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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First published in “Wilderness House Literary Review”

 

 

The Path Before

 

The Path Before

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Inside this cup polliwogs drown

for the sake of a child’s curiosity. Following a man

wearing a long maroon robe around his shoulders,

a group walked the dirty morning streets,

pretending inner peace.

I was there, there in the sinking sand, abandoned

to mud and nature. I was there, handing out sandwiches

I couldn’t afford to make, following the one

with the robe, thinking he would save me.

              Save me from the dead fish lodged in my throat,

from the desolation of my eunuch intimacies, save me

from the ulcer that tore apart my insides like a feral cat,

trapped and too far gone to look around.

              Waiting at 4 a.m. to steal away into my cubicle

and watch the dawn break over the park,

              or running with my brother

over the farmland of a mutual friend that frightened us,

who we kept because we had no other, as we sat quietly

on his cast-iron stove, quietly in the danger, not together

as brother and sister should be, but separately wondering,

never holding hands.

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Copyright © 2008 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “Juxtaprose Literary Magazine, Volume 1” April 2015

 

Poem nominated for “Best of the Net” 2015

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I have been born

 

I have been born

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a thousand times over,

flaked into existence by

force, by will and by desire.

I have had my days

under the siege of physical limitations,

of bloodlines burned and bloodlines

mended. There is no more

time for this rotating scheme,

no space for waiting

or for continuing. I stop here. Unplugging the

flow, breathing only because

I want to, because

this skin that is mine is

the last skin I will ever claim

as the landscapes I drop, drop, then

drop me.

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Copyright © 2015 by Allison Grayhurst

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Published in “Anti-Heroin Chic Magazine” February 2016

 

River – the song and the poem

 

River – songs from the poetry of Allison Grayhurst

https://dianebarbarash.bandcamp.com/

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/dianebarbarash3

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/river-songs-from-the-poetry-of-allison-grayhurst/id1293420648

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0766X9LDJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507310524&sr=8-1&keywords=diane+barbarash

 

 

The Poem:

 

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River

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I will run my breath across your eyelids,

go to you, trace the edges of your hands,

finding infinity inside your torment. I will

drift into you like wind and you will not mind

my lips like a concentrated shadow on your skin,

darkening but leaving no weight. You will let me

be inside your picture, a background to your lyrics,

softly at first, I will heal the red in the whites of your eyes.

I will release my wardrobe for you and you will be the mania

that I climb through to reach tranquility. I will

cup your flesh and stretch you through this intimacy because

I own you as you own me and it is not a bad thing, not

blasphemy or anything

to fear. It is your hands, mine – these

poignant burial grounds that have been excavated,

these days of standing close, depending upon the ease

of our mutual exposure. I will speak in your ear and you

will step into my voice

like stepping into a river.

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Copyright © 2011 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “InnerChildPress” 2012

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Guardian

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Guardian (for Beeper)

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Dog-eyes like a morning

infused

with warmth.

 

I dream of sending you

silhouettes wedged

from the mountain,

 

where we would go

flooded with lyric & hazy light.

By the campfire furnace,

 

chasing the breeze through

the haunted wood. And then,

by the river, by daylight,

 

your tongue outstretched to cup bee.

Your oversized ebony head gliding through

the water like a dolphin’s.

 

Under the bridge, on the railroad tracks,

your muscles moved erecting

monuments of innocence and incomparable strength.

 

Past the fence, past

my sight, releasing sounds of excitement, sounds

of a simple, language bark,

 

as you ran

thunderous & dark

as departure

often is.

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Copyright © 1995 by Allison Grayhurst

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For Every Rain Cover 5

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Published in “Communicators League” June 2017

  

 

Three poems | by Allison Grayhurst

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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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High Hill

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High Hill

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On that high hill

the wood burned like a flower,

the smoke rose to my lipline

under a decaying tree.

I walked down that hill to kiss a grave

and marry my heart to the iris of death.

But heat mounts near the waking sun,

and on and on goes the wind, brushing

the powerful weeds.

Walking along the path, my skin has changed,

my shell is under water where it belongs.

There is not much to understand, but to

surrender to honesty and to covet

the courage needed to speak

my ruling rhyme.

On this high hill

I drowned in the devil’s chaos,

but that place is long gone.

And though the asylum of darkness still comes around,

it vanishes so quickly with kindness.

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Copyright © 2002 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “GloMag” May/June 2017

http://online.fliphtml5.com/gkih/tapw/#p=22

GloMagMay-June17

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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“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.

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Dream

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Dream

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Again it came like hari-kari,

twisting my innards on its holy blade.

It came at 4 am, into my lungs and brain,

like a new death-rattle sounding

an old, familiar fate.

It came under the blankets like a scorpion

between my husband and I, touched me

with its tail then raised its head to my eyes.

It unchained my killer-hand, bent my tree

until it broke. It found me in the violence,

in the night of unconscious beginnings and

jealousy too brutal to be controlled.

It plucked my morals one by one, like plucking

a cat of its whiskers. It turned

me into a nameless creature, into a betrayed

and raging deformity of myself. It came

like scissors to a flower, like an axe

to a pig’s straining neck. It came

from where, I do not know, but came again

as though portraying something within

that I must unclothe and undeniably own.

 

Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “New Mystics” February 2017

new-mystics-feb-1 new-mystics-feb-2 new-mystics-feb-3 new-mystics-dream

http://newmystics.com/lit/AllisonGrayhurst.html

http://newmystics.com/documents/AllisonGrayhurst-Poems.pdf

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You can listen to this poem by clicking below:

hope-inhaled-and/

“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.

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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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