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 425 poems published in over 220 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.  

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Over 400 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.

Sixteen of Allison Grayhurst’s most recent 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/members_data/Allison%20Grayhurst

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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Something to See

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Something to See

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By the exit, by the winding path

the brave and the bleeding have gathered

like this, they cry out for a shoestring of mercy

and receive a little more than their worth.

I add the answers together and find

no love lacking. Yet, the ache remains, tattooed

onto the pavement like an empty wallet

driven into fresh tar.

And I remain under the cutthroat justice

of practicality.

Years of fighting, no more fighting for

that which God does not want to give.

Bitter is the paper that has my vision marked.

I must let my eyes water, walk through and arrive

like something fresh

on a foreign road.

 

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Copyright © 2006 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “VerseWrights”

Versewrights1Versewrights something to seeVerswrights bio

http://www.versewrights.com/allison-grayhurst.html

http://www.versewrights.com/grayhurst-profile.html

 

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.

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Ripples

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Ripples

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Dirty dish, I lift

and know I am holy.

Does is matter or mean

my feet are mine,

though they cramp,

and my skin is a littered shore?

After moving in, it makes no sense to dream about

round planets or miracles hunted down

between spaces, in the flesh of dark stars.

Blessings come like other conditions, feeding,

filling, then the fish is hooked and the river goes on.

How many cupcakes can I keep? Not many. Not one.

At night I wake up absolute,

solid as a never-touched stone.

I stare at the clock and have conquered time.

For that time I am the best thing of all things to be.

For an instance, I am more than metaphor, I am witnessing.

In the day I hold out for a fickle hand’s generosity,

sweeping floors and making beds.

What a hot rhythm to keep, like kisses and eclipses

of sexual elation.

Two thousand eons, and the cosmos continues

as a body just born.

Spotlights and warm lights, my love is my fulcrum,

he carries me entirely in the dips above his clavicles.

He mixes me incandescent colours, enters me

like wings tightly folded, plunging into sea,

coaxes me to thicken, be a builder, take what I can

and build.

 

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.Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

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amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “VerseWrights”

Versewrights1versewrights ripplesVerswrights bio

http://www.versewrights.com/allison-grayhurst.html

http://www.versewrights.com/grayhurst-profile.html

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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“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,”  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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Birthday Vision

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Birthday Vision

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Under this familiar banner

of autumn and Halloween.

The gull who died on the side of the road

was to me the drum-drum-drum

in the marrow of my bones and the truth that

my prayers can heal no one.

I am tired of the clouds and the chapel sermon

infiltrating the beads of my shower.

Senseless is the cloud, the song of guilt

and the selfish dark night. I can see

there is nothing to say to anyone about

the cold limb burnt at the veins.

Smooth, nothing has been smooth like the skin of a dolphin.

All I lack is painting circles, repeating in my head.

In the land of late October, it has not been easy

to find the starlight.

There is so much, by now, I thought I would have done.

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Copyright © 2002 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “VerseWrights”

Versewrights1Versewrights birthday visionVerswrights bio

http://www.versewrights.com/allison-grayhurst.html

http://www.versewrights.com/grayhurst-profile.html

 

You can listen to the poems my 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.

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Effie

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Effie

(1967-2014)

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Picture at the bottom

tied up in a pit of moths.

The royal crown, life without

a wheel to ride. Paving up the stream

where children once charged down an incline

and jumped into its shallow body.

Instead I am weakened, unable to hold

my breath for more than ten seconds,

lungs, tender with each breath, wounded, flaccid,

but airways enflamed, engrossed with harsh swelling.

Will I die this way? Before my children are fully grown?

Will this be the place, alone, afraid, surrounded by love with

no love able to save me, repair my pulse, give current

enough to dismantle the throne of this disease?

I lay on a bed, under sheets. I know what is tomorrow. I have no choice

but to let go. My children! My husband! My darling loves!

Winter has not yet come – here, but more like spring

crushing my chest, one breath, one breath, heavy liquid

rising in pockets meant for air – one breath, one breath.

The morning has arrived and death is edging nearer. I see it waiting

for me on my neighbour’s roof, patient, not as a predator,

but more like a sea at ebb tide, gathering moon gravity

and a natural motion of force that will eventually drown

whatever remains on the beachy shores, drowning

before winter – one breath.

My children are on their own as I am and I cannot stop

this freezing, save them from the cliffs of mountain-burning grief,

prevent them from being orphans in other people’s homes,

holding eye contact briefly with other mothers who love

them, feel for them, but never the way I have loved them.

