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; 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 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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Blood Spent

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Blood Spent

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              I rest these limpid hands

on your face

where my shame falls.

              For I was colour once, then I

turned chaotic like an insect

in a duststorm, swirling in

frail deathness, swirling in the

choking, greying air, sick against

you, cursed against you my morbid howl.

I was sad, but more than that, I was

falling from a great height, like

a grape to cold pavement. I was sunless,

and the maggots swarmed my mind, nibbling

my nerves with their hundred tiny mouths.

I was indulging, unable to control the violent

famine scissoring my breast. I spewed

my foaming tears on you. I came

destroying of every song.

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Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst

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amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “New Mystics” February 2017

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http://newmystics.com/lit/AllisonGrayhurst.html

http://newmystics.com/documents/AllisonGrayhurst-Poems.pdf

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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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Collector

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Collector

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Pale sleep,

naked under eyelids

and summer beating out the

last of its heat, remembering

the skin of stones I collected,

hidden in boxes under mounds of

typed-on paper.

 

I will take them out,

read them like a diary and soak

myself with their flavours. Then

maybe I will remember my inauguration

into oxygen, a direction I can run in,

leaving crutches in the alleyway.

 

I can gather armour, carry armour, be rooted

to victory and the purity of murder.

 

The bitten moon, lingering, muscles forgetting

how they travel, how love is contemplated

and grows in sand, in cracked concrete corners

even when the wolves are nearing. Trust. It is

gathering. I will gather these colourful stones –

some tumbled sheen, others, raw

and ready for flight.

 

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Copyright © 2016 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “The Blue Mountain Review, Issue 6” February 2017

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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Used blanket

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Used blanket

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Single rage returning

entrapment pedestal,

busted at the seams.

Empty frame, roofless

walls, poking out of some

hole in the pavement.

Underground gardens flourishing

speaking of dandelions and

tidbits of mercy left

at the wayside to collect

like a tossed-away overcoat –

 

I wear that overcoat every day,

every evening curled inside of it,

smelling the nuances of the places it has been,

places of music and unrequited love –

beige now and stained dark grey.

 

I long to regain the taste of its first wear,

when I was the exodus maker,

keeper of the icicle, explorer of a missionary salute,

bowing down only to clean it, sure of

my perfected individuality, saying something

monumental with its sway.

 

Those were days rich with equal

fear and hope, underneath the canopy trees, looking up,

past cloud ridges and bird flights.

 

I look at the TV or at nothing, smelling

the stains washed in mild detergent,

with the hope that some scent of back then still lingers,

covering my shoulders, hiding my hands.

 

Everything that was me, in me, outside of me

is already gone and I am not even 50, still able

to walk, hold a book, a conversation, unable

to return to a place of confidence

wrapped in this faded cloth, overcoat completion.

 

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Copyright © 2016 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “The Blue Mountain Review, Issue 6” February 2017

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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The Last Stance

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The Last Stance

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The fear settles on my shoulder

like a bug on an eatable leaf.

Imploding as the sun inches across the sky

from morning to twilight. From the

nadir to zenith of all my belongings

and hopes of forgiveness – I cannot swim.

I cannot stand underwater, like this,

a person attached to a puppeteer’s strings.

I hide in the cupboard. I turn on the TV

and blood leaves my veins. Countdown.

Counterclockwise the months spin,

happiness is cancelled by anxiety’s throne.

 

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Copyright © 2004 by Allison Grayhurst

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amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “In Between Hangovers”, February 2017 

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https://inbetweenhangovers.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/the-last-stance-by-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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Where Corpses Lay Unburied

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Where Corpses Lay Unburied

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With you, it is never elemental,

but full of sick layers of manipulation,

youthful but nasty-like selfishness,

like a rotted worm-ridden fruit undamaged

on the outside.

With you, truth is blindness to everything

but your desires. Friendships are hard and sacrificed

easily for the competition’s prize. With you,

there is no backing down, just push push and the tarry

bullshit of your unattractive smile.

With you, closeness means that you must lead,

control each gesture of omnipresent sky.

With you, death without God is majesty,

and everyone around you is only a pawn

in your many twisted, immature ploys.

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Copyright © 2010 by Allison Grayhurst

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amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “StrangePOEtry” February 2017

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Allison Grayhurst /Where Corpses Lay Unburied/

 

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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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Die Together

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Die Together

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I close the distance.

I know this love like I know

bird voices, the safety-net of death.

Reach, go deep into the skin,

in aggressive desire, categorizing each intonation,

a sculptor’s scheme. I will make you a mountain,

a colossal height, forming.

I will undertake a breathing soliloquy, a measured

chemistry for you.

Moon making, matching forces, destructive impact,

then hot surrender – neon blast infusion.

Flesh and favoritism

blooming tight in the right spot, tight in the pulsing glory –

no sin, no signed paper,

no plywood to haul or candy.

Lava moulding, speak only of this experience, only

close the distance and reap.

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Copyright © 2016 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “GloMag” February 2017

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https://www.cyberwit.net/publications/957

https://www.amazon.com/GloMag-February-Edited-Glory-Sasikala/dp/9385945785/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486513331&sr=8-1&keywords=glomag

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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World

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World

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Around

in the vast cave where

the entrances and exits were lost long ago,

where the only smell is stale bat dung

and fungus is carpeting (hanging loosely from) the ceiling.

Home is not a place I can find outside

this enclosure. It calls to me – a vision

that falls in my lap

like a tangerine, that slips into oblivion before

I take a second bite.

There are only apparitions here. Apparitions that haunt me

but have no idea of my name.

Apparitions that sit beside me on the carpet, have

conversations then fade into meaningless fluff.

Happy at first I was to meet them, with their pretty pictures

and well-rehearsed spiritual words.

Happy I was to love them like a firefly in this dark kennel.

But my birthday came and went without much fanfare.

And I am waiting still for the darkness to end.

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Copyright © 2010 by Allison Grayhurst

3017

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

 

 

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First published in “The Miscreant” February 2017

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Three Poems

 

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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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