Ground Bird Flown


Ground Bird Flown


Layers of clear

rainbow shine guide

you through the pyramid portal into

open air revelation.

Joy on a stick, in your soft eyes,

closed in death, with permanent grace.


For all the gifts your gave,

daily miracles, flutterings,

vocalizations, accumulating in song.

For your fragile vessel, energy octave

higher than us wingless dwellers.


Your fearless power streaked

into the lining of your feathered coat,

patterned gold thick veins

washed in sparkling sand.


Beautiful Sage of the flowerbed gardens,

the blueberry, the hempseed swallow,

fearless messenger, angelic power

bound in a small body, you were 

loved completely for everything

that you were, gave,

held lifeforce for. You were

soft, demanding and rich

with good humour


stretching, expanding

higher, wider, wings aflare, lifting

in pure vibrant dance, puffed and proud,

your freedom actualized, raised

only inches off the ground.



Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst


Published in “Synchronized Chaos” October 2017


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:



The Closing


The Closing



Part 1


Eight years ago 

it entered, building force

gradually, started

embryonic, developed

organs, blood vessels, a brain,

then talons like tentacles

gripped from the inside

strangling the light, passing

its poison into the bloodstream, feeding off

of adolescence fears and anxiety.


It started small, moments of rebellion,

grew irrational, unkind,

ended in violence – a smashed glass extending

its tear into every room, crevices, vents.

Sacred hope sacrificed to indulge

in dark extremes. Love denied, turned

on its side unable to struggle enough

to set itself upright.

Now it is here, overtaken,

apparent in heavy footsteps,

sleep deprived eyes, unshowered

hair, a room as breeding ground

for clutter and chaos.


I take you with two hands, grip your sloughing shoulders,

your tarry taste and destructive tongue.

I take out what has entered, send it back to the void

and that line of heritage it travelled upon.


I fill the empty pocket with light, first mending it with

the tender-thread of God and the sharp-point of truth.

I iron-gate the place where it left and pour a concrete wall.


I bless this house. I clear the corners, the ceiling, floorboards.

I call the Buddha that was born with you to reawaken,

for my army of angels to lift up their swords. We are

still here. We are love, and love

is the centre, the carriage and the tide,

never defeated, stronger than the frantic pulse,

stronger than the wielding axe and the ash of its remains,

stronger than this cursed person you wear and claim,

strongest now in this hopeless hardened place,

in this choice, beginning.



Part 2


Step, bless your

new shoes, step and

hold the sun on your tongue like a berry,

leaving an indelible juicy mark,

be guided by other people’s wisdom

as long as it doesn’t undermine your own

and watch yourself enter Eden-Earth in its many glorious

forms – dive into small mounds of sand, pieces of glass,

spiraling trees, trunks, bulging and retracting

in individual rhythm,

a solid movement, stunning as music.

Take this choice from disaster,

offer it the path of the impossible, a pathway into

a miracle because God counts for everything,

counts on flat and hot surfaces,

counts on the deathbed and

in the red coat

beautiful gleam



Part 3


The way forward is

the way back, clearing

stumbling blocks that promise

to repeat ahead if not killed

at their source.

To hold the truth even if it tells you

that love is limited in people, certain people

who play both sides – one foot in the basin of heaven

and the other glorifying the haphazard world.


Even if it tells you you cannot save

or be saved by a half-hearted account of kindness,

tells you, it is nothing

to be bitter over, nothing personal and also

not yours to bear the repercussions,

tells you to continue all the way, hold firm

to the thin road and the willingness to lose everything –

home, sacred room, the safety of your own –

for the divine request to follow. Follow then

the tulips

still managing to bud in backyards untended,

follow then with God at the helm.


You are not abandoned, not like the tin-foil wrapper,

or the chewing gum chewed,

or worn-through undergarments. You are protected

and that protection is warm and powerful and golden

as an owl’s steady eyes. You are afraid I know.

The doors you used to knock on are

boarded up. Steel eyes lock on you, mock you in your anguish.

It feels ruthless, brutally barren,

feels that way only until you fully let go.

I let go. I drop my past, my precious cargo, drop you

and follow, hearing faint the voice that tells me –


The only thing I have to do to receive God’s love

is to believe in God’s love.




Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst


To be published in Synchronized Chaos, October 2017



You can listen to the poem by clicking below:



Not your taxidermist.


Not your taxidermist.



witnesses cracked,

ice-slit, more than

a broken arm or a lingering smile

that bears no goodwill. Don’t bother

with the streamline, take the curve, the twisted route

into the starscape’s eye

because it is on that route where the

bells chime a code, where the

simplest solution unfolds

and the wind rises, master of unpredictability,

to thrust you into overload,

where once you were starving for input,

but now are saturated, almost bloated,

still able to breathe a healthy balanced sigh

of mixed astonishment, courage and belief,

still yourself on the threshold collecting

clouds and making a fluctuating ethereal pattern.


