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 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.  

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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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Walkways – the poem – part 9 of 16

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Escaping on the brook’s bank,

banking on nesting warm through

winter, but tears are horns that open

soft spaces, and autumn shifts heat and any hopes

for renewal. Love is fire -

from where it goes there are no shields to block

its scorching. Can we reach bottom in the rain?

Sing hosanna at the mountain’s base?

 

Becoming is the stone, the house, the wave.

The lines between us all are solid, no longer lines but

one heavy blanket of vibrancy, creaking, splitting.

 

I walk like I walk – barrel beatings,

borrowing crisp notions into my ears.

Stretched for a while to be compact again,

I hear an approaching intrusion, a high

wake, strong enough to travel on.

 

Stronger days of running through the weeded grass

where rabbits stand still at my passing

and insects move quickly into the shade.

Stranger days of watching a patio stone broken

from a storm – from a fallen tree that fell,

leaving me to find

meaning in such drastic weather.

 

Copyright © by Allison Grayhurst 2014

Walkways cover 2 As My Blindness Burns cover 8

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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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

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You can listen to the poem below:

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Walkways – the poem – part 8 of 16

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Paved paths, brisk

storm of senses, an old

opening, endless as a dug-in arrow -

head in the weeping jungle, the coolness

of autumn air brushing tombstones,

the thin necks of geese.

So much night in a single glass, body

and name together, replacing

existence with this inheritance and no other.

Rows of ships crowding the edge of the lake -

docked and bearing down for winter. The distance

grinds, gravel on my belly, cracked shells

in subterranean pages writing down dawns and victories

never experienced, only imagined.

Is it right to receive the bitter strawberry?

Drink its flesh like juice and

kneel before reality’s dictatorship?

Is it clarity? Or forgetting?

 

Copyright © by Allison Grayhurst 2014

Walkways cover 2 As My Blindness Burns cover 8

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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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

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You can listen to the poem below:

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Walkways – the poem – part 7 of 16

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photo (12)

Underguard. Crumbled tissue in my mouth.

A crazy way to run – hands in pockets.

Forward without, undeterred by reality.

Plywood I am keeping for emergencies,

for days when putting on the brakes just won’t suffice.

Speeding, retreating, torsos twisting beautifully in anticipation.

 

I used to make mortar by hand, no machine to ease

my impossible labor – brick carrying and scaffolding climbing

and voices that ceased for a while in my head, visions

foiled by exhaustion – overused and folding.

 

Injuries are bypassed for much larger connections.

Double-winged, it is all that counts, to be counted

like lightening, glazed like tile

and ancient bones kept as keep-sakes,

never a participant in trivial bickering or

watered-downed by petty grievances and

conditioned responses.

 

Sometimes I think of dying.

I think of the unread newspaper that stays folded,

wrapped in an elastic band.

I think of a broken bird making broken bird sounds,

too broken to be saved, treated by most

as a mild inconvenience

to be walked around and grimaced at.

Except by the man with the warm dark eyes, soft

furrowed brow, and a child who will not forget those mangled

wings or the hard lesson of helplessness, the inability to heal

or to be a vessel for a miracle.

 

It is hard to love me. I am hard, uncompromising

and never still. I am needing intimacy at every turn,

needing space to brood and build my solitary house.

I miss no one I’ve lost except the dead – a parent,

many animals that once shared my life. I am not easy, not

easygoing – bloodletting, bloodtesting, phone calls

avoided, coiled, almost mad and never understanding.

 

Sex and perfect reciprocation. Hands that know more

than words, keeping in the margins, layering synergy energy

into peaks and mounds, like mountains and fractal heartbeats,

fearless of falling, or of clouds. You and I,

it has to be our reward for not selling out, not

building cages of adult-overload, for constantly

clearing room for any divine equation no matter

how it threatens our already-precarious security.

We love our children, but not like others love.

We are less of this place, more reliant on grace

than our own worldly ingenuity to keep food

on the table, the bathroom fixed and cleaned.

Dear Jesus,

are you still mine, and I, yours? It is a lot to take in, decades and

mouldy walls. I am afraid of going off track,

of being dead and seeing there is no more I can do. That

it is done and inerasable. I am afraid of not feeling

the warmth of your hand when I walk, because

you are always holding my hand and I love you

with a personal love like Kierkegaard did -

his hunchback, a deformity that kept him pure.

And the loneliness.

Knowing you, but never any other.

I am not that alone, but I remember

space, lightyears of carved-out quiet. It enters me often

and I cannot get out of it. Breathing becomes separation,

a tool I must remind myself to use.

Remind me again, demand

my unwavering loyalty, trust, and all.

 

Copyright © by Allison Grayhurst 2014

Walkways cover 2 As My Blindness Burns cover 8

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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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

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You can listen to the poem below:

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Walkways – the poem – part 6 of 16

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photo (7)

Come upon me like a feather-stick -

sectioning my abdomen like a fruit. Suddenly

toddlers are conversing and the grey cat

takes in the morning. Bundle of weeds,

bundle of flowers. An opening

under the burning canopy. Lifetimes spent

collecting synergy, male rhythms and fixed lines.

God is coming down to hide in your loose-change-pocket.

I dreamt of owning your praise. Swinging from the rafters

in a game of hide-and-seek, I sought your breath,

hand of destined chores.

I played along inside the circle, inside a sack

I could hardly breathe out of. Languishing. A round bruise

forming on my left arm. Place me here. Crown me

or stake me on a tall spike. I am sand thrown mid-air.

No place to collect and land, not even a wave, a bucket,

the forelock of a horse. Not even

thinking in a straight continuation, but there, there, a pebble

between paw pads, then, a minor note locked

in perpetual repetition.

 

Copyright © by Allison Grayhurst 2014

Walkways cover 2 As My Blindness Burns cover 8

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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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

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You can listen to the poem below:

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Walkways – the poem – part 5 of 16

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photo (33)

Light that drips down the turnpike, onto roads

and ways far away from any window.

Blocks to build shelters and shields. Flags on flimsy poles.

A neutral breeze busting cardoors and

personalized licence plates.

Paved over, I see a carcass dripping, a little yellow flower,

smaller than a thumbprint.

Rust-coloured shawl, poncho that holds

great sentimental significance holds

me to a memory, old now as a ten-year-old untended garden

or pavement cracks grown into fissures.

 

Forging, face-like an image. Worm in my sink.

Blood and cup of nutritional joy.

Hold out for the grace of good music

and drying on rocks, nude in the sun.

Quiet heat building up into renewal. Tattered ankle cuffs

and shrinking shadows, mid-stream. Up,

up we go, insistent on making an impression.

But walk lightly is all I’ll ever learn, spoon-feeding the children.

I bloom and I will die a woman, a butcher of frivolity

and the natural sequence of things.

The day is one day – enough, taken

into its rolling waters,

a dog’s dream to join in, frolic in

some other species’ symbolism.

 

Copyright © by Allison Grayhurst 2014

Walkways cover 2 As My Blindness Burns cover 8

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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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

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You can listen to the poem below:

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Walkways – the poem – part 4 of 16

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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

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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

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You can listen to the poem below:

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Walkways – the poem – part 3 of 16

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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

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You can listen to the poem below:

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