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.

“When I read Allison Grayhurst’s poetry, I am compelled by the intensity and strength of her spirituality. Her personal experience of God drives her poetry. With honesty and vulnerability, she fleshes out the profound mystery of knowing at once both the beauty and terror of God’s love, both freedom and obedience, deep joy and sorrow, both being deeply rooted in but also apart from the world, and lastly, both life and death. Her poems undulate through these paradoxes with much feeling and often leave me breathless, shaken. Allison Grayhurst’s poems are both beautiful and difficult to behold,” Anna Mark, poet and teacher.

“Grayhurst’s rapturous outpouring of imagery makes her poems easily enjoyable … Like a sear the poet seeks to fathom sensual and spiritual experience through the images of a dream.” Canadian Literature.


Allison Grayhurst is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets. Four of her poems were nominated for “Best of the Net” 2015/2018, and one eight-part story-poem was nominated For “Best of the Net” in 2017. She has more than 1200 poems published in over 475 international literary magazines, journals and anthologies in Canada, United States, England, India, Ireland, China, Scotland, Wales, Austria, Romania, New Zealand, Zambia, Bangladesh, Colombia and Australia

In 2018, her book Sight at Zero, was listed #34 on CBC’s “Your Ultimate Canadian Poetry List”.                                                              

Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published fifteen 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 (1991), and four chapbooks, (Before the Dawn, Joshua’s Shoulder, Perfect Love, and Jumana), published by The Plowman, all in 1989.

Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press 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); SUFI Journal (Featured Poet in Issue #95, Sacred Space); 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; Existere; The Toronto Quarterly; Fogged Clarity, Boston Poetry Magazine; Decanto; White Wall Review.  


img432Over 1200 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:

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:


Allison Grayhurst’s completed published work prior to 2018 is available to read in six volumes titled The Poetry of Allison Grayhurst – completed works from 1988 to 2017, all published in 2017 by Edge Unlimited Publishing. Selected poems from this body of work are published in Sight at Zero (selected poems 1988 to 2017), Edge Unlimited Publishing, 2017. 


Allison Grayhurst also sculpts, working with clay and casting into concrete. Her sculpting body of work can be found in the published book The Sculptures of Allison Grayhurst, Edge Unlimited Publishing, 2017.













Collaborating with Allison Grayhurst on the lyrics, Vancouver-based singer/songwriter/musician Diane Barbarash transformed eight of Allison Grayhurst’s poems into songs, creating a full album entitled River – Songs from the poetry of Allison Grayhurst, released October 2017.



CBC -Ultimate Canadian Poetry List #34

Amazon Author

UK Amazon Author Page:

The League of Canadian Poets:


Goodreads Author:



Creative Talents Unleashed (CTU Publishing Group) Author Page:



Gathering Joy for the Eye of God


Gathering Joy for the Eye of God



For the lions and toads

in salvation’s nakedness

gather joy for the eye of God


For the squirrels that leap and the thrushes

that fly into clouds and the morning sky

like a pink sea, capturing the delight

of every waking child


For the infant who cut his toe

and the pregnant woman dancing stripped of clothes

For the cat watching out the window

and the stallion and mare in mating fury

For grass returning after being crushed by snow

and music seeping from a woman’s middle-aged throat


For the one-winged hawk and the blind opossum

For the architect’s dream and the writer’s

unwritten vision

For the loneliness inherent in us all

and the longing and the ways for fulfilment


For the graveyards in the fall and the elephants drunk

on African leaves, for those who hear the insects’ cheep

and for those who burn, blind, undefined

and raging


For the television screen enjoyed by two

and the worm rescued from a torrential rain


For those who love and those who choose

to forgive though every nerve commands

their heart to harden and yield to hate


gather joy for the eye of God.



© by Allison Grayhurst


But if I Look


But if I Look



If I keep thinking

how my hopes can flourish

in these seemingly luckless years,

soon I will be mad

with fear and futility.


     But if I look at the branches of trees

stretching upward, individual as any

ancient god, and look and feel

their surety, complexity and peace . . .

     If I strive to learn one thing from their

underappreciated presence, then awakened

I would be like a mustard seed

touched by sunlight.


