Open like hell is opened

to the damned, like the heart

collapsed in on itself

or like being three nights

without sleep, in a room

of false friends.


Open with the wide smile

in your pocket, with layers

of socks to cover your wounded toes.


Open as a modern kiss, as

a dream in need of interpretation.


Open, though hiding would be nice,

and under the books on the shelf

is a message written in dust, uncovered.

It is telling you the change has come:

Your stomach is full of restlessness.

Your eyes are new with a strange indifference.

The change has come.


Open like a woman in labour,

or like a butterfly caught inside a storm.



Copyright © 2000 by Allison Grayhurst



Published in “The Stray Branch Fall/Winter 2016” October 2016

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First published in “Novelmasters” April 2015Novelmasters 1 Novelmasters 3

Novelmasters - OpenNovelmasters -bio


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.



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