From a turret window watch the road – it has arrived,

and glory-be the choices that follow

that will lead to unbreakable intimacy, beyond

engravings etched on sidewalk stone.



Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst


Published in “Outlaw Poetry” August 2017


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:



I barely know how


I barely know how


deep this illness has stepped,

what new season of burning dreams

I will inherit, or from outside, is

there a weed I can pull I have not

seen, is there something to swallow

I have refused to swallow, sealed

up in my solitude, knocked about

against some ridged rocks and the sober earth

of doomed starvation. Open light,

open and let me see the harvest I have worked so

hard to ripen, let there be goodness in

my children, let them know they are loved.


I kept waiting for the clue, then I thought

I solved it all with surrender, but decay lingers

in me like a tapeworm – I have known

nothing but withering and animals I loved who

are dead, corpses rotting underground in

places I see daily where summer plants

grow wild, up and over, but cannot cover the desert spot.


An angel lived with me. An angel is gone.

My lungs ache and I cannot stop

coughing and wondering if this is how I will

die – asleep on the old sofa, wrapped up

in the smell of my home like a shroud.



Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst


Published in “Outlaw Poetry” June 2017




You can listen to the poem by clicking below:



New Wheel – The Passage of Arnik


New Wheel – The Passage of Arnik


(king of a small land)


Part 1


My skin was stone,

drenched in an accelerant and

lit on fire. And there I burned,

a flaming rock impassable by

every woman and man who

tried to cross my shore. My fire

was final, a never-dying-heat

guarding the dead cold core

beneath its frantic dance.

Murder was easy as was laughing,

glaring bold-faced at the sun,

but languishing in waters, still or stormy,

was never my game, only, swift, loveless striking,

blistering and charring, beating with a spike

any imagined challenge to my seat in the center.


You covered my face with your hair,

let me sear it, then the skin of your face, to the bone.

And still you would not leave me, give up

on my indomitable obscenity – finely-tuned

to the leftover ash of my tenderside.

My madness was your deformed child. Even when

you ended me, taking an axe to break up my hard form –

you were more sorry than I was, heartbroken

to scatter that fire, watch its petering-out-existence

on the cracked concrete fragments of what I once was.

For me, it was freedom from its burn,

a relief, relieving me from the devil’s obligation.

I couldn’t sing. I couldn’t speak, but

I saw you crying – such strength

embedded in so much softness. I forgot

you had a formidable side. I forgot

that love was a ruthless wielding sword –

for both of us – terrible, unforgiving and

stronger than either of our self-proclaimed mantras,

better than personal devotion, brighter

than the burning or the burnt, tortured,

cloned-for-infinity, layered upon layer, like us,

molecularly as one, irreparably damned.



Part 2


Tentacles, unfurled, then

curled, suctioning out

the snail from its shell.

Through the narrow hold of hell

I built a kingdom, wide and ruthless,

I cut the heads off the keepers of faith,

increased my stature as I did my gluttony –

sensual overload.


There was a tree in the courtyard, old and by its own.

Everyday I would chip pieces off its bark, because I could,

because I knew it hurt and I wanted to murder it, slowly,

this old beauty that held its ground longer than me.

I wanted its stillness, if not to own, then to conquer.

I obsessed over its carved-up flesh, kept its pieces

in a box by my bed, one day planning to collect

the whole of its body in many boxes –

building a shelf for that alone.


But that day never came, for I found death

by the swift hand of my lover, after love-making

after laughter, almost sleeping – showing him the tree pieces,

while gloating at my cruelty, he sucked in my dark wind

and gathered an axe from its exhale.

He watch me fade. I faded,

spilled out over the bedding and the hand-crafted floor.

He cried openly, pressing his

lips against my skin, he sang to me –

laid the bark-pieces tenderly across my chest –

and there I was buried, there, in dying I awoke,

for the first time in that lifetime, trembling with peace,

I began a journey somewhere, home.



Part 3


Inside the white hot soul

that boils with bitter outward

blame, primitive in its inception

like a just-born-star,

born from a black hole sink hole infusion

of pain and power – tight knot force pouring

from an unguarded door, gushing forward like

a colossal flood, lifting homes, babies from parental arms

and the nesting rodents from their burrows, remorseless,

lashing this way and that just for the sake of it,

for the sound and for the consequences

I could unleash.


Whispers in my ear of love

were an implanting-larvae insect bite

to pour vinegar on and be done with.

But they burned, these larvae beneath my skin, traveled north

to latch onto my spinal neck nerve, hatch again,

consuming me with ignored madness.


