Wednesday, May 02, 2018

A Great Wind Came Rushing

—Poems by Allison Grayhurst, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
—Photos by Katy Brown, Davis, CA, USA


The afternoon is here. You are lost,
limited, sick with inadequacies
and innumerable attempts
to forget the unknown.

The wolf that communed with your bones,
did you place the swan’s neck
next to his teeth? You did.
You were scared but in love
with red blood on white feathers.
You wish you had the courage to forgive
yourself —days, weeks
on the edge of a sinister conspiracy darkness.

You are the last of my history.
I can’t go on in this vacuum
of thorny hedges, trying to kill boredom
with these grandiose unsubstantial schemes.
I think you are lonely.

I do miss you, sometimes
I would like to have your wax figure in my hands,
hold it over a candle, to see how fast heat can melt
your virgin body.

Everything is hard. Hard hats, hard watches—
everything, even your striking eyes.
And the Italian couple who gave us cookies,
the are hard and hurting
for revenge
And it’s no good,
it is just damn awful
to carry this sea full of creatures
in my stomach
to hurt like a worm
in the mid-day sun
attempting to mend this insanity
backhoe digging trenches
into my karma.

Please let me in on the secret,
can our gypsy dream really be over?

I want to throw the arsenic in the garbage.
I want to triumph.



Should I be
an aqueduct of faith
flowing and falling
onto the paralyzed streets?
            I know flowers
are infinite. I know the way is
risk. But I cannot climb
that blistered mountain
or hope for a gentle wind to save.
My mirror-ghost rises whole
with tangible flesh, too visible to bear.
And clouds obsess me.

Green forever. Green is
the ego waning and love
that grows in wild orchards.
Red is our age and our wait
for greatness inside the owl call.
Turn here, turn there—kill
the wheel and the virgin flight.

So much unanswered. So much
we must inevitably lose.

Bear Grass


What links
and where?

Was I always flushing with need
there at your feet
with a terrible tenderness
or tenderness unborn?

I have watched you walk,
certain you will never run,
mystified by your suffering.
Was there ever a miracle great enough to touch you?

The world is madness, unsafe,
and you are captive to that tragedy
trying for an impossible life

I have imagined brighter days
I have imagined to be eternally in love
enslaved by nothing
delivered from everything

I have imagined a life unabstract.

More than flesh,
but never more.

 Snow Plants


A great wind came rushing
and I said to the wind
“Bitter wind, stop before you carry me off.”
A great wind came rushing
and pulled me into the sky,
I travelled past wheat-fields
sailed under its furious reign.
I was broken into many pieces,
hit what the wind could not pass through
half-crazed with resistance
I fell to the ground
into worm-holes and the open mouths of laughing children.
I sunk into soil and dreamt of sprouting.
And the wind said to me,
“Do not perish with fright in these strange places,
close your eyes and wait for spring.”

Spring came,
I cracked and grew flesh
then like a vine I crawled out of that dark ground
and found the sun
soothed by heat and rain.
I praised the earth with untainted joy
And I said to the earth,
“Sweet earth, allow me to walk.”

Gradually my limbs found movement
lips formed, eyes appeared, blue and wide
and I ran from land to land
celebrating life with each step.
I wore no clothes, carried no yardstick
found equal peace, equal rapture
with every new encounter.

A great wind came rushing
and I said to the wind
“Powerful wind, come carry me off
for I am still young and can bear the storm.”
Weightless with excitement
I joined its intense ride
gathered at the centre
half-dead with stillness
I gave myself up
lost the beating of my pulse, lost momentum
sunk low into my depths, immune to singing
And the voice said to me
“Do not despair with sorrow in this vacant hollow,
open your eyes and wait for love.”

Love came,
I expanded and felt communion
Like a clam I crept out of my isolation
and shone my pearl

Like a clam I closed back my shell
and hid in the safety of darkness.

And I said to my love,
“I am as incapable of loving as much as
everyone else is.” And my lover said back to me,
“So am I.”

A great wind came rushing
And I said to the wind,
“Great wind, be still
It is time now to learn.”

The great wind ceased.

My love and I walk hand in hand
on an unknown mission, swept away,
carried by each other, alone.



My egg
sticks to my womb
wanting something
like a thunderbolt

My love
makes havoc in my breast
like a sinister struggle.
I am expecting him
his lost satisfaction
stretched out to annihilate my own

I am expecting him like
a flickering tongue, a goodnight kiss
in the twisted cry of his need,
folding up inside of me
a terrible after effect

My love hovers in a madman’s purgatory,
where eternity gets stuck in a single moment,
no claimed victory, no wingspread
to express his freedom

I continue in silence
expecting him…

I will never sleep again.


Today’s LittleNip:

… and we will shade

Ourselves whole summers by a river glade;

And I will tell thee stories of the sky,

And breathe thee whispers of its minstrelsy,

My happy love will overwing all bounds!

O let me melt into thee! let the sounds

Of our close voices marry at their birth;

Let us entwine hoveringly!

—John Keats


Our thanks to Canadian Allison Grayhurst for today’s poetry, and Davisinian Katy Brown for today’s photos! Fine artists checking into the Kitchen from one side of the continent to the other!

Today, Cal. State University, Sacramento, will present VocaLabUlary, a poetry-music collaboration between faculty and students, including works by Cynthia Linville, Josh McKinney, Ann Michaels, Kim Golubev, Kris Robinson, Rhony Bhopla, Bob Stanley. Some works will be spoken, some will be sung by members of the Sac State Vocal Jazz Ensemble and other music majors. That’s in the Special Collections Rm. of the CSUS Library, 6000 J St., Sac., 3pm. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about this and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.

For “8 of the Best Quotes on Love from Poets Who Might Surprise You”, see


 Celebrate poetry!

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