Steel and Spice

Steel and Spice



Inch across

the bell-cups of lilies

in the dead oblivion

of decades of reality’s denial.


Inch into the sweetness

of a lilac’s centre,

nourished on imagination everytime

over the bite of bitter soup.


Gather the crows in your morning sky,

ask them to envelop you and then ask

their forgiveness.


Hiding your panic

in the promises of miracles, licking the acid

off of your skin to make for a good story,

for the belief in an undamageable surface.

Mistaking silk for bread, counting on

God’s kindness to come on the brink

of desperate need.


Will you now

be a slave to the feast of worms or

strip-mine until what little gold you find

feels like abundance?


Maybe you are safe, living in this

burning garden, protected with a poet’s peace

and by a faith that bypasses gravity’s consequences, but

has consequences and demands of its own – ones

you must live by and dedicate yourself to keep


turn a blind-eye to practicality,

and press all fear into a resounding prayer,

existing on the substance of

divine gifts, gifts that are final,

that have no price to pay except that you

leave yourself leaning, tied and planted only

to this holy dreamscape liberation.



Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “GloMag” March 2017



Published in “Rasputin: a poetry thread” April 2017


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:







Upstream, across the stream

to the bottom, it could have been

done, if the stars were aligned and

the temperature poignant enough

to boil over and reveal

the full of its power. It could have toppled

security measures, unified its truth

with popular culture if the apex had been

achieved and the ceiling cracked to cave in and

collide the sky in conjunction with the ground.


It could still gallop, unbridled

through the neighboring streets and then out, across

boarders. Unlike the delusions

that dripped over the tub, keeping

us awake all night, flooding toenails and ankles, crossing

over miles to vaporize in the first warm breeze, it is stronger.

Stronger than any ego-charm, continuing its supremacy,

aching, as it clears the deck

of the frivolous and the unnecessary.

It could still be seen as enormous

as it is – breath-gasping, far-reaching,

a hot glowing hut

of mystical enterprise.


Take it down, every inch, scatter it

among the needy. Feed it as crackers

without spread, for its

nature is substance and its time

is a slow forming tornado,

gaining friction, gaining on destiny.



Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “Novelmasters” November 2016

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Published in “Episteme, Volume 5, Issue 3” December 2016


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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:





Pale sleep,

naked under eyelids

and summer beating out the

last of its heat, remembering

the skin of stones I collected,

hidden in boxes under mounds of

typed-on paper.


I will take them out,

read them like a diary and soak

myself with their flavours. Then

maybe I will remember my inauguration

into oxygen, a direction I can run in,

leaving crutches in the alleyway.


I can gather armour, carry armour, be rooted

to victory and the purity of murder.


The bitten moon, lingering, muscles forgetting

how they travel, how love is contemplated

and grows in sand, in cracked concrete corners

even when the wolves are nearing. Trust. It is

gathering. I will gather these colourful stones –

some tumbled sheen, others, raw

and ready for flight.



Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “The Blue Mountain Review, Issue 6” February 2017

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below: