I Could Have


I Could Have


I could have waited

in my personal eternity with the yellowed books,

on the cold other-century floor, night upon night

reading of murderers and painters and women

confined to views of freedom, caught in a rebel

stratosphere. I could have underlined the philosophers,

changed channels on the radio,

stayed with my father’s typewriter,

with my buckwheat mish-mash and the ants that collected

near the sink. I could have taught the rabbit to sing,

kept my special and comical cat – stayed

with my angry prayers and my exacta-knife,

craving equilibrium and knowing only a violent vacancy

that would find no distraction, nothing

to ease the pressure of such urgent longing.


(how lucky I didn’t)


It was years after that when I found you

on the steps of the church,

embracing me with your black hair,

boyish charm, thin arms and

matching intensity. It was the first time since I was a child

that I could trust God, holding you,

joining my burden with your own –

and in doing so, alleviating the weight of its core.

It was the first time

I could leave that floor, the books, change direction

and see something

of happiness.



Copyright © 2008 by Allison Grayhurst





First published in “A New Ulster, Issue 35”, August 2015

A New Ulster 5

A New Ulster 1  A New Ulster 3 A New Ulster 2A New Ulster 4 A New Ulster I Could Have

ANU issue 35



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.

Reviews 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. 

 “I have been slow at responding to reviews for Allison Grayhurst due to summer’s busy days, however she brings life to each poem, heart to the images and everyone should have a collection of Grayhurst Poetry,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, poet.



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