The poetry of Allison Grayhurst

Walkways cover 2“Her poems read like the journal entries of a mystic – perhaps that what they are. They are abstract and vivid, like a dreamy manifestation of soul. This is the best way, in prose, one can describe the music which is … the poetry of Allison Grayhurst.” – Blaise Wigglesworth, “Oh! Magazine: Ryerson’s Arts and Culture Voice”.

Read at your peril. You will never look at this world in quite the same way again. Your eye will instinctively search the sky for eagles and scan the dark earth for the slightest movement of smallest ant, your heart will reach for tall mountains, bathe in the most intimate of passions and in the grain and grit of our earth. Such is Allison Grayhurst. Such is her poetry,” Eric M. Vogt, poet and author.

“Grayhurst is a great Canadian poet. All of Allison Grayhurst’s poetry is original, sometimes startling, and more often than not, powerful. Anyone who loves modern poetry that does not follow the common path will find Grayhurst complex, insightful, and as good a poet as anyone writing in the world today. Grayhurst’s poetry volumes are highly, highly recommended,” Tom Davis, poet, novelist and educator.

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“What a treasure Allison Grayhurst is. Her gift? To unfold for us life at this intensity of feeling and revelation. Who knew truth and beauty could be so intertwined and so passionate?,” Taylor Jane Green, BA, RIHR, CH, Registered Holistic Talk Therapist and author.

“Her (Allison Grayhurst’s) poetry appears visceral, not for the faint of heart, and moves forward with a dynamism, with a frenetic pulse. If you seek the truth, the physical blood and bones, then, by all means, open the world into which we were all born,” Anne Burke, poet, regional representative for Alberta on the League of Canadian Poets’ Council, and chair of the Feminist Caucus.

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Allison Grayhurst is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has more than 500 poems published in over 250 international literary magazines, journals and anthologies in Canada, the U.S., United Kingdom, India, Ireland, China, Austria, Colombia, New Zealand, and Australia. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published eleven 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. More recently, her e-chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series, October 2014.

Some of places her work has appeared in include Parabola (Alone & Together print issue summer 2012); Literary Orphans; Blue Fifth Review; The American Aesthetic; Agave Magazine; South Florida Arts Journal; Gris-Gris; New Binary Press Anthology; The Brooklyn Voice; Straylight Literary Magazine; The Milo Review; Foliate Oak Literary Magazine; The Antigonish Review; Dalhousie Review; The New Quarterly; Wascana Review; Poetry Nottingham International; The Cape Rock; Ayris; Journal of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry; The Toronto Quarterly; Fogged Clarity, Boston Poetry Magazine; Decanto; White Wall Review.  

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Over 450 of Allison Grayhurst’s published poems are available to read on this website. Most of these poems are accompanied by Allison Grayhurst’s audio reading of the poem.

Almost all of Allison Grayhurst’s books and her most recent chapbook are available for a free PDF file download from the page on the main menu: http://allisongrayhurst.com/free-pdf-download-of-books/

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Amazon Author Pageamazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

UK Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B001KIWQUS

Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/s?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Allison%20Grayhurst&search-alias=books-ca

The League of Canadian Poets: http://poets.ca/membee-directory/#action=Listing&value=116&searchID=3286&cid=1043&did=100

Poets&Writers: http://www.pw.org/content/allison_grayhurst

Goodreads Author: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1937690.Allison_Grayhurst

E-mail: allisongrayhurst@rogers.com

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(Please scroll down to see new posts and sculpture images on the side bar. All sculptures were made by Allison Grayhurst.)

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The Sweet Glory of Imagination Thins As It Expands

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The Sweet Glory of Imagination

Thins As It Expands

.

   A remote sage,

a childhood anchoring, a quenching

for something mythical

reduced,

commercialized.

              As though the secret

that alone was yours,

now is heard by everyone.

