In a room of celibate smiles,

in a fever of shame and reprimand

they hold the symmetry of hardness and

idolatry, they adore their

dying god like a babe, adore

his bleeding wounds and delicate face.

They curse the children for their freedom,

forgetting the tenderness he spoke,

forgetting the force of renewal

that penetrated his every sharing speech

and unnerving demand.

They axe away the threat of all non-conformity,

maul the flesh of each guiltless dreamer.

They hold back what he said each must give, blessing

only snivelling sentiment and hands offering gold.

They are in beds leaning next to spells,

cuddled close to candlelight and the demeaning lure

of confession. In a room of fur coats where hearts

never dare to melt, they judge with turned backs

what they cannot kill or control.



Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst





First published in “New Mystics” February 2017

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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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