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.

img432

“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.

***

Allison Grayhurst is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has more than 400 poems published in over 210 international literary magazines, journals and anthologies in Canada, the U.S., United Kingdom, India, Ireland, China, Austria, Colombia 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 five 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 (summer 2012); Literary Orphans; Blue Fifth Review; 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.  

***

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/members_data/Allison%20Grayhurst

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

E-mail: allisongrayhurst@rogers.com

***

 

(Please scroll down to see new posts and sculpture images on the side bar)

.

Walkways – the poem – part 4 of 16

….

photo (11)

Laid low, laid out like soulmates never meant to meet

in this life, in the spectrum of folly and limitation.

A painting layered, re-mastered, re-mused and then,

burned by neglect.

Miniature moment of perfection, condensed

to hold a legacy in swirling matter, hard and glittering.

Fractures as long as a walkway

stretching the borders of a great body of water.

 

Stringing thoughts like a child’s dream. I know,

but I’ve learned not to take synchronicity so seriously,

learned there is only choice, and chance caved into,

selected to stand as fate – the end result, resulting

in a theory of complexities and open systems.

 

Stuck in the ground, protruding stilted like a statute.

Tell me it is true, that nothing pure is subjected to disease.

Crickets in the late morning.

When I am fixated, it is fantasy, false as poison in soup.

When I am lucid, liquid budding, my fingers are flames,

and all that they contact pulse with their heat.

 

Various clouds like currents perpetually pumping -

financial lack, and I, myself, curled up on the bottom stair.

Beds I defend, determined to lay in, over and over

hurting for considered crimes. Erasing perimeters, I clutch

at fraudulent mercies, securities of working furnaces

and washed hair. How to love damaged flesh, radiate love

for what is broken, far beyond romanticism, dangerous

as a cockroach and forever mutating -

translucent shells and pores – radioactive

and growing more grotesque under slabs of rotten wood?

Love, I do not understand you as I am older

and keeping up the climb. Medications and

broken down dishwashers.

Debt like ghosts that stick to my aura, smothering out the colour -

Oh weedy garden! Sparrow on my roof, talk to me for a while.

How can I love, middle-aged, half over, clear

of a younger person’s hope and indecision?

Pointing at ecstasy (a snail on my forehead) pointing,

pointing, stung.

 

Copyright © by Allison Grayhurst 2014

Walkways cover 2 As My Blindness Burns cover 8

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

.

 

First published in “The Muse – An International Journal of Poetry” Volume 4, Number 1, June Issue 2014

http://themuse.webs.com/June%202014/muse%20june%2014.pdf

http://themuse.webs.com/latestissues.htm

The Muse cover

.

You can listen to the poem below:

.

.

Walkways – the poem – part 3 of 16

 ….

photo (23)

Piercing, lingering, chiming out a hymn, lullaby on a chain.

Remorse to wade in like a sea-salt bath, absorbing

the past into the present cellular flow.

Mounds of construction sand, building and restoring roots

without life, chopped down at surface level.

Ideologies fuel, then turned to cinder by anger -

justified violence that violates the laws of love.

           

Skittering up stairs, the last time I held a leaf I held

your focused form, unable to stay the distance,

but stayed nonetheless near rudimentary desires.

 

I am cut like a lawn, smooth as carpet. See me now,

skateboarding, jettisoning over humps and bridges.

The wind – position me inside your storm. The last time,

strength enlisted an empty street – such vines

and beautiful stones!

Mercy in a crack, a masterpiece of twin creation,

outside art galleries – living wood, sleeping shapes,

inviting holes… holy as sex, sweet hands entwined.

 

Release into me as I release into you,

in mutual receptivity, clear direction, directing energy.

Dew drops evaporating, shining.

Our masthead – brittle, breaking. Even so,

how we are combined! Such glow.

It is glorious to know you like this

and not be afraid.

 

Copyright © by Allison Grayhurst 2014

Walkways cover 2 As My Blindness Burns cover 8

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

.

 

First published in “The Muse – An International Journal of Poetry” Volume 4, Number 1, June Issue 2014

http://themuse.webs.com/June%202014/muse%20june%2014.pdf

http://themuse.webs.com/latestissues.htm

The Muse cover

.

You can listen to the poem below:

.

.

Walkways – the poem – part 2 of 16

….

photo (24)

Smudges, under siege, patches of calcified tissue

and the swamp I enter in – fuming with failed love -

connections broken under the Buddha fire. Detachment

will not save me – nailed to the pavement stone, looking at birds.