              As though the sacred realm

has become part of the

collective unconscious,

pulped into an easily consumed

wafer feed.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2008 by Allison Grayhurst

3015

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

First published in “New Mystics” April 2015

New Mystics 1 New Mystics 2 New Mystics 3 New Mystics 4

New Mystics 6 New Mystics The Sweet Glory

http://www.cyclamensandswords.com/poetry_apr_2015_2.php

http://www.cyclamensandswords.com/contents_april_2015.php

 

 

You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

 

“Allison Grayhurst intertwines a potent spirituality throughout her work so that each poem is not simply a statement or observation, but a revelation that demands the reader’s personal involvement. Grayhurst’s poetic genius is profound and evident. Her voice is uniquely authentic, undeniable in its dignified vulnerability as it is in its significance,” Kyp Harness, singer/songwriter, author.

“Allison Grayhurst’s poems are like cathedrals witnessing and articulating in unflinching graphic detail the gritty angst and grief of life, while taking it to rare clarity, calm and comfort. Grayhurst’s work is haunting, majestic and cleansing, often leaving one breathless in the wake of its intelligence, hope, faith and love amidst the muck of life. Many of Allison Grayhurst’s poems are simply masterpieces. Grayhurst’s poetry is a lighthouse of intelligent honour… indeed, intelligence rips through her work like white water,” Taylor Jane Green, Registered Spiritual Psychotherapist and author.

 

Reviews of ‘The Many Lights of Eden':

“’The Many Lights of Eden’ is a journey: a journey of the heart through youth, anguish, struggle, spiritual awakening, grief, death, love, loss, guilt, struggle, despair, hope, surrender, God, sensuality, imperfection, motherhood, aging, the vanquishing of the devil, indeed, many devils, the inevitable fall from perfection and the casting off of old wineskins for a new one. Perhaps speaking of this book as a chronicle of spiritual maturing would be more accurate, the realization that there is spirituality within imperfection and that handmade temples cannot hope to compete with the spiritual temples within each of us. ‘The Many Lights of Eden’ is a diamond. It is a beautiful collection of insights. Allison Grayhurst’s thoughts and writings are a deep well. Drink from it, for the water is clear and crisp. This collection is a MUST-READ,” Eric M. Vogt, author of Letters to Lara and Paths and Pools to Ponder. 

 “I have been slow at responding to reviews for Allison Grayhurst due to summer’s busy days, however she brings life to each poem, heart to the images and everyone should have a collection of Grayhurst Poetry,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, poet.

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Message to My Other

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Message to My Other

 . 

You will not find me.

The angel promised

I would be left alone,

and I have been – left alone

like the hollowness created by a plaster mould,

with edge but no substance.

That substance

I had to earn, and once earned, I had to chisel

and sand to smooth perfection.

You will not cross my path

and ruin my illusion, you will not

tear a hole of horror in my canopy

or block my sun with your stark

though extreme reality.

You will run back and take your loss, take

the burrs buried in your hair, take your desperate corner

and your beauty that veils a great violence.

You will walk toward another – one that has not

lived as long nor has longed for

oblivion as I have. You may not sit beside me.

The angel promised,

and life without you is straightforward,

on this side of

easy.

 

 

Copyright © 2008 by Allison Grayhurst

3015

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

First published in “New Mystics” April 2015

New Mystics 1 New Mystics 2 New Mystics 3 New Mystics 4 New Mystics 6 New Mystics Message To My other

http://www.cyclamensandswords.com/poetry_apr_2015_2.php

http://www.cyclamensandswords.com/contents_april_2015.php

 

 

You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

 

“Allison Grayhurst intertwines a potent spirituality throughout her work so that each poem is not simply a statement or observation, but a revelation that demands the reader’s personal involvement. Grayhurst’s poetic genius is profound and evident. Her voice is uniquely authentic, undeniable in its dignified vulnerability as it is in its significance,” Kyp Harness, singer/songwriter, author.

“Allison Grayhurst’s poems are like cathedrals witnessing and articulating in unflinching graphic detail the gritty angst and grief of life, while taking it to rare clarity, calm and comfort. Grayhurst’s work is haunting, majestic and cleansing, often leaving one breathless in the wake of its intelligence, hope, faith and love amidst the muck of life. Many of Allison Grayhurst’s poems are simply masterpieces. Grayhurst’s poetry is a lighthouse of intelligent honour… indeed, intelligence rips through her work like white water,” Taylor Jane Green, Registered Spiritual Psychotherapist and author.

