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 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 (summer 2012); Literary Orphans; Blue Fifth Review; The American Aesthetic, 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.  

***

Over 425 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/

***

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

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. All sculptures were made by Allison Grayhurst.)

.

Out of Poverty

.

Out of Poverty

.

Crack the nut, the womb

of fabulous visions!

 

The verb will carry us

to the beginning. We will

have no doubt, but as the window opens

and our nostrils clear, and

believing only,

we will be made whole.

 

Pumpkin seeds in the garden.

A spell of sparrows grazing on the lawn.

We must be mild, remember the beauty of the pear tree

and the miles around us

of living parables.

 

Red is the colour. Red is the flood pouring

down your spine. You are burning, becoming

a sail to bring us through the storm.

We are learning of patience, the heritage

of our tribe.

 

We must keep our hopes 

thick and warm, pulsing strong

like a lion’s thundering breast.

 

 

 

Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst

3002

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

.

.

First published in “ken*again, Vol. 16, No. 1 ”

Ken again 1 ken again table of contents Ken again 2 Ken again out of poverty 1 Ken again out of poverty 2 Ken again contributors 1 Ken again contributors 2jpg

http://kenagain.freeservers.com/CONTRIBUTORS.HTML

http://kenagain.freeservers.com/POETRY.HTML#Grayhurst

 

 

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.

.

Review of The Longing To Be: 

“The contents of Allison Grayhurst’s book The Longing To Be are both personal and universal and are described in such thematic and golden terms that one can see that a lot of thought has gone into each line. The poems are written mostly in free verse throughout, with both rhythm and soul weaved into them. For some poems, the layout seems experimental, and there is definitely a playfulness in the way that the words and verses fall onto the page. Others do conform to a “norm”, whatever that is. All are dramatic and thoughtful. These are layered poems with new horizons presented to the reader in every re-read. The effect is to keep things fresh with poems that constantly surprise in spite, and because of, the number of times being read. I thoroughly recommend The Longing To Be as a poetry book to study carefully and cherish far into the future,” poet Brian Shirra.

.

 

 

A weighted bliss in the lonely light

.

A weighted bliss in the lonely light

 .

Love is a mountain inside a stone,

a lightweight singer finding purpose in a mourning choir.

Love is broken, mutating into falsetto, breaking,

then layering a new underbelly. Love is something

to wish for – moving, movable with just the right

amount of softness and substance, just the tips of fingers

coursing over a body. Love is a mind free enough to know

compassion as a coping method. It is body unbearable alone,

but under love’s touch, able to mark off

conclusion after conclusion -

 

constantly budding, lasting ease

lasting elation.

 

 

..

Walkways cover 2

Copyright © 2014 by Allison Grayhurst

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

 

First published in “blackmail press issue 39″

blackmail press 1 Blackmail press  Blackmail press A weighted bliss in the lonely light

 

http://www.blackmailpress.com/AG39.html

http://www.blackmailpress.com/Index39.html

 

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.

 

 

 

In and out of Spain

.

In and out of Spain

Spanish gardens, donkey trails.

Up steep dusty mountains we went, the four of us,

then we walked along rocky ocean cliffs, poking long sticks

in the waves. Whether it was an octopus’ play or anger,

tentacles wrapped tight around the tree-limb,

my brother screamed with excitement, pulled for a while

then let go.

 

Under surveillance at the corner store, we were

government-spied on

while buying popsicle rockets, licking,

lazily skipping back to the pool. I snuck

behind our apartment building

to feed dinner scraps to the desolate feline strays.

 

My mother bought us dyed pink chicks at Easter,

chick-feet running across a tile hard floor.

My father brought them back to the market

to face their inevitable doom.

 

Baby teeth, my brother’s and mine, tied to a string

tied to an open door.

 

Grandmother with her long

boney brown fingers, her fearful sins and Lucifer

always behind our backs, up elevators,

fueling the first of my many nightmares, and also

my morality.

 

A white Volkswagen. A massive pinkish sun,

making friends with Spanish boys breaking

bread beside Flamenco dancers.

 

There was a shark in the water.

I was lifted onto my father’s shoulders,

as he ran fast, past the menacing fin to the shore.

 

A diving board, lessons in breathing

and earning a swimmer’s endurance,

lessons in lifting my double-jointed arm to gain

front-crawl perfection.

 

Mother’s blonde and blonder hair.

Everynight parties.

 

Holland shoes

instead of stockings at Christmas.

Learning math at the kitchen table.

My father’s arms carrying me home

after a late night gathering of strange comic-book creatures,

laughing, making us little ones sit at the smaller table, ignoring

our just-out-of-toddlerhood need for adult attention.

 

Kindergarten handwriting at Bambi School,

Rice pudding everyday for lunch. Naranja-head,

children pointing, making fun because of my orange hair.

A pencil jabbed into my upper arm -

40 years later, the lead is still visible.

 

When we drove across the Denia boarder, into France,

then landed for months in London,

I could see my father’s memories coming back, his disappointments

overtaking. Maybe it was because it was in London

where his own father died, left India for, only to die

two weeks later in his wife’s arms,

leaving five children behind.

 

The first year back in Montreal,

my father started drinking heavily while my mother gave up,

got involved with her celebrity journalism and multitude of friends. 

I remember going to get breakfast, my father passed out

on the kitchen floor. I remember

in and out of Spain.

..

 

Walkways cover 2

Copyright © 2014 by Allison Grayhurst

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

First published in “blackmail press issue 39″

blackmail press 1 Blackmail press Blackmail press In and out of Spain 1 Blackmail press In and out of Spain 2

 

http://www.blackmailpress.com/AG39.html

http://www.blackmailpress.com/Index39.html

 

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.

