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.


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 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); 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.  


img432Over 1125 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 to date 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.



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UK Amazon Author Page:

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Creative Talents Unleashed (CTU Publishing Group) Author Page:







Mapping out oblivion, putting

lines where there are no lines. Like the small moths

that live all year in my closet, nibbling at clothes

I forget to wear,

making a feast with what has been discarded –

I feel connection, but only at one end,

like cutting eyelids

out of clay: Finger-made eyes that cannot see,

cannot approach my trembling body, gaze over it

and crack the distance.


Entering this thirst like entering a church,

climbing wide stone steps,

being bombarded with that floral, incense smell, or

like warring with a round whitish eucharist wafer,

stuck to the roof of my mouth.

There is no garment to keep me warm,

no thistle to swallow, scarring

all the way down. There is only the afterbirth of this thirst,

void of the fattened wail, shadow, the kind

the TV traps in its frame.


How am I to dissipate this growing, encroaching wave, rest

like before, when my mouth was not so dry, rest

on a raft, my head leaning over, under seawater,

conversing calmly and feeling one with

schools of curious but contented swimmers?



.Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst



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






        Sleep, into triumphant sleep,

waking is a tide of abysses and senses

reflecting illusions. Cursory stresses,

repairing at the bedside where my knees bent in prayer,

scuffing my skin with cosmic complaining.

        I’ve thought about this, and I’ve decided

not to care if I fail at swimming or grooming or trophy-getting,

or in collecting eggwhites, having more than what I have

necessary on the table.

        Love is the weathervane is the station,

earning eternity, a teaming ocean worthy of a dive.

The rest is a stunted fetus that will never coo

or be baby-dream sufficient.

        I’ve spent too long weight-lifting chaos’s hammer,

flinging myself from wall to stump.

I have eyes that hold me, another’s and another’s

I can take pictures of and sing to, and I wish for nothing

but to retain this fertility of tender revealing.

        Children and the final history of desire,

predestined to return as a speck – own my freewill,

multiplying with the rhythm of a brighter responsibility.

        Sleep, for I’ve never existed

but to count this love and to love this way

personal, a cliché of bloated ignorance,

with a mouthful of famine and an armful of miniscule miracles,

gestating, spiralling, blending into the soft brown sofa,

tea in hand, leaning on another, amazed

by how good this is and how very long

this cozy reverie has lasted.



.Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst


BookCoverImage Allison GrayhurstTrial and Witness print back cover


First published in “Guwahatian, Volume 1, Issue 9”



I have been born


I have been born


a thousand times over,

flaked into existence by

force, by will and by desire.

I have had my days

under the siege of physical limitations,

of bloodlines burned and bloodlines

mended. There is no more

time for this rotating scheme,

no space for waiting

or for continuing. I stop here. Unplugging the

flow, breathing only because

I want to, because

this skin that is mine is

the last skin I will ever claim

as the landscapes I drop, drop, then

drop me.



Copyright © 2015 by Allison Grayhurst

Fire and more cover - Copy

Currents - pastlife poems cover 4

Make the Wind cover



Published in “Anti-Heroin Chic Magazine” February 2016


Before you


Before you


wide with surrender

with no backdrop or formula,

with the accomplishment of releasing

plans by the wayside into the swamp

that used to be an instrument playing,

a cliff of clay forming a tireless gale

of heavy sensual dreams.

      I belong to you and to the strength of your empty hands,

the endings you leave me with, harvesting

ephemeral food – a soul full

of coastal curves that break the waters and is broken

by them, pressing and caressing the chain of tidal

obliteration as an umbilical cord connecting

to the vast sweet space that is you.

      Never meant to anchor roots or climb a sturdy cliff,

you stop my struggle to illuminate a typical liberation,

gaining the wherewithal to stay pale,

upright and destined in my cage.

For it not a hellish home, but submerged

in the damp abandon of your shaking,

it is subject to your prying appendages poking,

tearing away speech and understanding.

      I am yours, withdrawn from words into a connection

washed with elements of prayer but unlike prayer

more like lemonade to the day labourer or grass

to the grazing mare – away from bit, halter and reigns –

your sun sinking its evening heat into my back and shoulders,

erasing division, drawing an intimacy

that frees my blood’s natural flow, squeezes out

the clotted clump of summoning-up

of years scarred by grief and hidden,

rebellious longing.



.Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst


No Raft - No Ocean



First published in “Change Seven Magazine, Issue 1.2 Summer 2015” June 2015






Hole in the sky we go

through. Other way

around, we exit on the peak.

Oblong mercy is the natural order

of things. We see an innate

camera reciting images

made up of everyone’s fluid flames,

discovering everyone’s life is short.


I remember sleeping in a dark summer,

remember the innards of the cave I strode into,

making a home out of its

damp walls and dirt.

I never meant to leave that home, never thought

I could find one to hold awareness with such intensity, savoring

the brink-edge depths, even

expanding the boundaries. Never thought to be coupled,

completed in an evolving perfection, never thought

I could find one to give me permission to embody my desires,

discover my desires before I do, then honor the reciprocation

of mutual satisfied longing.


Our bodies become spiritual.

Ourselves, undivided

from the fixed-point and from the no-point

chaos blues. Our gift

is a box of fresh fruit, full

whenever opened – mixed

succulent, surprising pleasures.

Ours is a wholeness that

can be experienced without complications

because we know that death makes God

necessary, and because

we are braver, only capable

when we are where we stood

before our births, each pore

mingled, sensitized, our organs submerged

in the consciousness of this re-joining,

speaking in tongues, with tongues and touch.

The time of only light awakened, then

the time before light

entered, restored.



Copyright © 2014 by Allison Grayhurst

Walkways cover 2

Make the Wind cover



First published in “Down in the Dirt, Volume 132”, October 2015 and online “Scars Publication” April 2015 and “Sunlight in the Sanctuary” anthology, November 2015, and “the Intersection” anthology, November 2015, and “hello goodbye   goodbye hello” anthology



The Faintest Breath of Love is Enough to Save Me


The Faintest Breath of Love is Enough to Save Me



Inside the box the lid

was pushed up, lifted, pulling out

the weight of darkness, filling

the space with air – fresh as a

blooming sunflower, gathering the

bumble bee and Eastern Grey squirrel.


Without warning the stem snapped,

an essential survival line severed from its source.

The bee and squirrel moved on,

as I must move on, clean up dead stems, petals and seeds,

rest on the front steps, put the debris in the box and bury it

in the same place where

the sunflower once stretched half way to the roof.


I must be brave without beauty to strengthen me,

free of myth and poetic attachments, mingle with

the nest-makers, the earth-foragers, satiate in the present

and tremble with glory, breathing better in spite of decay,

disease and the loss of sustenance.  


Light the box on fire before I bury it.

Bury it while it is burning. Bury it, burning…

holy is this, holy is that,

dream it now

and it will be over, it will be mine.



© 2018 by Allison Grayhurst



Published in “Outlaw Poetry” March 2018



You can listen to the poem by clicking below:








Cold wave, mother blue

as the dead and empty sky,

orphan sun sitting when

pity has passed, love

has left too for alliances with

the party goers, party-givers

and the run-of-the-mill wealthy mongrels

of deception and worldly favour.


Eyes to the pavement with

the strength and perseverance to find and pluck

the secret egg hidden among the stones,

pluck away shame, guilt and unhealthy obligations,

boil them in the boiler room, send

them into the crematorium

never to again inflict a living hold.


Once plucked what is left hurts like a severed attachment –

lost from warmth and the glowing light

of benevolence.

Devastating, this violation of nature,

this thrust-alone on the high ridge.

Flowers here in pretty colours

are confined to gardens, to gravity

like the rest of us. I walk away from flowers

into a desert where high winds and sand

scratch my face, then

the corneas of my eyes.


Can love be revolutionary here, a miracle here

of abundance, soft affection? Can it be priceless,

a happy licking tongue, settling

for nothing that isn’t endlessly overflowing,

a waterfall, a child embracing

in fearless abandon?



© 2018 by Allison Grayhurst



Published in “Outlaw Poetry” March 2018



You can listen to the poem by clicking below: