First Snow of Winter
First snow of winter falling.
The bed is unmade.
Rooftops are beautiful
Home is a birthday cake,
a painting etched in crimson
light. The cats are intently watching.
The sounds outside are few. One lover
is sleeping, the other breathes in
the wintry view.
Like a cleansing, like an unmarked page
or a slice of Italian bread,
the snows descend, bringing warmth
to the veins, bringing the comfort
of sweaters and knitted socks, bringing
bodies together and the year to an end.
First snow of winter falling
like another chance, like a farewell
to colours fading and flowers on the graves.
First snow of winter arriving,
its tide of working magic
caressing away the rage of the city
with its cold, immaculate embrace.
Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in the “White Wall Review”, 1997
Published in “Creative Talents Unleashed” September 2016
You can listen to this 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.
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
Review of The Longing To Be:
“The contents of Allison Grayhurst’s book The Longing To Be are both personal and universal and are described in such thematic and golden terms that one can see that a lot of thought has gone into each line. The poems are written mostly in free verse throughout, with both rhythm and soul weaved into them. For some poems, the layout seems experimental, and there is definitely a playfulness in the way that the words and verses fall onto the page. Others do conform to a “norm”, whatever that is. All are dramatic and thoughtful. These are layered poems with new horizons presented to the reader in every re-read. The effect is to keep things fresh with poems that constantly surprise in spite, and because of, the number of times being read. I thoroughly recommend The Longing To Be as a poetry book to study carefully and cherish far into the future,” poet Brian Shirra.