The gift of all this crumbles

with a single out-of-sync happening.

Geraniums are frosting over

and the high grass is yellowing.

Yesterday was a cat in symmetrical slumber,

pictures stood straight and warmth

was gathering like a sweet wind over the neighbourhood.

Does this mean it is my mind? like an insect living

one season, sees only that season, dies before winter,

content to have made it so long?

Does this mean the puddle

I jump in, wade in, determine in

is only a pail of water, nothing beside the ocean?

When the puddle is stirred from its stillness or

becomes a bath for snakes or dries up from too much sun –

it is still the puddle and will replenish again

as all puddles do in the rain, maybe

in the early evening just before the lion comes

to take a long, relaxed drink.



Copyright © 2008 by Allison Grayhurst


Review of poetry chapbook "The River is Blind"

BookCoverImage Allison GrayhurstTrial and Witness back cover final


 First published in “Literary Orphans”, Issue 13, May 2014



The Path Before


The Path Before


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.



Copyright © 2008 by Allison Grayhurst


Currents - pastlife poems cover 4


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


Poem nominated for “Best of the Net” 2015







I am done

with the breaststroke of infernal lies.

I am done with the twitching eyes,

people without boundaries – hard things

like crossing graveyards, hesitating

intimacy. I am done with money.

I am through with platforms and curls,

with the forceful devil and things that make me feel

unsure. I see the spring

and it is waiting to throw me

a rose. I see things, and I am done with

the loins of the zodiac, through with eastern gods

and western hopes. This is me, standing empty –

fields on either side. Drown me in this solitude.

Take my blood and make me

a monastery.



Copyright © 2010 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “Far Enough East – Issue Six”, September 2014







        Sleep, into triumphant sleep,

waking is a tide of abysses and senses

reflecting illusions. Cursory stresses,

repairing at the bedside where my knees bent in prayer,

scuffing my skin with cosmic complaining.

        I’ve thought about this, and I’ve decided

not to care if I fail at swimming or grooming or trophy-getting,

or in collecting eggwhites, having more than what I have

necessary on the table.

        Love is the weathervane is the station,

earning eternity, a teaming ocean worthy of a dive.

The rest is a stunted fetus that will never coo

or be baby-dream sufficient.

        I’ve spent too long weight-lifting chaos’s hammer,

flinging myself from wall to stump.

I have eyes that hold me, another’s and another’s

I can take pictures of and sing to, and I wish for nothing

but to retain this fertility of tender revealing.

        Children and the final history of desire,

predestined to return as a speck – own my freewill,

multiplying with the rhythm of a brighter responsibility.

        Sleep, for I’ve never existed

but to count this love and to love this way

personal, a cliché of bloated ignorance,

with a mouthful of famine and an armful of miniscule miracles,

gestating, spiralling, blending into the soft brown sofa,

tea in hand, leaning on another, amazed

by how good this is and how very long

this cozy reverie has lasted.



.Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst


BookCoverImage Allison GrayhurstTrial and Witness print back cover


First published in “Guwahatian, Volume 1, Issue 9”



I have been born


I have been born


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.



Copyright © 2015 by Allison Grayhurst

Fire and more cover - Copy

Currents - pastlife poems cover 4

Make the Wind cover



Published in “Anti-Heroin Chic Magazine” February 2016


Before you


Before you


wide with surrender

with no backdrop or formula,

with the accomplishment of releasing

plans by the wayside into the swamp

that used to be an instrument playing,

a cliff of clay forming a tireless gale

of heavy sensual dreams.

      I belong to you and to the strength of your empty hands,

the endings you leave me with, harvesting

ephemeral food – a soul full

of coastal curves that break the waters and is broken

by them, pressing and caressing the chain of tidal

obliteration as an umbilical cord connecting

to the vast sweet space that is you.

      Never meant to anchor roots or climb a sturdy cliff,

you stop my struggle to illuminate a typical liberation,

gaining the wherewithal to stay pale,

upright and destined in my cage.

For it not a hellish home, but submerged

in the damp abandon of your shaking,

it is subject to your prying appendages poking,

tearing away speech and understanding.

      I am yours, withdrawn from words into a connection

washed with elements of prayer but unlike prayer

more like lemonade to the day labourer or grass

to the grazing mare – away from bit, halter and reigns –

your sun sinking its evening heat into my back and shoulders,

erasing division, drawing an intimacy

that frees my blood’s natural flow, squeezes out

the clotted clump of summoning-up

of years scarred by grief and hidden,

rebellious longing.



.Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst


No Raft - No Ocean



First published in “Change Seven Magazine, Issue 1.2 Summer 2015” June 2015






Hole in the sky we go

through. Other way

around, we exit on the peak.

Oblong mercy is the natural order

of things. We see an innate

camera reciting images

made up of everyone’s fluid flames,

discovering everyone’s life is short.


I remember sleeping in a dark summer,

remember the innards of the cave I strode into,

making a home out of its

damp walls and dirt.

I never meant to leave that home, never thought

I could find one to hold awareness with such intensity, savoring

the brink-edge depths, even

expanding the boundaries. Never thought to be coupled,

completed in an evolving perfection, never thought

I could find one to give me permission to embody my desires,

discover my desires before I do, then honor the reciprocation

of mutual satisfied longing.


Our bodies become spiritual.

Ourselves, undivided

from the fixed-point and from the no-point

chaos blues. Our gift

is a box of fresh fruit, full

whenever opened – mixed

succulent, surprising pleasures.

Ours is a wholeness that

can be experienced without complications

because we know that death makes God

necessary, and because

we are braver, only capable

when we are where we stood

before our births, each pore

mingled, sensitized, our organs submerged

in the consciousness of this re-joining,

speaking in tongues, with tongues and touch.

The time of only light awakened, then

the time before light

entered, restored.



Copyright © 2014 by Allison Grayhurst

Walkways cover 2

Make the Wind cover



First published in “Down in the Dirt, Volume 132”, October 2015 and online “Scars Publication” April 2015 and “Sunlight in the Sanctuary” anthology, November 2015, and “the Intersection” anthology, November 2015, and “hello goodbye   goodbye hello” anthology