River – the song and the poem

 

River – songs from the poetry of Allison Grayhurst

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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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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

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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

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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:

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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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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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Jesus in my basement

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Jesus in my basement

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You are serious as the elements,

master of miracles that overcomes those elements.

You are golden and landing always

in the depth of true light.

I think at times I can hear your voice, immediate,

ambushing my breath and my lazy self-pity.

You call on me to change my skin, walk

this world with belief and wonder. You guide me

in your discipline, offer me promise, eternity,

hills and hills of lush mercy.

You want my words to be exhumed – to speak exact,

not be encased in avoidance, not caked in layers

of mind-twisting complexity.

Just to be here, in front of you – simple, unimportant,

broken by the world, remade by you.

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Copyright © 2008 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “Section 8 Magazine”, January 2017

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https://www.section8magazine.com/the-last-layer/

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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Sculpture “Above The Waters” sculpture and photographs by © Allison Grayhurst 2102

 

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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.

Reviews of ‘The Many Lights of Eden’:

“’The Many Lights of Eden’ is a journey: a journey of the heart through youth, anguish, struggle, spiritual awakening, grief, death, love, loss, guilt, struggle, despair, hope, surrender, God, sensuality, imperfection, motherhood, aging, the vanquishing of the devil, indeed, many devils, the inevitable fall from perfection and the casting off of old wineskins for a new one. Perhaps speaking of this book as a chronicle of spiritual maturing would be more accurate, the realization that there is spirituality within imperfection and that handmade temples cannot hope to compete with the spiritual temples within each of us. ‘The Many Lights of Eden’ is a diamond. It is a beautiful collection of insights. Allison Grayhurst’s thoughts and writings are a deep well. Drink from it, for the water is clear and crisp. This collection is a MUST-READ,” Eric M. Vogt, author of Letters to Lara and Paths and Pools to Ponder. 

 “I have been slow at responding to reviews for Allison Grayhurst due to summer’s busy days, however she brings life to each poem, heart to the images and everyone should have a collection of Grayhurst Poetry,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, poet.

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If I knew this haunting

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If I knew this haunting

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Melted, swung high over the sea,

plunging into the perishing darkness.

No one sees me, single as a stone,

madness on my island even with gifts

of peaches, blueberries, sunlight and sun-birds.

Windows are never here. The truth is

a deep-throat dread, lower belly drain, water gone,

shadow in between. Swing over a mound

of dry bones that used to be flowers, hummingbird

retreats. Shattered glass greenhouse in winter’s embrace.

Nothing flows. It tried to flow and for

awhile I can remember the small animals,

remember ease while breathing, myself

more silence than flutter.

I can remember walking on high wet grass –

rolling fields all around, walking to keep

from eclipsing, determined to walk, and not

burn at the roots.

 

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Copyright © 2015 by Allison Grayhurst

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Published in “The Wagon Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 1” April 2016

The Wagon Magazine 1The wagon magazine issue 2The Wagon Magaine If I knew The HauntingThe Wagon magazine issue bioThe Wagon Magazine 2 The Wagon Magazine 3 The Wagon Magazine 4The Wagon Magazine 5 The Wagon Magazine If I knew this haunting 1 The Wagon Magazine If I knew this haunting 2 The Wagon Magazine bio

http://thewagonmagazine.com/

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POEMS BY Allison Grayhurst

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Make the wind contentsMake the Wind If I knew this haunting

http://scars.tv/pdf/2016/Make_the_Wind20160404Allison_Grayhurst.pdf

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Scars full 3Scars full 1 Scars full 2Scars If I knew this haunting 1 Scars If I knew this haunting 2

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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“Grayhurst’s poetry is a translucent, ethereal dream in which words push through the fog, always searching, struggling, and reaching for the powerful soul at its heart. Her work is vibrant and shockingly original,” Beach Holme Publishers.

“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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I am a definition

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I am a definition

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with many loop-holes

octopus arm holes,

and then some.

I speak of a pavilion

where my ancestors bred

their disciplines

and murder was released –

an option, like a second chance,

murder as affirmation.

I was a definition,

secular, single-habit,

yang-streams exuding,

sharp and solid, marvelous as

a thunderstorm – rage, ripple into a cave

into base-neck movement,

into

simple one-focus activity.

 

But here

I lack a definition

under banners, barely audible

compromise,

excuses to not take up the sword,

battle the lies told

as traditional fables.

I swing from pillar to post

navigating ceiling heights

and floor splinters when I land

niching out obedience

to

a changeling definition.

 

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Copyright © 2015 by Allison Grayhurst

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Published in “Scarlet Leaf Review” April 2016

Scarlet Leaf Review 2Scarlet Leaf Review 1Scarlet Leaf Review I am definition 1 Scarlet Leaf Review I am definition 2

 

http://www.scarletleafreview.com/poems/previous/2

http://www.scarletleafreview.com/poems/allison-grayhurst-poems

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Make the wind contentsMake the wind I am definition

http://scars.tv/pdf/2016/Make_the_Wind20160404Allison_Grayhurst.pdf

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Scars full 3Scars full 1 Scars full 2Scars I am definition 1 Scars I am definition 2

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

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“Grayhurst’s poetry is a translucent, ethereal dream in which words push through the fog, always searching, struggling, and reaching for the powerful soul at its heart. Her work is vibrant and shockingly original,” Beach Holme Publishers.

“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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