© by Allison Grayhurst



Bulb Flower


Bulb Flower



The far and withered bulb flower

I planted when I was a child,

long ago shaken by years of wind

and rotted to its core –

now that it has all but disappeared

even as a crust upon the Earth,

has it found shape again in something living,

or backtracked to the volcano heart

of a mythical land?


Does it sigh for the sun or cry

when it hears a frog’s slow croak?

Does it do as I do now, watch

rain fall on stones, or is it part of a low-creepy thing

that lacks shadow and intent?


Does it sleep in the moss or

is it clay for a sculptor’s hungry hands?

Does it float through the seas as a jellyfish

or hop the meadows wild?


The far and withered blub flower

I planted when I was a child,

maybe today I saw it again

in the squirrel crossing the street

or maybe in that great tomato that was

my lunch, it returned

to now nourish my grown-up bones.


© by Allison Grayhurst


The River


The River



Toads and kestrels shape

the river’s being.

Being what? But song

and bird’s breath

and even lovers who need

her current, her living fury

that communes equally with the sun and moon.


Seedlings and butterflies,

the river engulfs all in her rushing blood.

Death reflects beautifully in her

foaming shine. And the devil’s rage

the salmon’s struggle, the child’s tossed-in penny

shapes her surly figure, is wine to her thirsty veins.


Branches and stones

vanish in her womb where never

the light has crept. Snails ride

her flesh to shore.


And though she is tired, she never rests,

desperate to embrace the sea, to ride

his undulating loins, and be bonded forever

to his salty grandeur.


© by Allison Grayhurst





Call it in,

into the palm,

into the spoon,

the upsidedown shell.

Hold its liquid grace

and walk slowly over hunchback hills,

tall weeds and cracked pavement.

Do not spill a drop.


Shield it from the sun

so it will not evaporate.

Shield it from the stars

so it does not recognize its kin

and claim its home back amongst them.

Shield it from the children

who naturally harness such vitality.

And also, from the animals,

they will gather it in their mouths

and feed it to their early-summer offspring,

knowing its worth.


Instead, call it in

because this small measure is only yours,

as long as you call it in and let all other things go,

go to serve your house and others.

As long as you know, possession here is paramount,

protection is integrity, is the way

to keep the sponge saturated, your jaw firm

in prayer.


Call it in,

into the brown jar on your sacred shelf,

anoint it secret, pay the wages

to ensure its safety. Sip from it,

sometimes a little, sometimes more than a little,

like rejoicing, like uncoiling, caught

pure, naked, in a space fully lit with

no off-switch or walls.



 © 2018 by Allison Grayhurst



Published in “Synchronized Chaos” September 2018



Published in “Chicago Record Magazine” August 2018


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:



Lighthouse gone under


Lighthouse gone under



At the end of a dream, after the burning down,

is a sorrow, there and fixed

like a blockage to ensure failure of the flow

like a broken pipe,

letting flood the lighthouse tower.


It will drown the lighthouse,

even the tip and the ancient bricks below.

And in sinking and dispersing its form

under the water’s pressure it will make a coral bed

for otherwise homeless creatures.


It will make an underwater greenhouse, a place for

tiny beings to hide, find shelter and explore.

It will go on longer down there, below the surface,

go on past decades, generations and nuclear explosions.


It will not be recognised for the tower and steady guiding light

it once held, but it will morph into a thriving community.

Its concrete flesh will grow breathing skin –

slippery green living follicles. It will endure

the winters above and the blank-eyed predators

maneuvering through its make-shift corridors.


This sorrow will take and it will be final.

And then it will give,

infusing a richer purpose, nurturing beating life

into the landscape of its shattered,

now restructured, bones.



 © 2018 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “The Dope Fiend Daily” September 2018


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:





Animal Culture (rules of commitment) – book release

Animal Culture (rules of commitment)

(2018, Edge Unlimited Publishing; ASIN: B07H1WRD5K; ISBN-13: 978-1719094962; ISBN-10: 1719094969)


Link to free download of book:

Book 29 – Animal Culture (rules of commitment) – The poetry of Allison Grayhurst



You can purchase the book in paperback or kindle: