The Book

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The Book

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Inside, spending all my coins, rejoicing

on ephemeral longing, on a lustful inhale

for physical redemption.

 

Hidden in the pages, I am hidden

at four in the morning, bathing in perfection,

lifting into heights that obscure drudgery.

 

Thoughts are shapes that float as shadows,

hardly solid like butter left out of the fridge.

Cages unraveling and houses cleaned of cobwebs.

Between soft book covers freedom kisses explicitly,

candy-ices without embarrassment.

 

Hanging on hinges, on barely glanced-at walls,

I gather my vision in the grass, paint on the

bones of another’s life – beautiful bones and hallways

of many feet walking and swishing bathrobes.

In the book I can face forward and never fear rejection,

I can shower sensuously in warm rhythms,

tied to the stirring light of early summer.

Love between these diary covers is not just canvass

or thick hues that merge and make a middle, it is where I will

at last know another’s body as I know my own, be protected

from the torrential pawing pierce of middle-age loneliness.

 

Inside the book, you are under me like a bed of lavender bushes,

there are waves where once sunken skeletons rise like coral,

polished pure of their violent history.

 

Drowning in the book, imagining ants collecting,

synchronized on an apple core.

 

Bells in my head, footsteps rising, closer now,

you know me well. Inside the book, you know me better.

We are two trees – branches and roots, an interwoven crocheted

impressionistic portrait, staying through heavy storms.

 

Inside the book, we are creatures of greater sympathy.

You are like yarn, tied to my brush and hold, never in

the liquid valley of a distant boat, or obvious as a prickly,

rigid rope. I am mature, a woman with a ceiling to touch,

fifty feet of surrounding stillness, unfettered

from the expectations of my time and gender,

radiant, more, whole.

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Copyright © 2013 by Allison Grayhurst

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Currents - pastlife poems cover 4

BookCoverImage Allison GrayhurstTrial and Witness print back cover

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First published in “Wilderness House Literary Review”

 

 

Lotus

 

Lotus

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        Sleep, into triumphant sleep,

waking is a tide of abysses and senses

reflecting illusions. Cursory stresses,

repairing at the bedside where my knees bent in prayer,

scuffing my skin with cosmic complaining.

        I’ve thought about this, and I’ve decided

not to care if I fail at swimming or grooming or trophy-getting,

or in collecting eggwhites, having more than what I have

necessary on the table.

        Love is the weathervane is the station,

earning eternity, a teaming ocean worthy of a dive.

The rest is a stunted fetus that will never coo

or be baby-dream sufficient.

        I’ve spent too long weight-lifting chaos’s hammer,

flinging myself from wall to stump.

I have eyes that hold me, another’s and another’s

I can take pictures of and sing to, and I wish for nothing

but to retain this fertility of tender revealing.

        Children and the final history of desire,

predestined to return as a speck – own my freewill,

multiplying with the rhythm of a brighter responsibility.

        Sleep, for I’ve never existed

but to count this love and to love this way

personal, a cliché of bloated ignorance,

with a mouthful of famine and an armful of miniscule miracles,

gestating, spiralling, blending into the soft brown sofa,

tea in hand, leaning on another, amazed

by how good this is and how very long

this cozy reverie has lasted.

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.Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

BookCoverPreview

BookCoverImage Allison GrayhurstTrial and Witness print back cover

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

.

First published in “Guwahatian, Volume 1, Issue 9”

 

 

Before you

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Before you

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wide with surrender

with no backdrop or formula,

with the accomplishment of releasing

plans by the wayside into the swamp

that used to be an instrument playing,

a cliff of clay forming a tireless gale

of heavy sensual dreams.

      I belong to you and to the strength of your empty hands,

the endings you leave me with, harvesting

ephemeral food – a soul full

of coastal curves that break the waters and is broken

by them, pressing and caressing the chain of tidal

obliteration as an umbilical cord connecting

to the vast sweet space that is you.

      Never meant to anchor roots or climb a sturdy cliff,

you stop my struggle to illuminate a typical liberation,

gaining the wherewithal to stay pale,

upright and destined in my cage.

For it not a hellish home, but submerged

in the damp abandon of your shaking,

it is subject to your prying appendages poking,

tearing away speech and understanding.

      I am yours, withdrawn from words into a connection

washed with elements of prayer but unlike prayer

more like lemonade to the day labourer or grass

to the grazing mare – away from bit, halter and reigns –

your sun sinking its evening heat into my back and shoulders,

erasing division, drawing an intimacy

that frees my blood’s natural flow, squeezes out

the clotted clump of summoning-up

of years scarred by grief and hidden,

rebellious longing.

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.Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

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No Raft - No Ocean

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First published in “Change Seven Magazine, Issue 1.2 Summer 2015” June 2015

 

 

Ripples

 

Ripples

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Dirty dish, I lift

and know I am holy.