 

Reviews of ‘The Many Lights of Eden':

“’The Many Lights of Eden’ is a journey: a journey of the heart through youth, anguish, struggle, spiritual awakening, grief, death, love, loss, guilt, struggle, despair, hope, surrender, God, sensuality, imperfection, motherhood, aging, the vanquishing of the devil, indeed, many devils, the inevitable fall from perfection and the casting off of old wineskins for a new one. Perhaps speaking of this book as a chronicle of spiritual maturing would be more accurate, the realization that there is spirituality within imperfection and that handmade temples cannot hope to compete with the spiritual temples within each of us. ‘The Many Lights of Eden’ is a diamond. It is a beautiful collection of insights. Allison Grayhurst’s thoughts and writings are a deep well. Drink from it, for the water is clear and crisp. This collection is a MUST-READ,” Eric M. Vogt, author of Letters to Lara and Paths and Pools to Ponder. 

 “I have been slow at responding to reviews for Allison Grayhurst due to summer’s busy days, however she brings life to each poem, heart to the images and everyone should have a collection of Grayhurst Poetry,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, poet.

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At Ease

.

At Ease

.

Before the ultimate function

failed and my dreams were

burnt at the stake,

I felt the movement of God within me

like a rising river.

I felt tomorrow larger than prophecy –

the only future still untold.

Before the constant lack,

and the condition of build-up that will never

go away, I thought the line crossed

would always be the line on my side.

I thought I was sealed.

I learned that nothing is sealed

or solid enough to be counted on.

I learned to eat my meals slower,

to stop at the first moment of feeling full.

I learned to touch the wall instead of the sky.

I learned to love the wall as my sky,

after the blindness ensued

and love

became my permanent grace.

 

 

Copyright © 2008 by Allison Grayhurst

3015

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

First published in “New Mystics” April 2015

New Mystics 1 New Mystics 2 New Mystics 3 New Mystics 4

New Mystics 6 New Mystics At Ease

http://www.cyclamensandswords.com/poetry_apr_2015_2.php

http://www.cyclamensandswords.com/contents_april_2015.php

 

 

You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

 

“Allison Grayhurst intertwines a potent spirituality throughout her work so that each poem is not simply a statement or observation, but a revelation that demands the reader’s personal involvement. Grayhurst’s poetic genius is profound and evident. Her voice is uniquely authentic, undeniable in its dignified vulnerability as it is in its significance,” Kyp Harness, singer/songwriter, author.

“Allison Grayhurst’s poems are like cathedrals witnessing and articulating in unflinching graphic detail the gritty angst and grief of life, while taking it to rare clarity, calm and comfort. Grayhurst’s work is haunting, majestic and cleansing, often leaving one breathless in the wake of its intelligence, hope, faith and love amidst the muck of life. Many of Allison Grayhurst’s poems are simply masterpieces. Grayhurst’s poetry is a lighthouse of intelligent honour… indeed, intelligence rips through her work like white water,” Taylor Jane Green, Registered Spiritual Psychotherapist and author.

 

Reviews of ‘The Many Lights of Eden':

“’The Many Lights of Eden’ is a journey: a journey of the heart through youth, anguish, struggle, spiritual awakening, grief, death, love, loss, guilt, struggle, despair, hope, surrender, God, sensuality, imperfection, motherhood, aging, the vanquishing of the devil, indeed, many devils, the inevitable fall from perfection and the casting off of old wineskins for a new one. Perhaps speaking of this book as a chronicle of spiritual maturing would be more accurate, the realization that there is spirituality within imperfection and that handmade temples cannot hope to compete with the spiritual temples within each of us. ‘The Many Lights of Eden’ is a diamond. It is a beautiful collection of insights. Allison Grayhurst’s thoughts and writings are a deep well. Drink from it, for the water is clear and crisp. This collection is a MUST-READ,” Eric M. Vogt, author of Letters to Lara and Paths and Pools to Ponder. 

 “I have been slow at responding to reviews for Allison Grayhurst due to summer’s busy days, however she brings life to each poem, heart to the images and everyone should have a collection of Grayhurst Poetry,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, poet.

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Out From Under

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Out From Under

 .

Simple beginnings,

a tear finally released –

a gleam, gentle as a dying flame.

Breaking slowly the crust of

dull months, the muddied fury

of being carried by the tide

and never holding the promised chalice.

A shape, a shade never seen

rising like the shadow of a walking giant

over my rooftop, down the eavestroughs

into my empty bowl.

Moonlight is slow. A body stretches

and pulses with new song.

Rosebuds are stirring from winter’s slumber.

By and by the days

are moving forward –

a drop falling through.

.

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Copyright © 2004 by Allison Grayhurst

3013

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine – Issue 5″ April 2015

Peeking cat poetry 5

Peeking cat poetry cover

Peeking cat poetry 1 Peeking cat poetry 2 Peeking cat poetry 3 Peeking cat poetry 4

https://www.lulu.com/shop/samantha-rose/peeking-cat-poetry-magazine-issue-5/ebook/product-22136180.html

peeking_cat_poetry_magazine___issue_5

http://peekingcatpoetrymagazine.blogspot.ca/2014/11/latest-issue.html

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You can listen to the poems my clicking below:

“Allison Grayhurst intertwines a potent spirituality throughout her work so that each poem is not simply a statement or observation, but a revelation that demands the reader’s personal involvement. Grayhurst’s poetic genius is profound and evident. Her voice is uniquely authentic, undeniable in its dignified vulnerability as it is in its significance,” Kyp Harness, singer/songwriter, author.

“Allison Grayhurst’s poems are like cathedrals witnessing and articulating in unflinching graphic detail the gritty angst and grief of life, while taking it to rare clarity, calm and comfort. Grayhurst’s work is haunting, majestic and cleansing, often leaving one breathless in the wake of its intelligence, hope, faith and love amidst the muck of life. Many of Allison Grayhurst’s poems are simply masterpieces. Grayhurst’s poetry is a lighthouse of intelligent honour… indeed, intelligence rips through her work like white water,” Taylor Jane Green, Registered Spiritual Psychotherapist and author.

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Taking off my hood

.

Taking off my hood

 .

It is only bad weather.

It is only what it is for

some reason, for this light to one day flourish.

I will sit with you in the storm

building a bridge away from this wound,

never caving in to the cruelty of incompletion.

I will rub your ankles back to life so that

you can walk. I will buy you new shoes.

We will be cleansed of our defeat, be renewed

by one another’s touch. Our love has lasted and so

we are far more blessed than any exalted hero.

We should be dancing. But for now,

let us walk. We will be lifted.

.

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Copyright © 2010 by Allison Grayhurst

3017

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Nomad’s Choir Poetry Journal, Volume 23, Issue 2″ Spring 2015

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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“Allison Grayhurst intertwines a potent spirituality throughout her work so that each poem is not simply a statement or observation, but a revelation that demands the reader’s personal involvement. Grayhurst’s poetic genius is profound and evident. Her voice is uniquely authentic, undeniable in its dignified vulnerability as it is in its significance,” Kyp Harness, singer/songwriter, author.

“Allison Grayhurst’s poems are like cathedrals witnessing and articulating in unflinching graphic detail the gritty angst and grief of life, while taking it to rare clarity, calm and comfort. Grayhurst’s work is haunting, majestic and cleansing, often leaving one breathless in the wake of its intelligence, hope, faith and love amidst the muck of life. Many of Allison Grayhurst’s poems are simply masterpieces. Grayhurst’s poetry is a lighthouse of intelligent honour… indeed, intelligence rips through her work like white water,” Taylor Jane Green, Registered Spiritual Psychotherapist and author.

