The poetry of Allison Grayhurst

“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.

“Allison Grayhurst poetry has a tribal and timeless feeling, reminiscent of the Biblical commentary in Ecclesiastes,” Cristina Deptula, editor of Synchronized Chaos.

“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.

“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 were nominated for “Best of the Net” 2015, and one eight-part story-poem was nominated For “Best of the Net” in 2017. She has more than 1125 poems published in over 450 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 sixteen 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. 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).

Walkways cover 2Some 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; Chicago Record Magazine; 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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img432Over 1100 of Allison Grayhurst’s published poems are available to read on this website. All 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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Collaborating with Allison Grayhurst on the lyrics, Vancouver-based singer/songwriter/musician Diane Barbarash has transformed eight of Allison Grayhurst’s poems into songs, creating a full album. “River – Songs from the poetry of Allison Grayhurst” was released October 2017.

 

 

 

 

www.dianebarbarash.bandcamp.com

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/river-songs-from-the-poetry-of-allison-grayhurst/id1293420648

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/dianebarbarash3

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0766X9LDJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507310524&sr=8-1&keywords=diane+barbarash

 

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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

Issuu: https://issuu.com/allisongrayhurst

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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Girl – the song and the poem

River – songs from the poetry of Allison Grayhurst

https://dianebarbarash.bandcamp.com/

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/dianebarbarash3

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/river-songs-from-the-poetry-of-allison-grayhurst/id1293420648

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0766X9LDJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507310524&sr=8-1&keywords=diane+barbarash

 

 

The Poem:

 

Girl

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Under the willow tree a girl

was standing, lonely with

the worst of nights ahead.

They said

drink from the tarpit waters and swallow

the oysters that lost their shells.

She saw the drug the wind made

though she did not let it shift her steadfast heart.

Everywhere the notion stood

that fighting back is better than

the tender wave, better than

empathy and believing in affection.

The willow leaves have gone brown and the girl has moved

beside a cliff. She dances as though she

could not fall. And though they gasp to pity

her poor body against rocks and ridges,

she continues to move like a beautiful sound,

sure of the hand that guides her.

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Copyright © 2002 by Allison Grayhurst

3011Our Children Are Orchards

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Out of Our”, 2012

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River – the song and the poem

 

River – songs from the poetry of Allison Grayhurst

https://dianebarbarash.bandcamp.com/

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/dianebarbarash3

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/river-songs-from-the-poetry-of-allison-grayhurst/id1293420648

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0766X9LDJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507310524&sr=8-1&keywords=diane+barbarash

 

 

The Poem:

 

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River

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I will run my breath across your eyelids,

go to you, trace the edges of your hands,

finding infinity inside your torment. I will

drift into you like wind and you will not mind

my lips like a concentrated shadow on your skin,

darkening but leaving no weight. You will let me

be inside your picture, a background to your lyrics,

softly at first, I will heal the red in the whites of your eyes.

I will release my wardrobe for you and you will be the mania

that I climb through to reach tranquility. I will

cup your flesh and stretch you through this intimacy because

I own you as you own me and it is not a bad thing, not

blasphemy or anything

to fear. It is your hands, mine – these

poignant burial grounds that have been excavated,

these days of standing close, depending upon the ease

of our mutual exposure. I will speak in your ear and you

will step into my voice

like stepping into a river.

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Copyright © 2011 by Allison Grayhurst

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Currents - pastlife poems cover 4 

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “InnerChildPress” 2012

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Diane Barbarash interview about River – Songs from the poetry of Allison Grayhurst – Part 1

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River – songs from the poetry of Allison Grayhurst

https://dianebarbarash.bandcamp.com/

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/dianebarbarash3

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/river-songs-from-the-poetry-of-allison-grayhurst/id1293420648

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0766X9LDJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507310524&sr=8-1&keywords=diane+barbarash

 

 

Seamless – the song and the poem

 

 

River – songs from the poetry of Allison Grayhurst

https://dianebarbarash.bandcamp.com/

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/dianebarbarash3

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/river-songs-from-the-poetry-of-allison-grayhurst/id1293420648

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0766X9LDJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507310524&sr=8-1&keywords=diane+barbarash

 

 

The Poem:

 

 

Seamless      

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    Raincoats and rainy seasons are behind us now.

I picked up a feather.

You took it from me and now it is yours. And just like that,

rich as the coral reef waters, we were initiated into

a lower layer.

    Intensity is a button. It is concentration – one part,

one of your parts unrelentingly explored

while ignoring other

distracting sensations. It is the thick blood

raking of thighs against our lesser faith.

    Fears of the future put aside and left to their weeping.

Shoulders become secrets receiving

probing pressure-point intrusions.

Like a primeval working of strings,

through this communication, we see

the courage of our history rise, become an advancing truth,

and our pores

grow and sparkle like thousands of tiny sun-drenched ants

pooling together to parallel a single purpose.

    We know ‘just survival’ is tyranny.

What we seek is not movement

purely for the sake of employment, but to create canvases

of vigorous struggles – ones that can only be cemented

in unison.

    Our bodies have abandoned their blood-lines.