Does is matter or mean

my feet are mine,

though they cramp,

and my skin is a littered shore?

After moving in, it makes no sense to dream about

round planets or miracles hunted down

between spaces, in the flesh of dark stars.

Blessings come like other conditions, feeding,

filling, then the fish is hooked and the river goes on.

How many cupcakes can I keep? Not many. Not one.

At night I wake up absolute,

solid as a never-touched stone.

I stare at the clock and have conquered time.

For that time I am the best thing of all things to be.

For an instance, I am more than metaphor, I am witnessing.

In the day I hold out for a fickle hand’s generosity,

sweeping floors and making beds.

What a hot rhythm to keep, like kisses and eclipses

of sexual elation.

Two thousand eons, and the cosmos continues

as a body just born.

Spotlights and warm lights, my love is my fulcrum,

he carries me entirely in the dips above his clavicles.

He mixes me incandescent colours, enters me

like wings tightly folded, plunging into sea,

coaxes me to thicken, be a builder, take what I can

and build.

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.Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

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No Raft - No Ocean

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First published in “VerseWrights”

 

 

Govinda in the mud

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Govinda in the mud

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  This line of devotion that moves

bitterly as lust tracing unresponsive thighs,

cups a poor groan of invisible blooming,

following you underneath a diseased tree,

smelling as you spread your aloofness

and mingled your affection tighter with the dealers of denial.

 

It came to me at first in healthy moderation,

as a permit to appease my obsession. Then it grew indecent,

flushed through me like a spell, drowning

my apprentice music with your own reclusive master-drum.

 

I found you in the carcass, in the millipede’s dart into the drain.

You swelled your glow across all my sunny spots, mighty,

but not brave, only bored with the circular twists

of relief, thirst and sorrow – diamond clear,

you asked for everything, wanting nothing for yourself.

 

I knitted together the practicalities of decomposition

to the voyage of your ever-increasing detachment,

understanding what you did not – that love

is not living alone on a dried-up hill

nor is it consuming every crumb of dream-life

until the flesh is reduced to accident.

 

I cannot rekindle my devotion, so I must leave you

to authenticate a future. This deed of leaving is like you like

a star – old, seen many times over by many eyes,

power with no purpose but to be bright

and desolate, eating away

waves of darkness, emptied of praise, tenderness, the bullet

needed to puncture a human heart with revelation.

 

I do not believe in nirvana. I do not believe in immortality:

when things change they die and do not revert.

We were, it seemed, perpetual, connected

by the red rope of my loyalty.

 

I am dawning. I that is I,

cracking the dome of my hereditary inertia.

I leave the shadow-guilt of solemn yearning, and also you

of coral-reef intricacy, simplicity, perfection.

 

I know I am alone, though permanently imprinted –

by my years of unnoticed devotion,

by the shunning of personal expectations

and by your long finger,

tanned, transcendental, a spiritual aphrodisiac still

pointing.

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Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

BookCoverPreview

Currents - pastlife poems cover 4

No Raft - No Ocean

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Sentinel Literary Quarterly” February 2016

Sentinel Quarterly 1 Sentinel Quarterly Govinda 1 Sentinel Quarterly Govinda 2    Sentinel Quarterly bio

http://sentinelquarterly.com/2016/02/three-poems-by-allison-grayhurst/

http://sentinelquarterly.com/tag/allison-grayhurst/

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govinda 2 Govinda 3

http://scars.tv/pdf/2015/20151023No_Raft_No_Ocean_by_Allison_Grayhurst.pdf

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Scars writingScars Govinda 1 Scars Govinda 2 Scars Govinda 3

http://scars.tv/cgi-bin/framesmain.pl?writers

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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“Allison’s poetic prose is insightful, enwrapping, illuminating and brutally truthful. It probes the nature of the human spirit, relationships, spirituality and God. It is sung as the clearest song is sung within a cathedral by choir. It is whispered as faintly as a heartbroken goodbye. It is alive with the life of a thousand birds in flight within the first glint of morning sun. It is as solemn as the sad-sung ballad of a noble death. Read at your peril. You will never look at this world in quite the same way again. Your eye will instinctively search the sky for eagles and scan the dark earth for the slightest movement of smallest ant, your heart will reach for tall mountains, bathe in the most intimate of passions and in the grain and grit of our earth. Such is Allison Grayhurst. Such is her poetry,”  Eric M. Vogt, poet and author.

“Grayhurst is a great Canadian poet. All of Allison Grayhurst’s poetry is original, sometimes startling, and more often than not, powerful. Anyone who loves modern poetry that does not follow the common path will find Grayhurst complex, insightful, and as good a poet as anyone writing in the world today. Grayhurst’s poetry volumes are highly, highly recommended,” Tom Davis, poet, novelist and educator.
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If I was responsible

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If I was responsible

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I would sell my discipline for higher wages.

