There is too much to say

and nothing to do after it’s been said.

Commotion kills my throat,

starts like a heat-wave, anticipated.

That is a discomfort I frequent.

    Others form techniques that neatly construct

and dispose of information.

They define symbols that filter light,

use three letter examples, harming no-one

when they disappear.

They do not strain in the depths, but grip the depths,

then let it go.

    When I try to swallow what’s core,

it lodges between my teeth,

swells my gums, overextends my jaw, until it malfunctions

like the rest I covet, inadequately burning.

    It would be good to combust, be direct as ambition, cut

an indispensable horizon from a deflated balloon.

But I am free and I choose to fizzle,

I choose these backwards repetitions – pressure

that is purely exhale. I don’t know how

to point without pushing,

how to relax vertically as a willow tree,

or be like a park bench –

offering considerable comfort to those

who have walked too long.

    I find myself fixated first on detail,

spending long sessions with my microscope, discovering

blooming atoms, food crumbs, enthusiastic correlations

of the tiny to the oversized.

Then I find myself bleeding out their definitions, running

to theatres where I can be stimulated

by abstract reflection.

    I enter a clear understanding with half-closed eyes,

willfully smudging lines, numbers, concise melodies.

    Others are sufficient, contented to observe

elements moving, sometimes rotating,

immune like strict realism is

to crazed impressionistic form.



Copyright © 2011 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “The Muse (An International Journal of Poetry)”

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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.


Book reviews of the River is Blind paperback:

“Throughout (The River is Blind), she (Allison Grayhurst) employs 
reiterated tropes of swallowing and being consumed, spatial fullness 
and emptiness, shut- in, caverns, chasms, cavities; angels, archangels, 
blasphemy, psalms; satiation or starved. With a conceit of unrequited sex as “my desire”, nocturnal emissions, awakening in the morning, the poet lives at capacity, uninhibited, dancing,” Anne Burke, poet, regional representative for Alberta on the League of Canadian Poets’ Council, and chair of the Feminist Caucus.


“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. THE RIVER IS BLIND is a must-read,”  Eric M. Vogt, poet and author.



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