Without Opportunity


Without Opportunity



Because today you descend

the broken branch and meet

the soil, be hot against the vaulting

of your despair. Turn and let die

your mangled wanting, want for

tomorrow and that     is all.


Angry terror troubles your eyes

and gloves your admirable strength.

But your fingertips are gentle, stroking

music out from death’s dim head.

And your pulsing vision crosses city gardens,

repelling every complacency.


Because today your life is in bondage

to the ill-luck groan, and each obstacle seems

to make your desires

both a burden and a disgrace, I who know you

and know life’s tyrannical fault, have only belief

to effect your numbed hopes,

have only what I know –

the greatness of your labour

and the way you have moved

my most hardened of vices, to turn

and face a kinder shore.



Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst




Published in “The Seventh Quarry, Issue 24” Summer 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.


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.



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