 

Summer where have you gone? Smells rise to meet me,

and the air is still humid, pressing on my cortex,

corrupting my ability to choose joy.

Grasshoppers hopping. Will my heart be broken?

Again, again, squeezing, squished

fermenting at the sides, foaming and fizzling, burning sage, but

it is not good enough, not enough to teach me the strokes

or how to steady the raging chaos gestating large

in the pocket of my throat. Continents on fire, inside organs necessary

to function – why the children? Why not me?

 

Livingroom-light-globe like a crystal ball,

opaque but powerful enough to predict possibilities.

I was never here before, never heard the angry rodents

vocalize, never slept with aching joints, dreams

of running low and ferns and moss

covering Zen-garden displays.

What else are we going to do here, but procreate, create,

dissipate and die? Van doors left open.

Lawn chairs on the road for pickup.

The windmill, the tilting tops of trees, heavy

with clusters of fresh pinecones.

I am an orange peel, orange, peeled, drying

next to the sewer grate.

I am limp with the weight, the burden of random happenings. Always

I love you and always, I am breathing.

Take me into the arms of your protection.

I don’t want another day.

Mass of thick porous grey hovering, no space for hope.

Why the children? Couldn’t you spare just them and all

the up-for slaughter animals?

I am done with this place, the tripping curb,

callous indifference – the rippling consequences

of blind destruction.

 

Copyright © by Allison Grayhurst 2014

Walkways cover 2 As My Blindness Burns cover 8

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

.

 

First published in “The Muse – An International Journal of Poetry” Volume 4, Number 1, June Issue 2014

http://themuse.webs.com/June%202014/muse%20june%2014.pdf

http://themuse.webs.com/latestissues.htm

The Muse cover

.

You can listen to the poem below:

.

.

Walkways – the poem – part 1 of 16

.

Walkways

 photo (5)

Dual forming on slopes of darker minds. 

Succulent nodes of effervescent whispers,

whispering Oh! Blood clots bending

in unison to sharp solstices.

 

Dig and reap tomorrow’s regrets,

piled on like love you thought was comfortable. 

 

Comfort is a guard you let loose,

let down and found judgments -

platters to be served and roasted upon.

 

Singing for sale. A number left to a key. Fickle

verdicts oscillating between indifference and approval.

Release and acceptance – what else is there?

I am only unhappy when I want what isn’t.

 

Platypus cans of tonic – drink down, flushing

through organs. I see orange. Orange buses,

orange lines of direction on the road, in homes

where anger is held at stillpoint. One point

on a curve. I have lost my feathers,

all means of flight. There is nothing left

but hunger for the skyspace, outerspace, space

where I once travelled through meteor fields,

ballooning over planets’ edges like a seamstress,

owning it all before I got grounded, committed

to personal love and the necessity of graves.

 

Why did I come here? To cry for my loved ones,

hold vigil for the slaughtered pigs?

Centuries that just were, lingering, licking

on waves of vastness, licking dark matter like a candy cane.

Not a soul, but the planets vibrating their orchestra – deep,

varying at intervals, then again, and never changing.

God, what am I doing in the sunlight – on the sidewalks,

making room for children on bicycles?

Putting pressure on my shoulders so I cannot sleep,

cannot appease this malcontent.

Why did I leave – to connect with misplaced animals?

Babies only born? Looking for union when before

I thought myself whole?

 

Material made from the moon. I understand

the beauty of caves, the great sea turtle’s solitary plight…

but more and more – I never wanted more than you

again inside of me – infinity in corporeal form.

 

God separates to know Itself. God is only what we give,

awakening as we do to warmth and kindness – choices

under the wrap of gravity and yet, somehow,

lifted into altruism.

 .

.

Copyright © by Allison Grayhurst 2014

Walkways cover 2 As My Blindness Burns cover 8

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

.

 

First published in “The Muse – An International Journal of Poetry” Volume 4, Number 1, June Issue 2014

http://themuse.webs.com/June%202014/muse%20june%2014.pdf

http://themuse.webs.com/latestissues.htm

The Muse cover

.

You can listen to the poem below:

.

.

Surrogate Dharma

.

Surrogate Dharma

 .

I didn’t think I would get lost

or be chained to a contractual victory.

I thought a grain would grow,

become a solid garden. Fires would come, then

firefighters. I would be testifying about

the worth of what survived.

    That is not what happened. I fell prey

to the propaganda of affirmations,

to the volume of control I could contain.