We are touching every crease

and tense design with undiluted intention –

first blotting out words, then delectable conversations.

We rejoice in the grand dramatics of our compatibility,

equally committed to corporeal immersion.

    The past culminates in this single outpouring. It is

a privileged evolution. It is months of misfortune

exterminated by the exertion of our mouths:

    Strange rhythms are risked, foreheads pressed,

giving way

to beautiful unadulterated disclosure.

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Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

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amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “New Binary Press Anthology”, 2012

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elegy of this day being – the song and the poem

 

River – songs from the poetry of Allison Grayhurst

https://dianebarbarash.bandcamp.com/

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/dianebarbarash3

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/river-songs-from-the-poetry-of-allison-grayhurst/id1293420648

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0766X9LDJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507310524&sr=8-1&keywords=diane+barbarash

 

The Poem:

 

elegy of this day being

.

At the throat, brushed green like tile I shine.

The devil says “hum-drum”

as the eel struggles, futile like a wagging tail.

So many broken, hating with the hardness of crocodiles

and ants, pulling along their dead,

to consume, knowing nothing of sorrow or forgiveness.

All night I sit with my naked thighs

on the carpet, red from the heat.

What point could there possibly be

to all this pain, the death

of others, the sickness that swarms in mid-air?

Hurricanes hit the graveyards.

A gull tilts on a telephone wire. I wish to bid goodbye.

I wish for ice-cream cones in my fridge,

a handful of poppies to give some child,

any child, I meet.

I see dead eyes in my dream,

glossed with mucous and unbearable vacancy.

How do I serve when the world is so cold?

The humpbacks know this, the midgets

and also the centipedes.

I want to hide in rooms where

infants are sleeping or salamanders nurse their young.

The darkness is in me. The ground deceives me,

changes colours as I go.

Let us go now, my nightmares

and I, go under the light, go until

our heart’s blood is free-falling, exposed.

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Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst

3002 

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in the summer 2012 issue of “Parabola” called Alone & Together

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Now I am Two — the song and the poem

“This song “Now I am Two” speaks to the dedication intimacy asks and the deep subtle bond that follows… River is now available on iTunes and Amazon, and of course on Bandcamp. Bandcamp downloads come with a bonus,” Diane Barbarash

 

 

River – songs from the poetry of Allison Grayhurst

https://dianebarbarash.bandcamp.com/

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/dianebarbarash3

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/river-songs-from-the-poetry-of-allison-grayhurst/id1293420648

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0766X9LDJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507310524&sr=8-1&keywords=diane+barbarash

 

The Poem:

 

Now I am Two

.

It is this way, togetherness:

A covenant with tenderness and speaking thoughts

only glimpsed.

The snow falls like rain as the afternoon moves

without time, our hands pressed as one,

lips and then, something better. Always

miraculous, unexpected, awakening. Always

us, vanishing and then re-emerging with these things

of harmony and friction engulfing our scent and path. Soon,

the tiger lilies will bloom and being just us will be made difficult

with the children gathered in our arms. But this ‘difficult’ is

whole and adds to our liberation – making coffee, laughing

at things shared and only ours.

It is what was prayed for, what years and hardship has not

diluted, but has fused into an unbreakable bond – us –

the summoning of all our parts – ancient, immediate

so that even when death comes or fate and terrible sobbing,

neither of us will ever be again

without the other

alone.

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Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

3021 

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

First published in “Anchor & Plume: Kindred, Issue 5, Nest”, 2014

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“River – Songs from the poetry of Allison Grayhurst” CD release – by Diane Barbarash

 

When Diane first approached me about this project, my initial response was surprise and trepidation, along with excitement. After hearing how Diane combined her musical gifts with my poems to create separate identities – songs – I was blown away. I never imagined such a thing possible, and I can’t imagine that anyone but Diane could have tuned in so well to my poems, creating songs from my poems that I would be happy with. Her instinctual genius, both musically and vocally, astounds me and resonates in complete harmony with my poetry. She has honoured my work every step of the way, and I am in awe of Diane’s talent and brilliance. I am so proud and thrilled about this album, and can’t wait to share it with all of you.

Love, Allison

 

 

You can hear the songs and buy the album on 

www.dianebarbarash.bandcamp.com

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/river-songs-from-the-poetry-of-allison-grayhurst/id1293420648

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/dianebarbarash3

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0766X9LDJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507310524&sr=8-1&keywords=diane+barbarash

 

“These songs were written from the poetry of award winning Canadian poet Allison Grayhurst. She is truly one of a kind, as every word, every breath and phrase captures the heart and moves you somewhere deep and unexpected.  It has truly been an honor to compose to her beautiful poetry. The album comes with a beautiful PDF booklet that shows the original poems in their entirety. I hope you enjoy listening to River,” Diane Barbarash.

 

 

Booklet that comes with the CD (including the downloaded version):

www.dianebarbarash.bandcamp.com

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/dianebarbarash3

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/river-songs-from-the-poetry-of-allison-grayhurst/id1293420648

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0766X9LDJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507310524&sr=8-1&keywords=diane+barbarash