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 950 poems published in over 400 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; 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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Over 950 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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Song by Diane Barbarash with lyrics from the poem “Animal Sanctuary” by Allison Grayhurst

Animal Sanctuary

Music, vocals and arrangement by Diane Barbarash, lyrics from the poem “Animal Sanctuary” by Allison Grayhurst.

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Walking

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Walking

A grain I throw

in the water, floating, ready to

sink. I see you – thin as anyone

must be living on such an edge – tense

and tired of holding your breath. So many years –

a raging prophet, flailing your limbs

to keep the barnacles off, to keep the ones you love

close and to keep your mission in perfect purity.

 

These days the summer is dried spit on the pavement.

It opens my eyes to the struggle everywhere – pigeons

waiting for water, children running up the dry incline,

facing a bridge, the great restructuring.

 

You, riding the gilded wing – love is like the Earth’s dirt,

necessary, elemental, and its smell, saturated with memories.

I love you: Sometimes it is easy.

Sometimes I am a woman in God’s funnel cloud,

bending back to look, but seeing only storm.

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Copyright © 2010 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “FoxGlove Journal” March 2017

https://foxglovejournal.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/walking-allison-grayhurst/

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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.

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Drift

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Drift

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Held still

like apple butter held

smooth on the tongue, catching

grief in a cage, on the surface

of a name – would it be

kissing or pinning a broken coat-zipper

together – once the fog has left is there

anything left to hold out for? Hold still for,

like a hooked fish releasing the struggle?

Being alive in the dream-state ambiguity,

meaning full then meaning naught and

how old are you?

 

Your horse, Dee, steady

in the sunlight, glinting a wild connectivity,

intelligence gleaming across a chestnut coat,

bowed head, permission to pet granted and then

sleeping in a stall, talking outload when everyone else

had gone home. It was not a dream,

not until she was gone and then it was a dream

lost, and maybe never there.

 

People love their trees

the ones they think they own. But I never loved a tree like

I loved the willow tree in my Montreal backyard. I never

loved anyone who hadn’t died at least a hundred years

before I was born until

 

there was you, rounding up the stones from every table,

sitting alone only to stand up again before the seat

warmed, and ‘perfect’ made sense but nothing ever expected.

 

Dee and the willow tree. I left my body and flew

into the sun.

 

Why can’t I leave my body and fly into the sun,–

meals taken care of,

sex and you, a beautiful summer star.

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Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “CultureCult Magazine, Volume 2, Number 1, Issue 7”  March 2017

http://culturecult.in/latestissue/

https://www.amazon.com/CultureCult-Magazine-Issue-Jagannath-Chakravarti/dp/1544911793/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1490542941&sr=8-2&keywords=culturecult

CultureCult Magazine – Issue #7

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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Remedy or false start

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Remedy or false start

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A few drops to bless the rage,

to bless this stage of cracking through the egg.

A few drops to find the candle in the blackout,

to restore the gentle eyes of my beloved.

A few drops to help dust the bones

of this dead thing that follows me around,

this rotting thing that carries the load of my dread.

A few drops to ease the way to healing,

to find the shellfish under the sandy rock

and set it free back in the waters.

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Copyright © 2008 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “1947, a literary journal”, March 2017

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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.

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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Something

 

Something

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fell from the tree,

a fruit to lighten my dense cloud.

Last night I dreamt of a charade that pulled

the carpet out from under the world – deception favoured,

gathered for years and then made a mockery of – deception

with a shocking tongue, deception still, but ruthless in its

quest for anarchy.

 

Thank you for my fruit, for a better place than yesterday.

Thank you for the hope for survival.

I will step where you send me.

I will follow your lead. And someday

I will find the place I never knew,

find serenity where once

there was anxiety, fulfillment

in the here and now.

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Copyright © 2010 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “AWS Publishing” March 2017

http://awspublishing.com/poetry/

http://awspublishing.com/poetry/353/something/

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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.

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Steel and Spice

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Steel and Spice

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Inch across

the bell-cups of lilies

in the dead oblivion

of decades of reality’s denial.

 

Inch into the sweetness

of a lilac’s centre,

nourished on imagination everytime

over the bite of bitter soup.

 

Gather the crows in your morning sky,

ask them to envelop you and then ask

their forgiveness.

 

Hiding your panic

in the promises of miracles, licking the acid

off of your skin to make for a good story,

for the belief in an undamageable surface.

Mistaking silk for bread, counting on

God’s kindness to come on the brink

of desperate need.

 

Will you now

be a slave to the feast of worms or

strip-mine until what little gold you find

feels like abundance?

 

Maybe you are safe, living in this

burning garden, protected with a poet’s peace

and by a faith that bypasses gravity’s consequences, but

has consequences and demands of its own – ones

you must live by and dedicate yourself to keep

 

turn a blind-eye to practicality,

and press all fear into a resounding prayer,

existing on the substance of

divine gifts, gifts that are final,

that have no price to pay except that you

leave yourself leaning, tied and planted only

to this holy dreamscape liberation.

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Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “GloMag” March 2017

http://online.fliphtml5.com/gkih/vhtz/

 

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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Child Unconceived

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Child Unconceived

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Tomorrow may bring you nearer

  to me, but then it may cause

              grief that no instinct nor love could

                          rectify.

If I cannot form the dustgrain of your life

  in my womb, cannot carry

              your limbs within my belly proud

                          and drench my veins

with our combined blood –

(you and I merged for a time, guiltless,

  expressing the earthy essence of God

              with each our individual heartbeats),

                          then be damned my entrails

and this longing

              that drives my impatient summer.

 

  When I see your face for the first time,

              and your father and I behold your

                          living smile, be sure

there will be a depth of welcome

  that no hardship could turn cold

              nor ever diminish.

 

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Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst

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Our Children Are Orchards

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

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First published in “Foxglove Journal” March 2017

https://foxglovejournal.wordpress.com/2017/03/16/child-unconceived-allison-grayhurst/

 

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You can listen to this 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.

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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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