Samples of Allison Grayhurst’s poetry


elegy of this day being


At the throat, brushed green like tile I shine.

The devil says “hum-drum”

as the eel struggles, futile like a wagging tail.

So many broken, hating with the hardness of crocodiles

and ants, pulling along their dead,

to consume, knowing nothing of sorrow or forgiveness.

All night I sit with my naked thighs

on the carpet, red from the heat.

What point could there possibly be

to all this pain, the death

of others, the sickness that swarms in mid-air?

Hurricanes hit the graveyards.

A gull tilts on a telephone wire. I wish to bid goodbye.

I wish for ice-cream cones in my fridge,

a handful of poppies to give some child,

any child, I meet.

I see dead eyes in my dream,

glossed with mucous and unbearable vacancy.

How do I serve when the world is so cold?

The humpbacks know this, the midgets

and also the centipedes.

I want to hide in rooms where

infants are sleeping or salamanders nurse their young.

The darkness is in me. The ground deceives me,

changes colours as I go.

Let us go now, my nightmares

and I, go under the light, go until

our heart’s blood is free-falling, exposed.



Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in the summer 2012 issue of “Parabola” called Alone & Together


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:






the brilliant fractures,

repetitions of wars and slaughterhouse squeals.

Once more, brought to the tower, looking

over – so easy to sway and not think of the

consequences. So easy to crash the wine bottle

over the piano stand and stop the bad music playing, forgetting

there are so many things better left unexplored,

like feelings that extinguish boundaries,

that are soft as loneliness or under-appreciation.

Sunglasses always worn. Endure, wait for fullness or for medication,

wait for that one hour to be adorned by another’s desire,

embroidered into another clothes – when wounds and failures,

(for that hour) are reduced, overpowered.

Moon mountains and muscles,

patterns build life. God,

there is creation without you – there is everything –

grandfathers, butterflies and sand dunes.

Unpredictability is glorified. Minds rejoice,

gaining rules, workable explanations. Endure,

why must I? Why, when denied

a boat, a bed, a simple wild hand roaming? Love is absurd.

Love is you God, and you are outside of all this, waiting for an invitation,

tender as a new mother’s nipple, flowing.



Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “Nostrovia!”


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:




I heard a poet say


 that doing art is a denial of self. I say

it is an inclusion of God into the self.

It is not simply a dialogue nor is it intellectual banter,

but it is being intoxicated with the fullness of seeing God there

with every thought – in the swimming pool while treading water,

or at the hair dresser, drinking coffee, waiting for a turn.

    A pebble is paradox like time travel is, or a meteor

entering the earth like a man enters a woman –

a synergy of the round and the sharp,

splicing, splitting, until more splicing and splitting, until

dependency on oxygen is born.

    Speculation, lectures, ceremonies

are deeds to occupy but never to explain.

Hair like a mammoth’s – how I long to run

my knuckles through its thickness and ancestry!

I am not intimidated by people with busy days

and many different shoes. Brown

has become my favourite colour, and grey, that too

is magic. I knew this when I was young: True intensity is subtle,

is equal in its magnitude as it is to its intricacy –

It commands exploration.

    When I was young I knew God was with me at every

threshold, standing inside my flesh. Since then,

I have played with death,

held conference with death as a sister.

    But even such sibling biology

cannot cull this communion I have discovered,

can’t vacuum apart indelible combined-shapes

into quarantined segregation.

    I have known death’s jolts, have known its harrowing cripple

and crack, and know it cannot revert humanity back to that

interval before God exhaled, altering the playing field,

resulting in

such a mighty fusion. 



Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

3021  img071


First published in “Whisper”


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:






    Coming down, knowing now

that everything known is blindness,

deciphered speculation – constellations out there

that spin, conjoin, burst and create

are mesmerizing but lifeless – into the future,

out from the past – the power is menacing, somewhat, and

somewhat stale, stagnant, just ‘happening’ like storms happen

and the rising of the moon.

    Rain on a leaf or an orange tabby chasing a shadow is

accessible, pleasantly startling, metaphysically invasive.

    Many serious intellects are left crawling from the lack of

sleep, from acquiring too many codes and smug victories.

    We are small, inside this body of God – a city, drooling with

arrogance and inquisitiveness. That is us in motion, devouring

the zenith and charting out mysteries.

    But things get caught on other things. Dead butterflies

can still glow – behind clean glass, inside Berber-carpeted

buildings, all fluorescent lights and classifications.

    We can point and name and even think

that energy starts and ends, forget that everything is circulation

and that life here is simple:

It would rather copulate, raise offspring, than count stars.

    Inside this body of God, we are cupped in fluid boundaries,

by instinct, by undeniable emotion, stronger, yet part of,

cerebral musings.

We feed from the Earth and we get hungry.

    We have these telescopes, our catacombs of understanding,

but we also have pilgrimage, crust, heartbeat, dying,

soccer fields and song.



Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “The Weary Blues”


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:




When This Is Over


At the end of the day, the pears will be ripe

and the ones I loved and died will float before me

in waves of growing beauty.

At the end, when all of this leaves, then I will breathe

an owl breath, still in my tranquil sky.

At the end, I will find you, thank you for this sick chaos –

myself, a garden, hit by a massive storm.

I will give life again to the little birds, insects that have no

use or concept of glory. I will return with you

to the Buddha waters, happy to know so much love.

I will walk out my door and there will be summer,

early summer, and you and I

(though bruised and that much more

world-weary) will walk into the warmth:

ultimately loved, unequivocally whole.



Copyright © 2010 by Allison Grayhurst

3017  img069


First published in “Bigger Stones”


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:




Sight at Zero


        I am where fireflies dance

in a birdless noon.

        I am treading water, looking

for a lodged piece of land

        or even a dolphin’s fin

to navigate me through this

        wounded sea. The air

is smoking & a world

        away lovers assassinate love

for the sensation of pride.

        Rain, drumming onto my neck, onto

my jugular, rain spewed from

       the moon’s mouth, enters & dissects

worse than any broken fame. Too late

        to cross the inner clouds. Too long lost

in the wood under a weird & angry sun.

        It is my jealousy

that has woken, generous

        with hate. It is agony & frailty

like an eggshell hammered

        by a razor’s sharp tongue.

I see dragons rise

        from sand dunes. I hear

the laughter of a bride. My days are closed.

        My element (water, hymn, water)


        for wishbones.



Copyright © 1995 by Allison Grayhurst

3018  For Every Rain Cover 5


First published in “Jones Ave.”


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:




Sheaves of Time


Sheaves of time like wispy hair

freed to the wind, fall on me,

tickling my skin with their subtle happening.

Happy are the people with soap opera love

and yellow hair.

Happy am I rolling and stretching & rolling

under the great white sun. I am moved

to deliver my package at noon. I am myself bonded

to my mission like ligaments to the bone.

Sheaves of time drift on my plate

like leaves from my favourite tree.

Call me out from my doubt and let me

love each day as new, with the kind of hope

only children hold, or lovers caressing faces,

feeling eternity on their fingertips.



Copyright © 2000 by Allison Grayhurst

3005  img071


First published in “Oh! Magazine: Ryerson’s Arts and Culture Voice”


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:




2 responses to “Samples of Allison Grayhurst’s poetry

  1. OH MY GOD…

    you have just become a part of my morning spiritual practice!

    I LOVE IT!

    Wow… I LOVE listening to the audio – it takes me somewhere – profound and important and reminds me of what is most important in life

    …the poetic majesty behind it all!


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