Breathing into a brown paper bag, responsibilities

weighing me down, spreading out, hiding

in my speech, making up lies to

lie across me bare-chest and crushing.

       I’ve slept in a pantry with roaches and a window

with a full view of an unkempt backyard,

but never did I suspect that my love would wane,

polarizing my impulses and my apathy.

There was only one choice, a card turned and midnight

streaming into my veins like celestial pull and light

into the astrologer.

       Fighting is a fiddler playing – tension to maximize

the resulted genesis, or a room where rhymes

are written across the door frame. In that room I clip

my fingernails, waiting for admittance to foreplay,

something to electrify my sinews and sing.

       Intimacy is a garden to plant or to let flourish

on its own accord, with eatable weeds

and dung beetles foraging.

Summer is slipping fast – with worry-wrought eyes,

under satisfied.

Summer beats its sloppy heat on my shoulders,

on eyelashes, volunteering

its blaze and affirming breath.

       I remember how it happened, listening

to lost friends voices on an answering machine. Some I wish

I never lost, most just conjure memory without emotion,

sure of why the break occurred, and glad

it did.

       Drip, drip dreams betrayed,

looking over old books in an old bookshop, where

I used to treasure the smell and the surprise.

       Ghosts enter me, collect and layer,

amplifying their mass, personal


       Age does not slow or still desires.

Age does not make both arms free. I am the same,


as when my phantom wings expanded,


past hydro wires and mating cardinals, touching

the misty tip of a cumulus cloud.



Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

BookCoverPreview (3)


First published in “Straylight”


Straylight – Contributors

Straylight – Grayhurst


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:



“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.


2 responses to “Circle

  1. Carl – I love music, poetry and fiction. Sometimes, I write essays. It is my outlet. Creating art helps me in my recovery.
    Carl says:

    This is an extremely powerful piece. It is terribly sad for me.

  2. Beautiful. I especially relate to the image at the end, age still desires, your phantom wings, still the same, touching the tips of a cumulus cloud. I have been thinking about aging lately, also about arms, strangely enough and agency. I’ve also never mentioned this but I very much enjoy the sexuality in your poems. It is a strong flavour in many of your poems. Courageous, too…perhaps.

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