It is not like hell


It is not like hell


but like a fathomless void,

hammering wicked

on the civilized heart, emerging

like a great anger out

of each fundamental nerve.


It is like failure, like a

cold and ruthless insanity that tugs

aimlessly on the mind’s fine fibres.


It is like me and I am

prey to the avoided, to the ugly, whirlpool

mouth of isolation, witness to the long

journey through death and need.

I am prey to the contemptuous

dark that gnaws its way under

every freshly formed smile.


It is not like innocent pain

but like a tearing or a mutant fear

that piles and piles,




Copyright © 1997 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “The Cape Rock”, 1994

img093 img094 img095

The Cape Rock 1 The Cape Rock 2


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  ‘Journey of the Awakening’:
“Journey of the Awakening is the first book of poetry that I have read of Allison Grayhurst. While reading it began to sound familiar, the comment to myself was “She is as good as Sylvia Plath”. When I finished the book I read comments from others who referred to her as “In the style of Sylvia Plath”; Ms Plath, one of my favorite poets had no match until Ms Grayhurst’s work. Congratulations to her on her achievements, I am already a ‘fan’, the love of her work will continue to grow,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, 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. This, and other Grayhurst poetry volumes are highly, highly recommended,” Tom Davis, poet, novelist and educator.

3 responses to “It is not like hell

Leave a Reply