 

Reviews of ‘Pushing Through the Jelly Fire':

“This, (Pushing Through the Jelly Fire) is my second favorite book of poetry by Allison Grayhurst. I have it in paperback. I read a lot of poetry across a lot of blogs but Grayhurst’s work stands above the crowd and is of tremendous quality. I highly recommend this and The River is Blind. Her quality of writing is of a high standard and never ceases to lift my spirits as I turn pages in paperback or kindle,” Bruce Ruston, poet, photographer, founding editor of The Poetry Jar.

“Another Grayhurst masterpiece, Allison’s work has inspired me to continue creating and reading poetry,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, poet.

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Dad – an eulogy

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Dad – an eulogy

 (Denis Grayhurst 1934-1996)

 

“My life was my peace, now,

in the moment of my release.”

 

       ***

 

Under here in the dark

deepest dream, the cold

loss, unbearable change,

I cry out blood. I have no

overcoat, no more protection.

It is now a different light I seek,

an alchemized marrow in my bones.

Do I sing, for death is peace,

and death is the edge that slices

the tongue in two, that drains the cup

of every drink? Home – I have lost

the essential tie. I have lived with a bond

so beautiful, now broken by fate and the blue-turning

cheek. How will I know my own grief,

the shattering that eclipses all but faith?

        In the newspaper turning, I smell

your hairspray, I hear your boisterous voice.

I clasp in my hands the raw fire of nevermore.

Stand close to my mirror,

and help me breathe in and out,

help me take into my own

your generous heart.

 

          ***

 

I knelt before his photograph

on the casket and we talked

of gratitude and goodbyes. I saw

compassion’s light, there, in

his dark tremendous eyes.

I felt the tearing off of seven layers of skin.

I held my hands together. Faith,

where is your shield? Your cradle

to rest my shattered spine? Each cell

is reformed by his departure. I am left

in the winter wind without clothing

or a protective tree.

 

    ***

 

Cut, the thin clouds

cut a pathway within

where loss is deep as God.

My fingers move like trains

back and forth. Ashes in an urn. Graveyard green

flavoured by tears. I whisper to him when on the gravel road.

I see him beyond the fence, in the coming

December snows. I need him like before,

when hearing children talk, when waiting

for a terrible moment to pass. He formed a giving spirit,

rooted in integrity. Angels come and go,

hovering in my pocket books and on highways

I never cross. They touch the seagulls’

outgoing breath, they write his name

on Scarborough cliffs. I will not mourn

with unholy regrets, nor would I change

the tension in his nerves.

 

               ***

 

In closets, memories pile,

their scents and wooden colours

for years at rest in unchanged

shadowed hovels. I find myself

in unfamiliar rooms, emptied

of hope and the driven smile.

I find the walls pulsing, and the floor,

a bruised body I have cried for.

In years, this hot blood of loss

will thin and this tumour of unbuffered

pain will shrink and mend. In years, I will

see his picture and spend a Christmas under a pink sun.

November winds will wrap me in

a sweet and grateful slumber.

 

           ***

 

Hammered by a kaleidoscope of memories,

through the grand “if” and the willy-nilly

confines of love. Rifts in the pavement

I walk on today, still stunned by the enormous

and the unchangeable, still frightened of my thoughts

that go into the hard void, into the unfocused

stare and the image of him lying there,

no longer. Up & down craters beyond

this century’s grasp, beyond the books

I’ve read and anguish before encountered.

He answers me in my head, wakes me at 2 am.

He protects me still, though his arms have bent

to the cold, unforgiving ash.

 

       ***

 

Appleseeds I’ll never bury.

Evergreens lean towards the greying sky.

He is there like a shadow on my back, there

in the wheat-coloured grass.

He is over the city factories,

his face resides on graffiti walls.

And on telephone wires I see him sit

with the starlings, smell him in the scent

of evening rain. I hear his stories from

the beautiful lips of children. I think

I’ll see him tomorrow again, know his

paternal warmth, the way his smile lifted

the corners of his mouth.

Time is drifting into the homes of strangers,

as death strides beside every dream

living, defiled or lost.

He surrounds me like the sounds of a streetcar

running, and I am running, struggling

to stop, lay down and to be reborn.

 

     ***

 

Ocean-cold and wooed by the tongues

of snakes. Miracles abound,

but still grief gnaws a pathway

through my torso. Trees are singing

of the flames I sleep in and the empty

days toss me to and fro, from heavy tears

to rage. How without him in the huge,

unpredictable world? How without his loud

and open gifts? Landscapes where centres break

and colours are no more. I touch the crocodile

tooth, the boiling point of all my bones.

So alone, coupled with the uncertain dark.

 

I miss his brown fiery eyes and how

he lived, pampering the hearts of others.

I miss him like I would my very skin, like the shell its yolk,

and the eyes, their vision – Where

is the cure? Where is the farewell

from this gruesome spell? The shock

still rivets in me. Crows spin through the clouds.

Death has been unleashed like the first feel of pain.

 

Believe me, you have reached me. Believe me,

this enemy won’t win. I will stand tall for you.

I will hold your hand until morning.

 

      ***

 

Pale in the December sky,

the sun is but an insect’s dream.

I leap from cabooses onto the icy tracks.

There are people in the playground,

happy that Christmas is near. There are

buildings with stained-glass windows,

reminding me of the aloneness we each are

bound to endure. Now my father, I wake to find

you hour upon hour at night. I talk to you

in half-conscious streams. In the afternoon,

I break down. Crows sit on my porch,

then follow me through the peopled-street

where I swear your shoes have travelled, once

in a bachelor’s dream. And mother is all

sliced-up inside. Days and days we spend

looking at old photos, trying to dispel

her sorrow and devouring regrets.

My husband holds me like the best

of friends do. He carries me over

these desert fires. I want to tell you

how good was your influence, how soft

my aching eyes. I want to know you again

after I die, like you were in this life –

my strong, my steadfast guide.

 

       ***

 

Old factory fields in mid-December’s light.

Vacant barns and rows of suburban homes.

You pushed me on the swing

and gave me courage to dive.

Sunsets in Spain and the sounds

of the typewriter at 4 am are now part

of my muscles and nerves – you are in me

like a fledgling in its nest or the drive

behind my every restless year. You knew

how the great dream fell, how rage can find

the form of forgiveness, and the bridge

between our two stubborn intensities.

You were my ally in the social sphere, my

guardian in the tower, my place of safety

and self-belief. You held me near

when the curtain opened, and my childhood

fastened to a ravenous storm.

 

       ***

 

I live in a room of brown-papered walls,

TV screens and empty teacups. I want

to give up like the hand that lets go

of the cliff or the orphaned boy

left on the streets alone. I’m trying

to keep my head steady, but no abstractions

relieve me, only pins and needles in my brain

and the intestinal twist that has found

its way within like a permanent companion.

People call, but only this empty dread

makes its bed in my heart.

 

I know it is over – the special way we needed

one another. I know I must take the road

to lead me on, past the dried flowers

and 1 pm breakdowns. Shakespeare at

the dinner table and omelettes in the

afternoons – I won’t forget a single

kindness, the way you prayed

on that darkest day in my adolescent life.

Ceilings crack overhead. I knife

a million strangers. I curse the cars

going by and the cockroach on the kitchen

floor. There are no distractions from death.

There are no soothing things to do –

but to wait behind this cold and sealed door.

 

       ***

 

The cloven hoof of

this and that blood’s pardon.

I feel the acorn hit,

the crossing of the Nile.

I feel like an Indian summer,

and all the sweat pouring into

the brass cup of mortal knowing.

Time, in time no love is broken,

not the pound pound pound of his

nature, not the be-all of his voice.

I will never hear that voice again,

not his loud centre ringing, his

male pride, gentle in the sun.

I will never carry his water again,

or tell him – I thank God

for you. For you and your quickened

energy, for the artery of your moral

gestures that gave with ‘yes & no’,

with ‘wrong & right’, the seed

of my shelter and the over-fair justice

I believed in all my childhood life.

