I can’t say I am a sailor
who moves forward without ground
or room to run.
I can’t say I am a leader who
closes down slaughterhouse doors
or uproots cruel traditions with one swift blow.
I can’t say I have a social smile that calms
the afflicted with carefree warmth.
I can’t say I am that woman who children cling to
and adorn with their fresh imaginations.
I can’t say I am like a house or like a star or water
that rams into rocks then falls back into itself.
I can only say a flower is here,
and I am not that flower.
Copyright © 2008 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “South Florida Arts Journal”
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.
Review of ‘The Many Lights of Eden’:
“’The Many Lights of Eden’ is a journey: a journey of the heart through youth, anguish, struggle, spiritual awakening, grief, death, love, loss, guilt, struggle, despair, hope, surrender, God, sensuality, imperfection, motherhood, aging, the vanquishing of the devil, indeed, many devils, the inevitable fall from perfection and the casting off of old wineskins for a new one. Perhaps speaking of this book as a chronicle of spiritual maturing would be more accurate, the realization that there is spirituality within imperfection and that handmade temples cannot hope to compete with the spiritual temples within each of us. ‘The Many Lights of Eden’ is a diamond. It is a beautiful collection of insights. Allison Grayhurst’s thoughts and writings are a deep well. Drink from it, for the water is clear and crisp. This collection is a MUST-READ,” Eric M. Vogt, author of Letters to Lara and Paths and Pools to Ponder.
The River is Blind chapbook review:
“An existential curiosity courses through Allison Grayhurst’s latest collection. It’s Grayhurst’s physical constraints that comfort us: a box sitting at the top of the stairs, housecats in states of wakefulness and sleep, the “snails and moss” that preoccupy her. Indeed, The River Is Blind situates itself firmly in the familial but imbues those relationships and domestic touchstones with a disembodied calm. Ambition and disenchantment linger along the fences of Grayhurst’s property but she remains candidly in the present.
“In lesser hands, muses such as these might’ve resulted in verses of weak-kneed contentedness. But Grayhurst’s voice remains one of detachment, webbing daily pleasures into greater meditations on love and God. Through spiritual lens, poems like “Everything Happens” and “Flies” counteract steadfast faith with insights on the material world, a separate world; a place where people grind flowers for honey,” Ryan Pratt, Ottawa Poetry Newsletter, January 30, 2013