I kept myself pure of sentiment until the end, until the next life

when those larvae overtook, and cloaked my retreat

with parallel barriers of shame and guilt,

called me to a time out, to be removed,

to learn discipline and control, gentleness

carrying out daily simple tasks, bothering no one –

small, self-sustaining, glimpsing a first taste of a personal

God as I

let the weight bear down, through the darkness, building

a sanctuary where I could chalk-mark the walls

with my crimes,

come to terms with accountability.


Gradually, many lifetimes later, those larvae

grew translucent wings,

thin, but strong enough to lift me off the ledge of confinement,

into the light of a new longing – a vision bursting,

birthed from both

a streamlined-focus responsibility toward a tender eternity

and a well-cave of feeding minerals, feeding,

blunt-axe perpetually hacking, holy despair.



Part 4


I speak of a cloud

fanning north – it went

past barricade ripples,

ended in a thin line above a blanket

fog. Wild disorder,

language I could not steal or make up,

but found the natural disappearance

of all things in its fate.

A creature obscure, placematting perfection

into a one-dimensional genius.

Good riddance to lineage and the shaming

fish-flight up against some sharks.


I touched you and you were naked. It felt

greater than love, but it was not so. It was

wider than a lifetime and swayed all over

the map, cloak-covering the appendages

of tyranny and a tyrant’s response to fear.

We rejoiced together, exhilarated by the possibilities

and the perpetual spin weaving macabre plot

that lead to this glimpse of redemption.

It was the end – hoofprint on the grass

made invisible by an onslaught storm.

Even for the weight and starkness that came after,

I am grateful for the chance

you gave to be reborn – to dare myself

into solitude and austere discipline.


I speak of a cloud

then of a king that was a man

who lost his heavy shape and substance

in a calm sky… know it, know it now,

a law, an equilibrium

dissolved – miraculous

clairvoyant space taker

vanishing through, into

a covenant-keeping once

impenetrable wall.




(monk in service to a stream)


Part 5


Grace, grounding

in the mist-wrapped shelter

blooming in unison

with perfect stance and form,

killing my individuality to make

a stronger whole.

Orange bright red flare of robes,

sounds of marrow spine resonance,

stillness in speed, visible energy,

rolling, turning, flattening the air

from inner pressure – sealed, smoothed,

kneeling by a stream.


This kind of power accessed, focused

removed from ego and uniqueness.

Finding peace in discipline, saving beauty

in spiritual structure – every moment counted for,

every thought overseen and filtered through

for further simplicity. Clarity enforced

in the great dream of camaraderie,

in the common goal of God-mind, balancing

force with receiving,

honouring with accountability, weaned off

of the still swelling teat of desire, living far off 

on an isolated high plane, holding heaven

in a tea cup, celestial gardens in a rice bowl,

learning to blend mastery with discipleship.


          daily striving for perfection in the body’s movements,

          daily failing, giving it back, committed

          to this pulsar event – filling up, choosing ‘yes’,

          then willfully deflating, releasing the hold.



Part 6


This hand

split from the source

but not fully detached,

forking downward into

a vast otherness, depending on,

giving honor to the root, to the means to

keep nourished and whole.


Gently submerging in a stream,

entering an alternate atmosphere where

minnows school and scatter

and micro-organisms build communities,

interactive bio-worlds, unaware of the invading limb,

fingers, looping in erratic rhythm, glorifying in

the soft texture shadow, moving through with

easily overcome resistance,

encapsulated in the water-body,

entering, exploring without destruction.


This hand,

only feeling like it has gone somewhere

when removed, wet, knowing it has been

where oxygen is heavy,

where the rich showering moon gravity

has more say, greater mobility then it does in air.

Crossing dimensions without disruption

or impact, here holding stillness,

inside of, open to a passive discovery, then lifted,

hovering over the surface, dripping back into the stream,

gaining rich skin ridges, enhanced sensitivity, at last,

visible saturation.



Part 7


Guardian of the small water

flowing – pebbles lining

the edge, shaved head resting

on the ground.


Loneliness widened in those few everyday hours,

listening to what went on deep below the surface

of the stream, honing in on frolicking fish,

predatory fish and the cycle voice

groaning, never withholding its display of extremes.


I closed my eyes and dreamt I held two shoulders tight

between two arms, wrapped myself naked around another.

That longing lingered well past sleep, as I rose, it rose up in me

a discontent, birthed a being, a pulse

beneath my calculated fold,

thundering through my well-kept peace,

brought me closer to looking,

looking at those fish, seeing a richer kinship in their company.

As I looked, that loneliness quickened

in its demands, buzzed louder

than concentrated contemplation or a prayer.


There was no apology left to play out, not here

in this place, on this isolated rift on a mountain, not

when other beings moved in a more intimate connection,

tied to the vine and the sun and the fish

gave birth to eggs that were inseminated

and transformed. I could hear

their chattering, bubble blowing and their unquestioned

communion – each tiny one crowned perfect, even when

left half-eaten, perishing on the bank.


