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Creation and Criticism

ISSN: 2455-9687  

(A Quarterly International Peer-reviewed Refereed e-Journal

Devoted to English Language and Literature)

Vol. 08, Joint Issue 28 & 29: Jan-April 2023


Cure and Other Poems by Allison Grayhurst

Allison Grayhurst (b. 1966) is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Five times nominated for “Best of the Net,” she has over 1300 poems published in over 500 international journals. She has 25 published books of poetry and 6 chapbooks. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay. She can be contacted through her email:


1. Cure


Joy is but a minstrel’s flower,

lightening under the thumbnails.

Preach of mud around the eyes,

myself a centipede, fast but fragile.

I gaze and I know the way is a path is a dream

of a hawk landing and inside that dream

anguish quickens to gold, despair into

overcoming. Inside that dream, Jesus stands

insistent in a child’s purity, burdenless, fresh

as the sun always is and always burning.


A small stone that cannot break, a love so graced

it welcomes the flooding tide. But I am broken,

eaten in tiny increments by the changing mirror -

around the evenings, around the first day’s light,

blind to all but the persistent churning.


Jesus’ great love has left me weeping, has opened

my heart, brought forth the healing, suffering mended,

miracles under a white desert sky. Be mine. Le me be

yours, travel with you, bend fully into your mystery.

The joy you give is small, unassuming,

but is an opening like a lifting,

where all grief and savagery

invert into its opposite, separated

from lasting damage.


2. Submit



submission to reality

is an example of good

behavior, and submission

to God, an example of

lunacy. What do I choose?

Can I choose or must I dive

back into the sludge-pool, struggling to

surface and keep the stench from moving in,

being absorbed?


Rage that takes me on a round-about,

adopting a slice of indignation coupled with

the exhausting sigh of failure.

Is this my path? I have tried

for a quarter of a century to brave it, be my best self

in it, and it works for a while, but never for long,

never before long when it ties me to its destruction,

grows things inside of me I cannot eradicated or soothe.


It can’t be another year without mercy,

another conviction, revelation

dashed to shards against the wall.

I can’t be another lost cause,

my entrapment a burden to all

who love me, where I am given two options

- hide my suffering or spread it -

no relief for me, harming my loved ones

with my vile and personal conundrum.


I can’t make it another day, flat out

giving myself over to this wretched occupation.

I will die tomorrow if I continue on,

split against

this unmovable rock.


3. I saw the Face


I see what I take

and I circle back

to give

nourishment into the stream,

wisdom of a kind that is just

thought, intention and striving.


Gaining mortal burdens, feelings

that last lifetimes, failures that

embed in the body like a blackhole

and draw everything into a calamity

of despair and senselessness.


We are shining, vessels that are brooms,

dishcloths, meant to clean, not accumulate.

I block the violence

of Self up against the world

and exchange it for

individuality before God,

peace that moves unexpectedly,

never still, never sure.


Love is nothing when alone.

I ask for healing for this unit, this tribe

of artists wandering,

trying to make our way through

poverty and loneliness, coming to terms with

things that perished that were

meant to bloom.


Take this family into your well-spring,

drench us in your everlasting waters.

We have no fashion or charm,

just us fitted together, sharing everything,

pierced by a sickness we cannot expel.

Expel it for us and fill the cavity

with your affluent efficient flow.

Make passages within that can be maintained,

built-upon, as we honour equally

the silver dollar, ancient ruins

and the blind alien fish

thriving far far below.


4. Calling


My clothes are loose

my mind is out of the shadows,

stern in its unwavering demands.

God is my one protector

from disaster and from

unhealthy bonds.


I will keep my faith as each day

draws me close to the gaping maw

quaking darkness that I know will consume

my strength and my peace.


I will hold faith each step I get closer,

trust in my rescue, blind as I am, wobbly

and languishing. I will have faith and grow myself

a brightness that will flash and flood the

tangled thorns, blast through doubt and time

and impossibility. I will trust in my saviour, the

One who sent him, merge with him and play

the tambourine in joyful abandon.


I will find my feet lifted from this path

until I see this path below

and then never again.


Grace fills the air like the scent of incense burning.

Grace is revealed as the only door

out and into a good life.

I will keep faith, have my yoke lightened,

fueled by a journey of less dread, more

alignment, sacred dependency.


5. Someone Other


Someone said - “Be sensible,

a song is essential only if it can be traded.”

Someone squandered decades of rich meaning

then died on the rafters of an abandoned ballpark.

“Pack up your consciousness,”

someone else said “Be out of character

and draw the short straw with glee.”


Intellectual dreams have no limitations,

strong in complexity, strong without drama

or the heartache of disappointment.

I will dream intellectual, taste desire

as an idea, be friends with the professional

and marry into a profession.

How much time does it take to fashion an identity,

keep it with solid sides and a resistant core?


Someone said - “Don’t bother

nothing is for keeps, ideals exist

until they inevitably become soiled and then

start reeking of their opposite intent.”

Many years seized you up in spasms,

aching and making

a mockery of such lofty extremes.

This planet is overstrained, never a gentle

day of just sitting.

Someone said - “Learn mediocrity if you want

happiness. Bark at the impossible squirrel

in the impossible tree.”


Faith must be fought for, in every choice,

in the mid-days of winter and when love has gone astray.

Everyday I own nothing but this day.

Someone said - “Deal with the collapse of

what you hold as true - contemplate it like a cloud

that shifts form and wisps away.”


I heard that someone, but the joy of love

is real even when it lies flattened. Hope

is not for the faint-hearted, but for the persistent,

the reformers of gravity, the warriors against inertia.

I say - Hope void of illusions

draws its first breath as faith

only in the purity of compete darkness.



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