will make my home, remain
tied to a promise like a covenant devoid
of self-pity, return to joy
as though never captured, never broken.
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