Animal Sanctuary – 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:

 

Animal Sanctuary

.

He turns his hawk head

to view the shells of turtles streaking

the still-shroud of water in tanks

as blue as sky.

 

He lifts a leg and talons tensed,

pivots to defend against an enclosing shadow.

 

With whitish eyes and an impossible urge

to fly, he hops along his man-made perch toward

the cages where squirrels leap

from metal to wood, scattering like leaves

in unpredictable flurry.

 

He listens to the ducks’ lipless sounds.

 

Spring, he will never experience again, nor know

the scent of a pent-up life released like

sunflowers blooming, or the feel of the moon,

colder but more comforting than being touched.

 

He is without time or tribe,

and like fire, he haunts

by just being.

.

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Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst

3002   

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First published in “UC Review”, 1996/1997

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elegy of this day being – 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:

 

elegy of this day being

.

At the throat, brushed green like tile I shine.

The devil says “hum-drum”

as the eel struggles, futile like a wagging tail.

So many broken, hating with the hardness of crocodiles

and ants, pulling along their dead,

to consume, knowing nothing of sorrow or forgiveness.

All night I sit with my naked thighs

on the carpet, red from the heat.

What point could there possibly be

to all this pain, the death

of others, the sickness that swarms in mid-air?

Hurricanes hit the graveyards.

A gull tilts on a telephone wire. I wish to bid goodbye.

I wish for ice-cream cones in my fridge,

a handful of poppies to give some child,

any child, I meet.

I see dead eyes in my dream,

glossed with mucous and unbearable vacancy.

How do I serve when the world is so cold?

The humpbacks know this, the midgets

and also the centipedes.

I want to hide in rooms where

infants are sleeping or salamanders nurse their young.

The darkness is in me. The ground deceives me,

changes colours as I go.

Let us go now, my nightmares

and I, go under the light, go until

our heart’s blood is free-falling, exposed.

.

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Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst

3002  

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in the summer 2012 issue of “Parabola” called Alone & Together

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Our Little Pushkin

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Our Little Pushkin

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In the mornings I watch

your sleeping face like

a chinadoll’s, perfect in every way.

I see your smile when you awake

like I would a waterfall on my street corner.

I see you curled tight with joy,

and flinch at the noon day sun.

When I hold you to feed, and you talk to me

with playful glee, I love you more than

my heart can carry.

I think this blessing is stronger than death,

strong like an acorn tree growing.

All night you rest on a pillow in my arms,

we play with bright coloured dangling things,

and your navy eyes open wide

as your legs begin dancing.

You watch and watch like a Buddha in disguise,

taking in life with a calm and thoughtful presence.

You are the spring’s first butterfly, an owl on my shoulder.

You are wonder incarnate, freely showing

what grows so beautiful inside of you.

.

.

Copyright © 2000 by Allison Grayhurst

3005

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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Published in “Narrow Road, Monsoon Issue”, August 2017

 

Narrow Road_Monsoon_Issue_Aug_2017 (2)

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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.

.

 .

My colours would be grey

.

My colours would be grey

.

if not for your heart so

tempered by preserved dreams

and accepted disappointments,

dancing in the unknown,

with a tongue

unafraid to astonish or offend

the public swallower . . .

 

if not for every morning, finding

your eyes closed, sleeping near my

smiling body, and your lips that unearth

each tear from my harbouring breast,

unearth the giant seed of deliverance . . .

 

if not for our partnership,

our home of unhooded tenderness,

the doorways within that lead

to evenings of geranium spring . . .

 

if not for holding you, or

your touch splitting the shell

of my skin, flooding my womb

with fires of indomitable

peace . . .

.

.

Copyright © 1997 by Allison Grayhurst

3000

img069

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

.

First published in “Medusa’s Kitchen” July2017

http://medusaskitchen.blogspot.ca/2017/07/peer-owlish.html

.

You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

.