The world will wax me, carry me across on the path of my heritage.

No one will be alright. Death is never healed,

it is a garment permanently glued, re-shaping the wearer,

taking the light through a black hole, ending the peace of ignorance.

One breath. The sky has changed.

It is the last time I will bear it witness, from now on -

hospital ceilings, the insides of my eyes and dreams of purgatorial pain

overcome, of dreaming my children old with children of their own.

Don’t stop dancing, I tell them, don’t watch me. I am sorry.

I can barely breathe. Is God real?

I am holding many hands holding mine; whispers, I love yous, goodbyes.

My last breath escapes me, easier now. I hear singing, sobbing, singing louder.

I am listening, complete as a stone. My work is over. My love is burning.

It is a sun. It is the shape of that song.

 

Copyright © 2015 by Allison Grayhurst

 

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I go into crazy

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I go into crazy

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I go into crazy

out of the linear stream.

 

Darkness is my umbrella,

keeps me cradled in what I know best.

It is the screen I sit and watch outward on,

see patchworks of colors, images suspended,

high-pitched volume, almost

inaudible.

 

I strain to listen,

and it is a golden pipe to slide up and down on,

railway,

soothing hummm.

 

I go into crazy, a private garden

where I sit with God – a bit like heaven

and a bit like hell

 

no congestion

no in-between

 

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Walkways cover 2

Copyright © 2014 by Allison Grayhurst

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

First published in “The Magnolia Review” Volume 1, Issue 1, January 2015

The Magnolia Review 1 The Magnolia Review 2 The Magnolia Review 3 The Magnolia Review 4 The Magnolia Review 5

https://themagnoliareview.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/volume-1-issue-1/

https://themagnoliareview.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/the-magnolia-review-volume-1-issue-1-january-2015.pdf

 

You can listen to the poems my clicking below:

 

“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.

“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 of Swan Wheeler: A North American Mythology, Swan – A Planetary Mythology, and The Rise of Eros, 2014.

 

 

Wounded

Wounded

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The sun does not bend

its rays to ensure it reaches

the deserving child, but moves

through all seasons oblivious to

its gifts and hazards.

Still prayers are heard and sometimes answered

with an overflowing ‘yes!’

Sometimes angels are asked to reach down

and bring daylight to the 2 a.m. dark, to honour

the burial kick and ring the warning bell.

Sometimes soulmates are photographed.

There is no magic outside of God – there is

no love that remains love without faith.

The horizon is cut like an umbilical cord.

The Earth and all its land creatures, all its air and water

creatures, are moving. I am tired of feeling

but not knowing,

not touching with my tongue

the language of the trees -

beautiful synchronicity.

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Copyright © 2010 by Allison Grayhurst

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amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “The Idiom, Volume 10, Issue 1″

Idiom 3Idiom 2Idiom 1

http://media.wix.com/ugd/fe794d_5e99487bbd2641ddb9575bc2f69c7a6a.pdf

http://www.theidiommag.com/

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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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Currents

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Currents

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The extremities

are beautiful as stained glass, green

as watered grass

and smells that take me over

a river, salted currents,

blooming with the long-bodied

seal, near curved mountain tops,

fresh mist, malleable fog. Humpback

dive. Cold summer winds,

oceans moving in, moving

the Blue whale, the Belugas,

the dark-fined Minkes.

 

On land, visualizing the underground rooted networks

that create lush densities of forests,

mountain geography, complex geometry

 

where fungi are conductors of communication

and legacies are passed down,

in spite of fires, droughts,

insect infestations. Places

 

enchanting children’s minds

with tales of fear and heroic

overcoming. Places

to wade in, walk through, hide in

and be exposed.

 

Huddled in unity,

a river pod in winding ebbs, a family

in sync, mastering the undertows.

 

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Walkways cover 2

Copyright © 2014 by Allison Grayhurst

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

First published in “Ikleftiko Poetry Journal” Issue 3, Winter 2015

Ikleftiko 6

Ikleftiko 1Ikleftiko 2Ikleftiko 3Ikleftiko 4Ikleftiko 5

 

 

http://ikleftiko.weebly.com/archive.html

http://ikleftiko.weebly.com/uploads/2/4/4/9/24491977/issue3real.pdf

 

You can listen to the poems my clicking below:

 

“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.

“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 of Swan Wheeler: A North American Mythology, Swan – A Planetary Mythology, and The Rise of Eros, 2014.

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