As it is, I blame the supermarket shoppers

and the crowds of Buddha-dreamers crossing the Himalayans

pursuing visions of acceptance.

 

Survival is a closed evolution – stealth and teeth,

a method where love has no allegiance.

I don’t want anymore, not spacecraft theories, not mornings

of self-defeating mythology or philosophical discussions.

I don’t want degrees of ecstasy or appointments.

I refuse to grow into a ghost or budge my integrity for

a bowl of temporary fulfilment. And here, I am wrong,

don’t belong with the wine-seller stockers and

the coral reef hiders.

 

I have a garden where I walk through the tall weeds,

eliminate insects with methodical steps like squashing

the patterns of horoscopes, a place where I crush

newspaper absurdities, sidestep the reactionary circle-act,

redefining my personal salvation.

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.Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

BookCoverPreview

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Sentinel Literary Quarterly” February 2016

Sentinel Quarterly 1 Sentinel Quarterly If I was Sentinel Quarterly bio

http://sentinelquarterly.com/2016/02/three-poems-by-allison-grayhurst/

http://sentinelquarterly.com/tag/allison-grayhurst/

.

You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

.

“Allison’s poetic prose is insightful, enwrapping, illuminating and brutally truthful. It probes the nature of the human spirit, relationships, spirituality and God. It is sung as the clearest song is sung within a cathedral by choir. It is whispered as faintly as a heartbroken goodbye. It is alive with the life of a thousand birds in flight within the first glint of morning sun. It is as solemn as the sad-sung ballad of a noble death. Read at your peril. You will never look at this world in quite the same way again. Your eye will instinctively search the sky for eagles and scan the dark earth for the slightest movement of smallest ant, your heart will reach for tall mountains, bathe in the most intimate of passions and in the grain and grit of our earth. Such is Allison Grayhurst. Such is her poetry,”  Eric M. Vogt, poet and author.

“Grayhurst is a great Canadian poet. All of Allison Grayhurst’s poetry is original, sometimes startling, and more often than not, powerful. Anyone who loves modern poetry that does not follow the common path will find Grayhurst complex, insightful, and as good a poet as anyone writing in the world today. Grayhurst’s poetry volumes are highly, highly recommended,” Tom Davis, poet, novelist and educator.
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Spread your Fullness

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Spread your Fullness

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        Bust and be in the damp flame of dusk

where you tongue and blow the dark

all over the sky. Then the crows

waiting out the cold night on city branches

will take it in and weep your panic.

        Gifts are embryos pumping, and doorways

working to keep order. You pour yourself into a bottle,

fixing your concentration on a loose particle

until it too grinds a motion, dispersing

through fast friction into emptiness.

        Hollow in the cells where substance is

supposed to thrive but cannot multiply, hijacked

by an encroaching virus, miracles

are offered as gateways or a cleansing grace

that removes the dustcloud of consequences, miracles

as alabaster rays of divine yielding, freeing

hard fragments, trapped behind bone.

        You always make it, over the toothpick cliffs

you gallop across, hacking off tight-throat grips,

shedding the layers of your debris.

You have outlived the keepers of contrast, kissed

the pavement into a sea, equal hush and hunt.

You do not accumulate.

        There is a cavity under the earth’s crust,

where you build your broken nests, laugh like propagating

and beat again against the flags of your lineage,

like a vibration building power or

like a moist grain growing, gaining unseen.

.

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.Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

BookCoverPreview

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

.

.

First published in “Sentinel Literary Quarterly” February 2016

Sentinel Quarterly 1 Sentinel Quarterly Spread 1 Sentinel Quarterly Spread 2 Sentinel Quarterly bio

http://sentinelquarterly.com/2016/02/three-poems-by-allison-grayhurst/

http://sentinelquarterly.com/tag/allison-grayhurst/

.

You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

.

“Allison’s poetic prose is insightful, enwrapping, illuminating and brutally truthful. It probes the nature of the human spirit, relationships, spirituality and God. It is sung as the clearest song is sung within a cathedral by choir. It is whispered as faintly as a heartbroken goodbye. It is alive with the life of a thousand birds in flight within the first glint of morning sun. It is as solemn as the sad-sung ballad of a noble death. Read at your peril. You will never look at this world in quite the same way again. Your eye will instinctively search the sky for eagles and scan the dark earth for the slightest movement of smallest ant, your heart will reach for tall mountains, bathe in the most intimate of passions and in the grain and grit of our earth. Such is Allison Grayhurst. Such is her poetry,”  Eric M. Vogt, poet and author.

“Grayhurst is a great Canadian poet. All of Allison Grayhurst’s poetry is original, sometimes startling, and more often than not, powerful. Anyone who loves modern poetry that does not follow the common path will find Grayhurst complex, insightful, and as good a poet as anyone writing in the world today. Grayhurst’s poetry volumes are highly, highly recommended,” Tom Davis, poet, novelist and educator.
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