I thank God for your walking sound,

how the room rebounded with your

surely presence, and the smile on

your eccentric face, there, when we talked

of a grandchild. I thank God for the breathing space

you gave, and the will to live out my tale.

I thank God for the hemisphere you made

and the beautiful passions you instilled

in my heart. I thank God for you –

my weight, the reason I write

my song.

 

         ***

 

If today the closed eye

takes me to where I’ve never

been before, if I meet my father

in the mirror or in a five & dime store,

would this pressure drain like the letting

of blood, would these horror-stricken

days mean nothing now but a bitter

tossed-away cup? If he moved through

a dream saying – Do not be afraid.

Do not let your mind fracture or your lips

turn blue – would I know him like

last month or meet him with raw wonder, anew?

        The rings around my fingers.

        The friends I cannot keep.

 

      ***

 

A month crushed

in the vortex of a python’s circle.

Stale breath filling my atmosphere,

and hope is but soft warm sand

beneath the feet, is a season that

never fades, is not what my hands

can trace. I long for mornings

all to myself, to hear his voice

once more on the phone. But rocking chairs

and crossword puzzles rest vacant as

2 am streets. And birthday cakes are past

like an old person’s dreams. He returns

again at night, alive for one more week.

Rain pours onto my teeth and

nutshells are gathered by the winter’s

black and brindle squirrels.

 

        ***

 

With grace I may be replenished.

This dull anguish may be replaced

with starlight in my belly. Or with the

million winds of God’s miraculous justice,

I may return to a little one the goodness

he gave, be offered the chance to feel

the kick, to know no stronger responsibility.

The same as he (with his stoic suffering

and gregarious generosity) plucked the weeds

from my journey’s path and made me see

with moral clarity the fault of all but love –

so maybe I can be for one what he was for me.

Maybe soon my turn will come.

 

          ***

 

Before I knew my own face

in the reflection, I saw

sparrows rolling in the sand

and wished my heart open as the underpass

cars travel through. Before I knew of death

and its yellow-green smile. I offered

caramel-coated apples and chocolate bars

to placate it. But now I stand

beside its smelly aftermath. I feel

its wrenching voice fill my solitude,

and all the mad children of this and

other worlds echo their hell beneath

my many scarves and sweaters, touching

me nude with their growing black hole.

And soon I am just darkness with no size,

no boundaries or vision of outside. Soon

I am embittered by friendships I thought

I had, and mountains of rage churn like

spoilt food in my belly. I am sad too, like

the willow tree in my Montreal backyard.

Sad like my father when his mother died,

and his orphan cry lied sealed inside

like a voiceless fear. Because now he

is gone and things I often waited for

will never pass. No “Owl & The Pussycat”

for my children’s ears, no more pride in

his sideways smile, or trips to India

or English moors. He will never know

my children’s names.

 

        ***

 

Pigeons flock through the fog,

high above the park benches and lamp posts.

Guilt has no shore, but is an endless

sea where jellyfish and stingrays

make their nests and the dolphin

is no more. Our talks by the fireside

will never be again, or his drifting

to sleep on the couch in the winter’s

after-midnight air. On Christmas eve,

all my memories are soaked into

the tree’s red and blue lights. And Grandma

is gone, as well as the dog beside me.

But worst is the emptiness of his vanishing,

is the click click inside my throat

and the razor-burn on my knees. Kneel and pray,

for life is nothing but this and that thing done,

is the touching of two hearts

and the softening of brittle ways, is to keep

the soul’s challenge forefront, then to sing

around the merry table of relatives and friends,

as if immune to bitter unbelief and fear

that drives the nail inward. He is

on the windowsill looking in,

reminding me that long ago

our once colliding spirits

made the greatest of amends.

 

        ***

 

Waves of snow outside the window,

moving like pure isolation, cleansing all

with its cold fury. Last night

I hugged him in a short farewell in my head,

in the blue fog of a dream. And waking

I found peace in January calling. Outside

a city hawk circled, blessing me and mine

with its instinct so talon-strong and

close to God. Families I never knew

have opened my heart. Barnyards and lithe trees,

stretch toward the silver sun. I miss him

at the dinner table and when the wine is served,

when all the things of hopes and wonders

implode within. Into the scent of dried rose petals

death dives with mad glee. Water-towers

cut a hole through eternity. The wrinkled word

I cannot speak. The keepsakes (like hot wax

pouring onto my belly) cause a redness

that releases my broken-heart’s moan. And hanging,

– my flesh, my guilt, my grief –

now and forever merged, undeniably atoned.

 

        ***

 

 

Copyright © 2000 by Allison Grayhurst

3005

As My Blindness Burns cover 8

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

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First published in “Poetry Life & Times” April 2015

Poetry Life and Times 1 Poetry Life and Times 2 Poetry Life and Times 3Poetry Like and Times 4 Poetry Like and Times 5 Poetry Like and Times 6 Poetry Like and Times 7 Poetry Like and Times 8 Poetry Like and Times 9 Poetry Like and Times 10 Poetry Like and Times 11 Poetry Like and Times 12 Poetry Like and Times 14Poetry Life and Times 13 Poetry Like and Times 14Poetry Life and Times 15 Poetry Life and Times 16 Poetry Life and Times 17 Poetry Life and Times 18 Poetry Life and Times 19

http://www.artvilla.com/plt/dad-a-eulogy-a-poem-by-allison-grayhurst/

Dad - an eulogy review

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“Allison Grayhurst intertwines a potent spirituality throughout her work so that each poem is not simply a statement or observation, but a revelation that demands the reader’s personal involvement. Grayhurst’s poetic genius is profound and evident. Her voice is uniquely authentic, undeniable in its dignified vulnerability as it is in its significance,” Kyp Harness, singer/songwriter, author.

 

“Allison Grayhurst’s poems are like cathedrals witnessing and articulating in unflinching graphic detail the gritty angst and grief of life, while taking it to rare clarity, calm and comfort. Grayhurst’s work is haunting, majestic and cleansing, often leaving one breathless in the wake of its intelligence, hope, faith and love amidst the muck of life. Many of Allison Grayhurst’s poems are simply masterpieces. Grayhurst’s poetry is a lighthouse of intelligent honour… indeed, intelligence rips through her work like white water,” Taylor Jane Green, Registered Spiritual Psychotherapist and author.

 

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Almost to the Other Side

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Almost to the Other Side

In midair like a cold relentless

dream, the minnows find me

and tell me tales of insignificance.

In my blood there drifts a fool’s

coin and fantastical wagers.

Because I am this person with

that hard year gone and this new

good gift to come, sometimes

it’s as if I’m on stilts that with one small

trip, my whole body will come crashing down.

Sometimes I watch the cats and know

I have been made for this place, know

the colour of my sky and the heavy toll

of self-deception.

 

 

Copyright © 2000 by Allison Grayhurst

3005

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

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First published in “Novelmasters” April 2015

Novelmasters 1 Novelmasters 3

Novelmasters - Almost to the other sideNovelmasters -bio

http://www.novelmasters.org/

http://www.novelmasters.org/category/poetry/

http://www.novelmasters.org/five-poems-allison-greyhurst-i-still-think-of-you/

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

 

 

“Allison Grayhurst intertwines a potent spirituality throughout her work so that each poem is not simply a statement or observation, but a revelation that demands the reader’s personal involvement. Grayhurst’s poetic genius is profound and evident. Her voice is uniquely authentic, undeniable in its dignified vulnerability as it is in its significance,” Kyp Harness, singer/songwriter, author.

 

“Allison Grayhurst’s poems are like cathedrals witnessing and articulating in unflinching graphic detail the gritty angst and grief of life, while taking it to rare clarity, calm and comfort. Grayhurst’s work is haunting, majestic and cleansing, often leaving one breathless in the wake of its intelligence, hope, faith and love amidst the muck of life. Many of Allison Grayhurst’s poems are simply masterpieces. Grayhurst’s poetry is a lighthouse of intelligent honour… indeed, intelligence rips through her work like white water,” Taylor Jane Green, Registered Spiritual Psychotherapist and author.

 

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