Fill the ghosts with upward rejoicing


Fill the ghosts with upward rejoicing


so that clouds turn to fishbones

and flies become islands learning a primitive mission.

Obey the shuddering perplexity of dwarfed aspirations

and still be able to cry clear, continuing ardent, when it is time.

        I wish I was an actor, acquiring

the yolk of another’s journey, or the ear of an elk

twitching at the panther’s controlled inhale.

        Flags and conquered greatness. Death, you

never share. You open and we watch you oil

every boundary with your vanishing act.

We smell you in the honeycomb and in the suffocating

many mutations of thriving pleasantries. You are sharp

as a broken shell – blowing shame from our feelings,

stiffening the streets we walk on so we walk on

straight, with the purpose of a mortal silver sun.

        Here and here, there is nothing, not language, not history,

only forkfuls of burnt coal and some framed pictures.

Being a traitor to survival’s code, I have no use for finality.

       I lived close to the rapids, skipping stones,

beating back shadflies. I was riding my blue bike.

Some almost-teenage children

hung my cat from a tree. I found him that morning,

a shadow swaying across a shadowy sky. I wasn’t allowed

to take revenge or cradle him, broken, a husk, goodbye.




Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “Pyrokinection” and “Storm Cycle 2013” anthology

Storm Cycle 1Storm Cycle 2Storm Cycle 3Storm Cycle Fill 1Storm Cycle Fill 2Storm Cycle 4Storm Cycle 5

pyropyro biopyro fill the ghostspyro fill the ghosts 2


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:


“Allison’s poetic prose is insightful, enwrapping, illuminating and brutally truthful. It probes the nature of the human spirit, relationships, spirituality and God. It is sung as the clearest song is sung within a cathedral by choir. It is whispered as faintly as a heartbroken goodbye. It is alive with the life of a thousand birds in flight within the first glint of morning sun. It is as solemn as the sad-sung ballad of a noble death. 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.



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