When The City Speaks


When The City Speaks


It is no small place

this devil’s field

where leopard’s blood

runs through the streets

like a constellation

cut from the sky.

Drunkards, drug pushers,

the cold amoebas that

die without seeing a dawn.

In Chinatown, the spell is

set loose, splitting

sidewalks with fury.

Waxen murderers, a barnyard

of devourers.


lovers tremble,

clutched tight together,

sensual and desperate,

anaesthetized by passion,

by common fear

of the cruel madness

that pounds and pursues

just outside their door,

where all

will never be

well nor




Copyright © 1991 by Allison Grayhurst


For Every Rain Cover 5



Published in “The Bees Are Dead” July 2017

“It is our great pleasure to announce that Allison Grayhurst’s ‘When the City Speaks’ is our 100th publication! Grayhurst’s poem is a paradigm example of the tone and theme that The Bees Are Dead set out to promote. It presents modern urban living as a dystopia already contrived – where class is a predator, red in tooth and claw; an airborne sickness. Where ‘opportunity’ is but a taunt. 
Grayhurst’s lines are snappy and frantic, reflecting the anxiety of her city’s skittish citizens. Her imagery is bleak yet with a surreal beauty coaxed up by zoomorphic and East Asian references. A classic grayscale poem with flashes of luminous iridescence…

We are fortunate to have two more pieces from this great poet locked away safely in our hive’s vault, and we look forward to sharing these with you in the not too distant future…

– P.A-B.”




You can listen to the poem by clicking below:


“Grayhurst’s rapturous outpouring of imagery makes her poems easily enjoyable … Like a sear the poet seeks to fathom sensual and spiritual experience through the images of a dream.” Canadian Literature

 “Allison Grayhurst’s Common Dream is a massive book by a talented and enthusiastic young writer, with a feel for descriptive, meaningful verse. Philosophical and very deep,” Paul Rance, editor of Eastern Rainbow, U.K.,  spring 1993.

“Her poems read like the journal entries of a mystic – perhaps that what they are. They are abstract and vivid, like a dreamy manifestation of soul. This is the best way, in prose, one can describe the music which is … the poetry of Allison Grayhurst,” Blaise Wigglesworth Oh! Magazine

“Rich images and complex, shifting metaphors drive Allison Grayhurst’s poems. She focuses on sexual love and interior landscapes, widening to include the heart, eternity and all.”  Next Exit



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