I drew back from my commitments but did not leave,

simply waited and held the promise of you in my dreams.

In waiting, I sent a call out to you, finding transportation

through the drumming chant, into distances

beyond my bent knees

and the gleam of my weapons


over cliffs and villages and oceans I told you

to meet me the next timeover, choose

this place, choose that harsh violence of a home

and I would choose mine, not far

but far enough from each other so when we finally met

we would be mostly cultivated and hurting enough

to give credence to each other’s importance.


While I waited, I tasted your flesh in each grain of rice,

rolled it down my tongue like solid nectar, digesting it,

I kept up my call, told the stream to take it downwards too.

In silence I kept my secret, broke the machine, and betrayed my brothers.


I had no choice but to tend to this flame, press my hip bones

against yours in the other space that started small

by the stream,

gained dimension and lengthened on the inside, stretching

to bare-toes, to fleshy ear-lobes, flame

that circled my bones like a hungering bird,

broke them into pieces and swallowed them,

glittering, gleaming hot in this longing, still

a stone on the outside, dutiful while I waited,

letting that flame infiltrate my organs, veins, larynx.


I loved you absolutely, in the wild intake outtake breath.

I ate as always in slow movements, with one hand, eating,

the other, ripening, building in heat,

calling out, preparing for our wedded harvest.



Part 8


Standing on a petal crust, ground

by a stream, sinking into wet earth

where fish corpses lie buried,

surrounded by minerals and mountain stones.


Sinking as the sun arrives

and my heart seizes but is not afraid of

drowning in this damp graveyard,

knows it is a sacred blessing to be called

to dive into the underground

where light and water still reign,

knows it is pulled, plucked and twisted but

will return to form through a flexible core,

elasticity intact, inner elements uncompromised.


Going down further

merging shoulders and neck, readying to breathe in

the divinity ground, harbinger

of worms, death and thin bones, keeper of

the Lazarus resurrection


and the sun seeps into my parted lips

as does the soil. I close my eyes

sinking, unable to hold air or hearing.


Honoured to offer it my flesh and my singing bowl,

I am covered in this stream-infused ground of a shroud,

vessel-body overtaken, vacated and then transmuting,

dissipating, ready to feed the root, be healed,

find you again, and in loving you,

be equal, irretrievably joined, boundless together,

opened, never closing, owned.



Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:



First published in “Synchronized Chaos”  May 2017




This poem has been 

been nominated for Sundress Publications

“Best of the Net” 2017 by Cristina Deptula,

editor of Synchronized Chaos.

‘New Wheel – The Passage of Arnik’: rom-allison-grayhurst-2/

Published May 1, 2017




Alchemy completion


Alchemy completion


Far enough

to line the bed with

lavender clouds,

pull off the covers

and be entombed.

Fine sleep and soft

tenderness warming limbs,

wetting where it warms,

soon to cool – breathing like

singing, lines smeared into

unified devotion, matching frequencies,

backward, forward leading toward a tower

to leap off of, a bed to stretch on, sink into.

It is holy, mud-caked, drawn curtains torn

from their rod. It is thinking in intonations

and shades, a cascading buzz riveting from

bone to bone – two spliced and joining opposite halves,

a power equal in its mercy. Far enough,

just there, drawing breath on the summit, dissolving

boundaries in sensual elevation, far enough

continuing, collapsing, swallowed

into the pitching current.



Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst


.Published in “GloMag” April 2017



Published in “Rasputin: a poetry thread” April 2017


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:









Held still

like apple butter held

smooth on the tongue, catching

grief in a cage, on the surface

of a name – would it be

kissing or pinning a broken coat-zipper

together – once the fog has left is there

anything left to hold out for? Hold still for,

like a hooked fish releasing the struggle?

Being alive in the dream-state ambiguity,

meaning full then meaning naught and

how old are you?


Your horse, Dee, steady

in the sunlight, glinting a wild connectivity,

intelligence gleaming across a chestnut coat,

bowed head, permission to pet granted and then

sleeping in a stall, talking outload when everyone else

had gone home. It was not a dream,

not until she was gone and then it was a dream

lost, and maybe never there.


People love their trees

the ones they think they own. But I never loved a tree like

I loved the willow tree in my Montreal backyard. I never

loved anyone who hadn’t died at least a hundred years

before I was born until


there was you, rounding up the stones from every table,

sitting alone only to stand up again before the seat

warmed, and ‘perfect’ made sense but nothing ever expected.


Dee and the willow tree. I left my body and flew

into the sun.


Why can’t I leave my body and fly into the sun –

meals taken care of,

sex and you, a beautiful summer star.



Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “CultureCult Magazine, Volume 2, Number 1, Issue 7”  March 2017

CultureCult Magazine – Issue #7



Published in “Rasputin: a poetry thread” April 2017


You can listen to the poem by clicking below: