The poetry of Allison Grayhurst

“My vision, all I have to give through poetry is a personal ever-unfolding understanding of God.”

img432“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.

“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.

“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 205 international literary magazines, journals and anthologies in Canada, the U.S., United Kingdom, India, China, Austria and Australia. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published ten other books of poetry and four 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. Her e-chapbook Surrogate Dharma is pending publication by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series.

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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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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Marseille

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Marseille

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Like you, I lost the spring

in a bed of stagnant water.

I withered under the sun and gained from it

only a small truth.

Like you, with you, I climbed those stairs, cried

all afternoon then sought out a redeeming parable.

In that chapel of our minds we sacrificed abundance

for bones, we traveled together because we hurt and we

saw one another as the proof needed

to confirm the validity of our road. We rented

a large room where commodities were traded,

(or often, by you, just taken)

where we stained the walls with our indelible presence,

cutting ourselves out destines from nowhere.

 

I will go back there today and collect the pictures.

I will hand-make them an album then deliver them to the sea.

Like you, I am still denied,

but now I know love.

My axle is female – and though

20 years later, my flesh is barely

(just starting to be)

my own.

 

 

Copyright © 2008 by Allison Grayhurst

3015

 amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

.First published in “The Bitchn Kitsch Volumne 5, Issue 9″

Bitchn Kitsch mar 1Bitchn Kitsch mar 2Bitchn Kitsch mar 3Bitchn Kitsch mar 4Bitchn Kitsch mar 5Bitchn Kitsch mar 6Bitchn Kitsch mar 7

http://www.talbot-heindl.com/sep2014

 

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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Four book reviews by Ann Johnson-Murphree

Review of ‘The Longing To Be':

img042

“What can I say about Allison Grayhurst and her creativity that has not already been said…she is a prolific poet. Her poetry has touched my heart and soul,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, poet and author.

 

The Longing to Be Review

*

Review of ‘Pushing Through the Jelly Fire':

3017

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

pushing through the jelly fire review 2

*

Review of ‘The Many Lights of Eden':

3015

“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.

The Many Lights of Eden review

*

Review of ‘For Every Rain':

For Every Rain Cover 5

“Great collection, once again outstanding creativity,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, poet.

For Every Rain 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

Under the vines

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Under the vines

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        Ways the willow swishes freely,

washing the wind into the sun.

Child in a tree fort dives fearlessly,

surging with elation to and fro:

over snails and uncut grass,

elements passing, back against the evening sun.

        Waves are the evidence of the ocean’s breathing.

Minds run swift, masterpieces of destinations,

forming their own geography.

Reality burns like a blood-clot -

an over-stuffed museum, updating slow.

Pirates of power and horoscopes bleating,

the only refuge is to forget.

        Out through a backyard window, the willow tree

owns both ground and sky.

Imagination comes as suffering’s negation,

potpourri to the stench of debt and worse-things owed.

Destruction overtakes too easily,

like a once-hollow ditch, now satisfied with its

fill of bones. All needs are political. Heaven

comes close in secret Sex, immortalizing flesh,

though never arresting decay.

        Child on a vine joined with the ways of the willow,

swinging, thrown-off shoes.

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.Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

BookCoverPreview

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Guwahatian, Volume 1, Issue 8″

Guwahatian August 9Guwahatian August 6Guwahatian August 7Guwahatian August 1Guwahatian August 2Guwahatian August 3Guwahatian August 8

 

http://guwahaticity.in/ipmc8.php

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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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I moved like a moon

.

I moved like a moon

.

in predictable orbit, smashed

by meteors, space pebbles

meeting my surface with deep impact, when

there were dark oceans under my skin, unseen

single forms, coupled forms, and beds of

colourless weeds, but I steadied myself

on the cold shell of repetitive expectations -

dead valleys here, dead heights there.

 

Going through the hard crust, under, into

a thicker atmosphere, currents of heaviness,

breaking barriers better off broken.

Haunted by shapes that come close and rarely touch,

in this weighted environment, by-passing predator

tentacles and jaws by instinct alone, no journey-map,

stars or horizon to act as goal or inspiration, but

 

rolling

through cross-waves with creatures captured

by a dark density like

myself, shaded, loose at the extremities, compact

at the core, thriving on plateaus of deep pressure,

salty flavours all around – so far gone from walking

that legs leave, replaced by fins, and language is not

sound, but a full-body resonance – no delay

between appetite and attainment.

.

..

Walkways cover 2 coming soon

Copyright © 2014 by Allison Grayhurst

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

First published in “The Bitchin’ Kitsch”

Bitchn Kitsch August 1Bitchn Kitsch August 3Bitchn Kitsch August 4Bitchn Kitsch August 10Bitchn Kitsch August 7Bitchn Kitsch August 12Bitchn Kitsch August 13Bitchn Kitsch August 14Bitchn Kitsch August 15Bitchn Kitsch August 16

 

http://www.talbot-heindl.com/aug2014

http://www.talbot-heindl.com/moon

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.You can listen to the poem by 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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Transfigured

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Transfigured

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Each day I wear my grief

like metal mesh. I see you

as a spirit burdened to speak.

You try to comfort this field

of wounds. You tend the amputees

and bound the screaming with soft song.

But it is hard for you to stay,

to not let go completely into the light.

I let you go. I make this year my bridge.

Though my heart has ruptured and cannot heal,

and I am forever overcome with this sadness

of our love silenced by brutal, unnamable death,

I will build a new house, dive with both hands

into my yard until the evergreens grow.

I will contain you as more than memory -

in my harvest will bloom many sunflowers

of your great generosity. And your fiery blood

will sprout the roots and flesh of passion fruit.

The maple tree will grow large like you, protecting all

within its strong and tender shadow. And children

will be drawn to this yard, to play there amongst

the tall dramatic grass, and then sit still to watch

with wonder the many shades of sky, reflecting

the warmth of your paternal sun-setting colours.

 

 

Copyright © 2000 by Allison Grayhurst

3005

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

First published in “Turk’s Head Review”

Turk's Head Review 1Turk's Head Review 2Turk's Head Review 3Turk's Head Review 4

http://turksheadreview.tumblr.com/post/92421950406/transfigured

 

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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Bowl of Candy

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Bowl of candy

 .

                It falls and it dies, dried

blood on a tombstone -

palliative care, parallel petals

of varying hues. Leaning against

a concrete pole plastered with posters of faded

dreams, dreaming their last gasp – ambulances,

lawnmowers, bird sounds – feeling the sun’s

rough tongue circle and slide with moist intensity

over the sleeves of my new jacket.

                I feel the civilized crowd, absent of judgment,

crossing streets, side-stepping grates. What does it mean

to be disguised as a butterfly or hospital nurse? Pacing

the torrid tea stores, listening to the woodpeckers, wishing

I could be so industrious. But my hands were made heavy and

I continue dragging my head like a rock, lifting it

into the sky, over airplane tracks,

and vegetable patch gardens.

                Sorrow is open, festers like boredom,

breathing an unmarked passage

through my vascular system. Wobbly and wanting only

to be taken, to let my thoughts be devoured

by survival and sensation -

one more week of salt without substance,

to be a mole in a wave

of fragrant calamity, to awaken in a bed with hands

covering my chest and trembling in the shower stall -

walking, walking – vines and the roots of old trees -

whistling in my ears – flint and enlightened temperatures,

silver and worn. How does everything enter?

                Am I the sea? Am I a balcony or a rooftop?

Away from this place, I will never be pardoned or at peace.

Maybe this is just wilderness and burning,

but never once did I know stagnation or

was I afraid.

.

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Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

3021

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Jellyfish Whispers”

Jellyfish whispers Bowl 1Jellyfish whispers Bowl 2Jellyfish whispers Bowl 3

http://www.jellyfishwhispers.com/2014/06/a-poem-by-allison-grayhurst.html

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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.

.

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.

.

 

 

After twelve

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After twelve

 .

affirming years,

your head is raised toward adulthood.

After twelve like the zodiac sphere,

they came to snatch your heart

into a barren day, where conformity

would dry the void in your stomach

and the radio would be enough to hang your

curiosity upon. But you, like a starfish,

swam slowly out of childhood – kindness intact,

individuality still pressing through your bones.

You would not tip the turtle on its side,

would cry for the crushed ant, for children

in pain you never saw. You kept the truth

you had when you were one, kept a depth and wonder

that refused to be buried.

After twelve affirming years,

the night still beats

softly for you.


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Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst

3002

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Volume 5, Issue 7″

Bitchn Kitsch after 1Bitchn Kitsch after 2Bitchn Kitsch after 3Bitchn Kitsch after 4Bitchn Kitsch after 5Bitchn Kitsch after 7Bitchn Kitsch after 6

http://www.talbot-heindl.com/jul2014

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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.

.

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.

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