is secondary, serves

to sustain the illusion. Better

to bathe in the molten heat, dig out weeds and pay the bills.

Better than pretending the chalk drawing won’t fade,

that the overalls fit and the twirling webs glittering

in the sun do so solely for beauty’s sake,

not as nature’s balance

to its otherwise invisibility.

                Formations, adrenaline – geese call

as they split the undertones of sky. It is better

to have no fences, no boundaries actualized

by the mind’s pride, no tangible hopes

of personal importance. The sidewalks are torn up

and there is nowhere to put my feet. I don’t believe

in waiting, being patient while aroused.

                Once upon a time a child’s voice

was all I needed to save me – once there were scooters,

pigtails and baseball caps. Damn my world

for changing, for making me ready, but falling behind,

insufficient to nourish this latest being that has arisen.

                I will not wait, not be killed daily

without knowing climax or the aftermath

when nerves stop scurrying and there is quiet

enough to collect good memories.

Better to partake in war or to crush anthills.

Better to be left in my monastery where the brick walls

have a shadowy sustaining glow and my lover’s heart

is walnut strong, drained of expectations,

giving, yes, but rudimentary, self-contained.



Copyright © 2011 by Allison Grayhurst


BookCoverImage Allison GrayhurstTrial and Witness print back cover


Surrogate Dharma chapbook 1




First published in “Bare Hands Poetry”, 2013

Bare Hands 4Bare Hands 3Bare Hands 1Bare Hands 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.


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.



2 responses to “Waiting

  1. Here are my favourite lines in this poem:

    I don’t believe

    in waiting, being patient while aroused.

    I like it because it rings so true with what the experience of waiting is, like reining in the horses.


    Damn my world

    for changing, for making me ready, but falling behind,

    insufficient to nourish this latest being that has arisen.

    How the world doesn’t seem to move fast enough, but even if it did, would we catch it? or see? or believe? I feel like we are always so poor.

    It’s good to read your poetry, Allison. I hope all is well.

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