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.

“Grayhurst’s poetry is a translucent, ethereal dream in which words push through the fog, always searching, struggling, and reaching for the powerful soul at its heart. Her work is vibrant and shockingly original,” Beach Holme Publishers.

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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. Three of her poems have been nominated for Sundress Publications “Best of the Net” 2015, and she has more than 880 poems published in over 390 international literary magazines, journals and anthologies in Canada, United States, England, India, Ireland, China, Scotland, Wales, Austria, Romania, New Zealand, Bangladesh, 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 twelve other books of poetry and seven 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. In 2014 her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series. In 2015, her book No Raft – No Ocean was published by Scars Publications. More recently, her book Make the Wind was published in 2016 by Scars Publications. As well, her book Trial and Witness – selected poems, was published in 2016 by Creative Talents Unleashed (CTU Publishing Group).

Some of places her work has appeared in include Parabola (Alone & Together print issue summer 2012); Elephant Journal; Literary Orphans; Blue Fifth Review; The American Aesthetic; Drunk Monkeys, Agave Magazine; JuxtaProse Literary Magazine, 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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Fire and more. front coverOver 880 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. Links to each poem by title:  https://allisongrayhurst.com/links-to-poems-by-title/

Almost all of Allison Grayhurst’s books are available for a free reading on Issuu and/or a PDF file link to download from the page on the main menu: 

https://allisongrayhurst.com/free-pdf-download-of-books/ 

https://issuu.com/allisongrayhurst

 

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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/membee-directory/#action=Listing&value=116&searchID=3286&cid=1043&did=100

Poets&Writers: http://www.pw.org/content/allison_grayhurst

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

E-mail: allisongrayhurst@rogers.com

Creative Talents Unleashed (CTU Publishing Group) Author Page: http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/allison-grayhurst-.html

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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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The Book

 

The Book

 

Inside, spending all my coins, rejoicing

on ephemeral longing, on a lustful inhale

for physical redemption.

 

Hidden in the pages, I am hidden

at four in the morning, bathing in perfection,

lifting into heights that obscure drudgery.

 

Thoughts are shapes that float as shadows,

hardly solid like butter left out of the fridge.

Cages unraveling and houses cleaned of cobwebs.

Between soft book covers freedom kisses explicitly,

candy-ices without embarrassment.

 

Hanging on hinges, on barely glanced-at walls,

I gather my vision in the grass, paint on the

bones of another’s life – beautiful bones and hallways

of many feet walking and swishing bathrobes.

In the book I can face forward and never fear rejection,

I can shower sensuously in warm rhythms,

tied to the stirring light of early summer.

 

Love between these diary covers is not just canvass

or thick hues that merge and make a middle, it is where I will

at last know another’s body as I know my own,

be protected from the torrential pawing pierce

of middle-age loneliness.

 

Inside the book, you are under me like a bed of lavender bushes,

there are waves where once sunken skeletons rise like coral,

polished pure of their violent history.

 

Drowning in the book, imagining ants collecting,

synchronized on an apple core.

 

Bells in my head, footsteps rising, closer now,

you know me well. Inside the book, you know me better.

We are two trees – branches and roots, an interwoven crocheted

impressionistic portrait, staying through heavy storms.

 

Inside the book, we are creatures of greater sympathy.

You are like yarn, tied to my brush and hold,

never in the liquid valley of a distant boat,

or obvious as a prickly, rigid rope.

I am mature, a woman with a ceiling to touch,

fifty feet of surrounding stillness, unfettered

from the expectations of my time and gender,

radiant, more, whole.

 

 

Copyright © 2013 by Allison Grayhurst

 

 

First published in “Wilderness House Literary Review”

 

As We Walk

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As We Walk

 

I spent an hour listening

to the grey and cooling sky, and the blackbirds

that gathered low.

We are but gestures sown

by particles of love, desire and greed.

Few are one tapestry, most are a bit of

all three.

There was a plague in my eyes

that has thinned my expectations, but

I am better.

Being in love this long is like a voyage

underwater, swarming with glorious and

dangerous beings.

You will always be the one to hatch my breath,

the catching flint when I am shipwrecked,

and the good thing I can hold up willingly to the light.

We have been shown there is no grave,

only the mourning. We have been shown

it is the aging in front of each other

that makes aging wonderful.

I no longer worry about what I am going to say

because there is you, with the scent of autumn

strong in your hair.