“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  ‘Journey of the Awakening’:
“Journey of the Awakening is the first book of poetry that I have read of Allison Grayhurst. While reading it began to sound familiar, the comment to myself was “She is as good as Sylvia Plath”. When I finished the book I read comments from others who referred to her as “In the style of Sylvia Plath”; Ms Plath, one of my favorite poets had no match until Ms Grayhurst’s work. Congratulations to her on her achievements, I am already a ‘fan’, the love of her work will continue to grow,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, 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. This, and other Grayhurst poetry volumes are highly, highly recommended,” Tom Davis, poet, novelist and educator.

 .

 .

Family

.

Family

 .

 .

Feeling again

the joy of a matured

and multiplying love.

 

Seeing the seasons dissolve what was

but never the one thing

that keeps us close.

 

I lean on you like you do me through

the thick seductive world.

 

I savour your primitive spark,

your tongue that breeds an original

voice.

 

We are strong, born

of animal colour and spiritual desire.

 

And warm like blood

is the shade that stretches true

between us . . .

.

.

Copyright © 1997 by Allison Grayhurst

3000

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

.

Published in “Bewildering Stories, Issue 718” June 2017

http://www.bewilderingstories.com/

http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue718/blurb.html

http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue718/family.html

http://www.bewilderingstories.com/bios/grayhurst_allison_bio.html

.

You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

  .

“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  ‘Journey of the Awakening’:
“Journey of the Awakening is the first book of poetry that I have read of Allison Grayhurst. While reading it began to sound familiar, the comment to myself was “She is as good as Sylvia Plath”. When I finished the book I read comments from others who referred to her as “In the style of Sylvia Plath”; Ms Plath, one of my favorite poets had no match until Ms Grayhurst’s work. Congratulations to her on her achievements, I am already a ‘fan’, the love of her work will continue to grow,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, 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. This, and other Grayhurst poetry volumes are highly, highly recommended,” Tom Davis, poet, novelist and educator.

 .

.

The Last Walk of the Mayor of Casterbridge

.

The Last Walk

of the Mayor of Casterbridge

 .

 .    

              Heaving strange

the pride in my mouth that will not drown.

After all love given and failed, to hold only this body

of a starved finch, gold but lifeless like all else

that has inspired me on. I shifted extremes, bandaged

my disappointments in bitter hate and landscapes

where only serpents were resurrected.

              Of my self, I have no virtue to defend, what I have

is impulsive and merciless, and a fortune

that has placed my fate at the feet of a cunning enemy.

              That I was saved from the seal of drunken suicide.

That I saw my own image float in the river, giving

seed to a non-judgemental faith, and she, my daughter

(who knew nothing of resentment), cradled my cure

in the compassion of her eyes.

I walk with a simple fool trailing behind who says

I was rough but somehow kind, who seems to show concern

when I stumble and for my face so down,

it will never see daylight again.

He carries me to an abandoned shack

where soon I will die – he, unaware of the killer that I am.

              If my daughter finds me, never let her know

the loneliness that drove my desperate deeds or the fear

I felt of losing her natural devotion. If she finds me,

tell her not to put flowers where I rest. Tell her not to grieve

the aftermath dust of the likes of me – a crushed,

unatonable man.

.

.

Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst

3002

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

.

First published in “Medusa’s Kitchen” June 2017

http://medusaskitchen.blogspot.ca/2017/06/someone-new.html

.

You can listen to this poem by clicking below:

.

“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.

.

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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In Praise of Walt Whitman

.

In Praise of Walt Whitman

 .

 .

He wandered as an individual,

care-full and tender with all he touched.

 

He embraced beauty in his arms

by embracing a young man’s dying limbs or

the trunk of a tree, hundreds of years old.

 

Faithful, clean, pursuing

vitality and depth with compassionate strength,

he was what each hopes to be,

entirely oneself, unafraid of battle

or of withering or joy, unafraid to stake

everything

for the necessity of honest expression.

 

He, with his brave, child-like being, waded

in the brutality of war, in the ponds of dazzling

and delicious Nature, equal in his love

and in his giving.

.

.

Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst

3002

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

.

First published in “Medusa’s Kitchen” June 2017

http://medusaskitchen.blogspot.ca/2017/06/someone-new.html

.

You can listen to this poem by clicking below:

.

“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.

.

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.

.

.