Somehow I stood

dark and brave below the deck, in small spaces

emptied of shadows and science.

        The walls took advantage of my privacy,

and before I could collect my wealth

I was tied to the mast of a pillaged and

hacked-away ship, joining the races

of hunted whales and tentacle creatures.

        Dissecting the storm at my feet, seeping into

my lungs, I promised myself to live my last moments

without envy or rage. It was easily done

until my ropes became loose and I rose to

catch a breath, catch sight of my splintered sea-house

where there was wood all around – dead bodies of comrades,

but no sharks, no children needing my protection.

        I promised myself another promise,

to die in meditation, fixing on the sky, transferring my pain

and crushed confidence  to the stars’ philosophy of afterglow.


It is a long time to be still and look up.

It must be a painter’s journey. I must learn

to sprout roots from the tips of my frozen toes,

knowing water is not earth and earth

will never be a sailor’s deathbed or home.



Copyright 2012 by Allison Grayhurst


Currents - pastlife poems cover 4

No Raft - No Ocean




First published in “The Milo Review”

img360 img361  img363 img364   The Milo Review 1 The Milo Review 2 The Milo Review 3 The Milo Review 4  The Milo Review- Grazing on the flow 2 The Milo Review- Undertoe 1 The Milo Review- Undertoe 2       Milo review2




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“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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