My dream dropped out of me

like a miscarriage. I hoped I could forget:

Tie my shoes, zip up a coat

and kiss the shelter I have. Bridges here and there -

they are not mine to travel.

Vinegar keeps getting injected into my bones,

replacing the marrow with

its potent clarity. Do you see? I am getting older.

It will be over

and I have to be able to say I served well.

My mouth opens and folds like a fledgling wing.

People pass – each one a violin note, a digit, a reluctant

panting pitch. Conversations are ash.

I don’t like living in these elements, my neck

stretched up into the dense middle

of a monsoon. Let me climb,

dragging this dead beast behind me.

Let me live where my father went to school,

on a Himalayan peak.

I am not a petal. My courage is fickle, it fortifies or fades,

dependent each day on mutual obligatory infatuation.

    I can’t keep pretending:

The sun is strong. The night is strong. I am not stronger.

    I am in this hovel with my lamp, tasting metal

of varying textures -

rusted, gold, and other star-erupted symbols -

greeting obscurity, broken toenails

I can’t be bothered to trim. How many rooms, my God?

How much waiting and walking, and the fish? I could be a fish. Make me

one of those – sliding about, weaving with one full-body stroke

through a lush intricate terrain, mastering

a juicy undergrowth.

 

.

Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

3021

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

.

First published in “Surrogate Dharma” e-chapbook Kind of a Hurricane Press

Surrogate Dharma chapbook 1

Surrogate Dharma chapbook 29Surrogate Dharma chapbook 2

 

http://barometricpressures.blogspot.ca/2014/10/surrogate-dharma-allison-grayhurst.html

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-DuKJaq66CldFQtSDd1aTBncm8/view

.

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.

.

Book reviews of the River is Blind paperback:

“Throughout (The River is Blind), she (Allison Grayhurst) employs  reiterated tropes of swallowing and being consumed, spatial fullness and emptiness, shut- in, caverns, chasms, cavities; angels, archangels, 
blasphemy, psalms; satiation or starved. With a conceit of unrequited sex as “my desire”, nocturnal emissions, awakening in the morning, the poet lives at capacity, uninhibited, dancing,” Anne Burke, poet, regional representative 
for Alberta on the League of Canadian Poets’ Council, and chair of the Feminist Caucus.

“Allison’s poetic prose is insightful, enwrapping, illuminating and brutally truthful. It probes the nature of the human spirit, relationships, spirituality and God. It is sung as the clearest song is sung within a cathedral by choir. It is whispered as faintly as a heartbroken goodbye. It is alive with the life of a thousand birds in flight within the first glint of morning sun. It is as solemn as the sad-sung ballad of a noble death. 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. THE RIVER IS BLIND is a must-read,”  Eric M. Vogt, poet and author.

“One of the best contemporary poetry books I have read and my favorite by Allison Grayhurst. I have this (The River is Blind) in paperback and find I come back to it often. I am very impressed that her poetry just oozes quality and in all ways gets my mind thinking. If you read poetry I highly recommend it, if you also write this is a great way to spend a couple of hours soaking in the quality and subject matters. The poems are spiritual and uplifting and I have never found any of her poems to be dull or depressing nor ever too hard to read. More life affirming each time I read one and I am always glad to have done so,” Bruce Ruston, poet, photographer, founding editor of The Poetry Jar.

.

.

Surrogate Dharma – new chapbook

My new e- chapbook Surrogate Dharma – Barometric Pressures Author Series, Kind of a Hurricane Press, October 2014, is available for free viewing or download via the links or clicking on the book cover below:

 Surrogate Dharma chapbook 1

Surrogate Dharma chapbook 29

 

Surrogate Dharma chapbook 2

 

http://barometricpressures.blogspot.ca/2014/10/surrogate-dharma-allison-grayhurst.html

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-DuKJaq66CldFQtSDd1aTBncm8/view

.

.

Kind Escape

 .

Kind Escape

 .

Once, a child, under

the spring’s thriving sun,

lead by the glory of intricate imagination,

shadowed only by other children’s push and talk.

The way was clear, the valley below was soaked

with debris. I never touched

the briars of age as the birds carved

out my language. It was long ago

but I have not left those unreal adventures,

only now with adult-mind and adult-longing

they still ease my dread. When the cathedral

is closed and the enemy has entered my blood,

I slide into their colourful weather

and wait for the day to be renewed.

 .

 

Copyright © 2004 by Allison Grayhurst

3013

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 .

First published in “Allegro” Issue 1

Allegro 4Allegro 2Allegro 3

http://allegropoetry.org/issue-1/

 .

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.

.

.