 

 

Before Atonement

.

Before Atonement

 .

At night I was full

like others are in summer,

myself, just a silhouette at dawn,

part of a church, but never part of

a calling.

I would look for owls as I canvassed unfamiliar roads

in winter, when everyone was lonely and the vein

of fulfillment pulsed obscure. I would knock on doors,

smile as though I was innocent, young in my hope

and inspired by ideals. Sometimes I would have tea and talk

as though I understood something, secretly carrying my

pink powder in a small golden tin,

desperate for any kind of magic.

The smell of that powder – sweet, unusual and old – the feel

of that powder – like rubbing thick blood between

finger and thumb – I was someone with that powder -

maybe a witch, maybe a prophet – someone

who communed with the gangs of cats that would

emerge past dinnertime; sit under cars, behind tree trunks

watching me as I watched them.

At night, the van would pull up and I had so little to say,

except to the driver. We loved our silence,

the awkward closeness

of agreed non-personal communication.

For me, there was only those nights and books,

there were only incoherent surreal images

storming my brain, longing to be submerged

in hard hard substance.

 

 

Copyright © 2008 by Allison Grayhurst

3015

 amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

.First published in “blackmail press issue 39″

blackmail press 1 Blackmail press Blackmail press Before Atonement

http://www.blackmailpress.com/AG39.html

http://www.blackmailpress.com/Index39.html

 

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.

.

I was not a bird

.

I was not a bird

.

or a bride

but wedded to the thick masculine

thighs of war, a priest of the dead -

myself a small idol that gathered a

kingdom of followers. I had but one lover,

a soul drenched with my own – long hair

and pretty eyes, a man of calm devotion, while

I enjoyed my blonde hair soaked

with my conquered enemy’s blood.

I enjoyed the cries of pursuit

and the galloping of hooves on foreign sands.

I was not driven by the robe or the snake charmer’s

deep throttle. I was fresh, never a victim of fear,

writhing with rage like a piranha plucked from the waters.

In the daylight, I was whole. At night, my lover

kissed my ring, my arms and forehead. We made love

with everything left to give to only each other -

two, dying young in a tent, just

before dawn on the brink of battle, never ones for

soft goodbyes.

 

.

Copyright © 2010 by Allison Grayhurst

3017

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

.

First published in “blackmail press issue 39″

blackmail press 1 Blackmail press Blackmail press I was not a bird

http://www.blackmailpress.com/AG39.html

http://www.blackmailpress.com/Index39.html

 

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 ‘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.

.

 

 

In Some Uncertain Future

.

In Some Uncertain Future

.

     I will sing again

of love that has found its verb and swell

and the avalanche of summer clouds will

consume me in their infinite shapes.

               I will cry again

the beautiful cry for the marriage of

heart and soul that must separate to

know each concealed fault.

               I will know again

my soul split from shock,

the mind’s tumbleweed and the choirs of

starlings beneath the overpass, baying

into endless sundown.

               I will feel again

that I am sinking like a snagged bird

from the sky of my belonging, feel the

things of guilty souls and how the night

can rid a heart of wonder.

               I will see again

a tribe of dark horses racing

on rooftops, my breast, an ocean of rolling moons

and an indelible smile.

               I will hold again

a duty of religious flare, a winter

bolted in the void where the snows

begin to fall like cut daises.

 

 .

Copyright © 1997 by Allison Grayhurst

3000

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

First published in “Tuck Magazine” March 2015Tuck MagazineTuck Magazine In Some Uncertain Future 1 Tuck Magazine In Some Uncertain Future 2Tuck Magazine contibutors

http://tuckmagazine.com/contributors/231/

http://tuckmagazine.com/2015/03/19/poetry-34/

 

 

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  ‘Journey of the Awakening':
“Journey of the Awakening is the first book of poetry that I have read of Allison Grayhurst. While reading it began to sound familiar, the comment to myself was “She is as good as Sylvia Plath”. When I finished the book I read comments from others who referred to her as “In the style of Sylvia Plath”; Ms Plath, one of my favorite poets had no match until Ms Grayhurst’s work. Congratulations to her on her achievements, I am already a ‘fan’, the love of her work will continue to grow,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, 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. This, and other Grayhurst poetry volumes are highly, highly recommended,” Tom Davis, poet, novelist and educator.

 

No Telling

No Telling

Taking back

the soft mood

the cockfight fire

 

I shrink from happiness as I do from horror,

while still craving the intensity of extremes.

There is no witchcraft cure, no person

unchanged by the constellations.

 

Taking back

the long-held hurt

the herd dream

and the tender gesture

Taking back the tyrannizing void

the genius ache

and the doldrum eve

 

There is no faith that can be won by force

and no telling what

my heart is willing to die for,

transcending.

 

 .

Copyright © 1997 by Allison Grayhurst

3000

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

First published in “Tuck Magazine” March 2015Tuck Magazine Tuck Magazine No Telling 1 Tuck Magazine No Telling 2 Tuck Magazine contibutors

 

http://tuckmagazine.com/contributors/231/

http://tuckmagazine.com/2015/03/19/poetry-34/

 

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  ‘Journey of the Awakening':
“Journey of the Awakening is the first book of poetry that I have read of Allison Grayhurst. While reading it began to sound familiar, the comment to myself was “She is as good as Sylvia Plath”. When I finished the book I read comments from others who referred to her as “In the style of Sylvia Plath”; Ms Plath, one of my favorite poets had no match until Ms Grayhurst’s work. Congratulations to her on her achievements, I am already a ‘fan’, the love of her work will continue to grow,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, 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. This, and other Grayhurst poetry volumes are highly, highly recommended,” Tom Davis, poet, novelist and educator.