Humpback

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Humpback

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I give this flower,

these historic eyes

to the Atlantic whale, who will perform

for me a symphony of genius. Hungry, we will

rob one another of mistrust,

caress each other’s hairless skin,

holding things that gravity cannot forsake.

Once safe in the ocean’s dune,

we will open our eyes, our mouths,

swallowing moonlight like pirates

from a ship.

Together through

the salted plasma we will swim and hope

for the violence born by medieval fear,

promoted by division

and encouraged by judgement

to be terminated by an acknowledgment

of identical love

(which is not accident).

Tenderly we will axe the human prejudice;

and the child and calf, rubbing wing and arm

will know the blessing of a marvelous unity,

which has been concealed to the point

of near extinction.

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Copyright © 1991 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “Social Justice Poetry, May 2017

https://www.socialjusticepoetry.com/6134/humpback-a-social-justice-poem-by-allison-grayhurst

https://www.socialjusticepoetry.com/poet-bios/allison-grayhurst

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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“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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Desire

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Desire

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does not come

like tolerance, learned,

worked for. Withstanding

cruelty, dry lips,

wild pain, it grows larger

than love and God and grows

until all gestures reveal it.

 

Secretly in the shade of devotion,

it rages. Crouching behind churches and

stairwells, it tongues its drug sweeter

than touch. Burns the stomach, starves

the heart of faithful riches.

 

When it comes it has no error

nor the unanchored presence

of doubt.

 

When it comes, it comes riding,

circling like nightfall

the soul’s great yolk.

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Copyright © 1995 by Allison Grayhurst

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Published in “Keep Poems Alive” January 2016

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Keep Poems Alive International

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First published in “Drift, Issue #82”

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Published in “Creative Talents Unleashed” July 2016

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Desire – Author Allison Grayhurst

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

https://allisongrayhurst.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/desire.m4a

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Somewhere Falling has a richness of imagery and an intensity of emotion rare in contemporary poetry. Drawn in sharp outlines of light and darkness, and rich shades of colour, with a deep sense of loss and longing and the possibility of salvation, this is an unusual book by a gifted young poet. Grayhurst’s voice is one to which we should continue to pay attention.” — Maggie Helwig, author of Apocalypse Jazz and Eating Glass.

“Responsibility and passion don’t often go together, especially in the work of a young poet. Allison Grayhurst combines them in audacious ways. Somewhere Falling is a grave, yet sensuous book.” – Mark Abley, author of Glasburyon and Blue Sand, Blue Moon.

“Biting into the clouds and bones of desire and devotion, love and grief, Allison Grayhurst basks the reader, with breathtaking eloquence, in an elixir of words. Like lace, the elegance is revealed by what isn’t said. This is stunning poetry.” – Angela Hryniuk, author of no visual scars.

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Shell of a Serpent

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Shell of a Serpent

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These are great things,

you take

with your mounting neglect.

They are things cast out

of the “beautiful”, that

dig into polar ice and

fossilize there; numb,

indistinguishable.

 

And though you feel superior,

inhuman, hovering above

like the moon, with your face carved

in one constant expression, you yourself

will not give light to the

lonely, will not illuminate

for the sake of another’s need.

 

Your own pain – cunning, hunting – is

a tentacle that quivers cold-blooded

for pity’s gullible caress.

 

You distance your heart from the humble dancers.

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Copyright © 1997 by Allison Grayhurst

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Published in “Whispers…” November 2015

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http://whispersinthewind333.blogspot.ca/2015/11/shell-of-serpent-by-allison-grayhurst.html

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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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Green Haven and You

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Green Haven and You

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I dream this early morning of

        you, trading

all you own for love.

Birds walk on water, cooing the river

        still. Two bones

lie buried beside the bank,

grey with decay, anonymous

as each fallen red-vein leaf.

        I walk to your favourite rock,

still cold from night. There are

ten stars in the sky

        visible as ten snowy owls

undone by dawn.

        I dream of you across the vaulted miles.

You live inside my forming smile and in

        the colours flooding the horizon, in

the almost-zenith sun,

advancing.

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Copyright © 1995 by Allison Grayhurst

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Published in “PoetryMagazine” December 2015

PoetryMagazine winter 4PoetryMagazine winter 3PoetryMagazine winter 1 PoetryMagazine winter 2 PoetryMagazine winter Green Haven and You

http://www.poetrymagazine.com/editors_choice/general_editor_autumn07.htm

http://www.poetrymagazine.com/editors_choice/winter15_16/allison_grayhurst_page1.html

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.First published in “Gossamer Poetry” October 2015

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http://gossamerpoems.blogspot.ca/2015/10/green-haven-and-you-poem-by-allison.html

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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Somewhere Falling has a richness of imagery and an intensity of emotion rare in contemporary poetry. Drawn in sharp outlines of light and darkness, and rich shades of colour, with a deep sense of loss and longing and the possibility of salvation, this is an unusual book by a gifted young poet. Grayhurst’s voice is one to which we should continue to pay attention.” — Maggie Helwig, author of Apocalypse Jazz and Eating Glass.

“Responsibility and passion don’t often go together, especially in the work of a young poet. Allison Grayhurst combines them in audacious ways. Somewhere Falling is a grave, yet sensuous book.” – Mark Abley, author of Glasburyon and Blue Sand, Blue Moon.

“Biting into the clouds and bones of desire and devotion, love and grief, Allison Grayhurst basks the reader, with breathtaking eloquence, in an elixir of words. Like lace, the elegance is revealed by what isn’t said. This is stunning poetry.” – Angela Hryniuk, author of no visual scars.

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When The City Speaks

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When The City Speaks

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It is no small place

this devil’s field

where the 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

the sun with fury.

Waxen murderers,

a barnyard of devourers.

Inside, lovers tremble,

clutched tight together

-arms, elbows, lips-

sensual and desperate,

anaesthetized by passion,

by common fear, away

from the cruel madness

that pounds & pursues

just outside the door,

where all

will never be well

or free.

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Copyright © 1991 by Allison Grayhurst

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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.”

http://www.thebeesaredead.com/poetry/city-speaks-allison-grayhurst/

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Published in “Social Justice Poetry” June 2017

https://www.socialjusticepoetry.com/6226/when-the-city-speaks-a-social-justice-poem-by-allison-grayhurst

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First published in “Journal of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry” #3. The magazine is now called “The Journal”, 1993

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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Somewhere Falling has a richness of imagery and an intensity of emotion rare in contemporary poetry. Drawn in sharp outlines of light and darkness, and rich shades of colour, with a deep sense of loss and longing and the possibility of salvation, this is an unusual book by a gifted young poet. Grayhurst’s voice is one to which we should continue to pay attention.” — Maggie Helwig, author of Apocalypse Jazz and Eating Glass.

“Responsibility and passion don’t often go together, especially in the work of a young poet. Allison Grayhurst combines them in audacious ways. Somewhere Falling is a grave, yet sensuous book.” – Mark Abley, author of Glasburyon and Blue Sand, Blue Moon.

“Biting into the clouds and bones of desire and devotion, love and grief, Allison Grayhurst basks the reader, with breathtaking eloquence, in an elixir of words. Like lace, the elegance is revealed by what isn’t said. This is stunning poetry.” – Angela Hryniuk, author of no visual scars.

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Giving Roses and Bread

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Giving Roses and Bread

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I turned

I will not turn again

from your sad space & ruin.

 

No wand no crocodile

tongue will shut

me out.

 

The hour is blood,

is coiling, locked in

your iron skull.

 

Your back is straight

for the first time in months &

your fingers tap the table one by one.

 

I saw you climb

the ladder & crash.

I saw the marrow leak from your bones.

 

I turned

I will not turn again.

My smile will be your shelter

 

and with my chains & circle

I will build for you a garden

where the crows will dance

 

to drown your madness

helpless then

gone.

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Copyright © 1991 by Allison Grayhurst

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Published in “East Coast Ink, Issue 013” July 2017

 

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Published in “The Furious Gazelle” December 2017

http://thefuriousgazelle.com/2017/12/15/allison-grayhurst-2/

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Published in “Synchronized Chaos” August 2017

http://synchchaos.com/synchronized-chaos-august-2017-the-stories-we-tell-ourselves/

http://synchchaos.com/poetry-from-allison-grayhurst-4/

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First published in “Next Exit” Issue 21, 1993

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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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Wax Museum

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Wax Museum

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God is your hobby:

My mouth inhales,

flushes you in.

Going to the wax museum to visit your sleeping body;

tonight with effort, tomorrow, with regret.

It is the end of a miracle, nevertheless,

I won’t forget the sirens, your steel throat

rusted with alcoholic burns

or the hooves and the poison,

how you tempted me to the maximum degree.

There is a sunset I am cupping in my hands,

it is turning dark blue like the colour

we both love

and I am staring into it like a poet mesmerized by the sea.

Farewell my pirate friend –

Live good,

conquer the pitiful sky in your dreams.

Every barrier is a mountain

challenging your devotion,

torturing your nights with its magnificent summit.

I drink like a root from the underground: I am not upset

though shadows are cleaving, swarming my soul.

I am only running,

and it’s a long way to paradise

even when you hurry.

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Copyright © 1991 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “Poetry Halifax Dartmouth”  1991 under the pseudonym Jocelyn Kain (aka Allison Grayhurst) and in “Existere” under the pseudonym Jocelyn Kain (aka Allison Grayhurst)

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Published in “Existere” 1991 under the pseudonym Jocelyn Kain (aka Allison Grayhurst)

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

https://allisongrayhurst.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/wax-museum.m4a

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“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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