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Copyright © 2002 by Allison Grayhurst

 

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First published in “The Artistic Muse”

 

 

Blown

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Blown

 

Blown like a grain of sand from a hollow twig.

It is beautiful to be blown.

Blown, into the winding forward thrust

where good happens with the movement

of each day and the fire-cracker burn

is a burn of celebration.

Carried through the radar-stream

into an easeful position where

the goal is getting nearer at a slow pace

and old patterns are disintegrating,

remembered but not renewed.

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Copyright © 2006 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “Dead Snakes”

 

 

Where are you? I’ve been calling

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Where are you? I’ve been calling

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and waiting, soiled and famished, anticipating your return,

circled by predatory chains. There are things

we need to talk about. Are you

here, or just a synchronized inspiration, energy

as icing for one day? It is not enough.

I need you here, not galactic but like a man

before his wedding hour, needing me too,

focused entirely on my fulfilment. Where are you?

In the sparrow-droppings? In the kitten’s fear?

I cannot go forward so close to the lurking eyes

of mire and sacrificial doom.

 

Why are you leaving me blindfolded,

tremours and hard lumps invading my body,

aching against the sky for you,

on my knees, in many ways excavated, sagging without

mettle or substance? Where are you –

in the sideboard? The baseboard?

 

Compel my breath into freedom,

sing loud in my left ear, love me

like a solid spike, but weightless in its consequences.

I drive the rattle. The world is huge and

I am capsizing, eaten by its ignorance and filthy demands.

Where are you? Did you fly away?

Can you be my gravy, not dry and vague

as a passing half-hearted smile?

 

Can you not pay for my funeral and be done with the obituary,

sending me into the afterlife, a new life

of baby days and infant trust?

Where do I hurt? For you, everywhere. It is impossible

to escape, impossible to cross my legs, fold my arms.

Tender or with a shovel pounding,

break through this cobwebbed room,

give me a background I can play with, a full dish, delight

in the splintered wood.

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Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

 

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First published in “The Brooklyn Voice”  October 2013

 

Little boy born

 

Little boy born

 

before sunset

your head a perfect dream,

your hair so soft and gold –

I make my amends at your stroller side

for pain before endured.

I kiss away the darkness that came without solace

and press your small body near.

Little boy of mine

good fortune comes

hard won and not without trial.

Love is everlasting, but never free

of the hardships that make a person appreciate

love

in the full of its glory.

Little child I adore

the smell of your skin

and the movement of your eyes.

I will do my best by you

and God willing, my best

I will not be denied.

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Copyright © 2004 by Allison Grayhurst

 

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First published in “Boston Poetry Magazine”

 

Sheaves of Time

 

Sheaves of Time

 

Sheaves of time like wispy hair

freed to the wind, fall on me,

tickling my skin with their subtle happening.

Happy are the people with soap opera love

and yellow hair.

Happy am I rolling and stretching & rolling

under the great white sun. I am moved

to deliver my package at noon. I am myself bonded

to my mission like ligaments to the bone.

Sheaves of time drift on my plate

like leaves from my favourite tree.

Call me out from my doubt and let me

love each day as new, with the kind of hope

only children hold, or lovers caressing faces,

feeling eternity on their fingertips.

 

 

Copyright © 2000 by Allison Grayhurst

 

 

First published in “Oh! Magazine: Ryerson’s Arts and Culture Voice”, 1996

 

 

Neruda

 

Neruda

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I can’t be and think like you,

majestic in your sensuality,

Godless but deep with sorrow, forever restoring.

From you I see women’s hips.

And though I would never care to shield kisses upon

their soft swaying mounds, your waters swell

and grow and make me long for Spanish trees,

seascapes I saw as a child. Rising male, always like a mountain,

you pick granules from the ground, place sand on your tongue

and name the sensation.

 

If I could be and think like you,

like a native river that has known no footprints,

gathering rowboats, families of endless generations,

my house would sing, fruit would fall and

I would hold a hand, glorify each fingernail, memorize

the exact curve of each cuticle. I would retire,

rest my shoulders on an old bed, loosely clothed,

feeling the Mediterranean heated breeze encompass me

like a lover’s welcoming demand for unity. Speaking,

my words would drip like oil, gifts

of oil and bread.

 

 

Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “Wax Poetry and Art Magazine, Volume 3, Number 5”, June 2014