Call it in,

into the palm,

into the spoon,

the upsidedown shell.

Hold its liquid grace

and walk slowly over hunchback hills,

tall weeds and cracked pavement.

Do not spill a drop.


Shield it from the sun

so it will not evaporate.

Shield it from the stars

so it does not recognize its kin

and claim its home back amongst them.

Shield it from the children

who naturally harness such vitality.

And also, from the animals,

they will gather it in their mouths

and feed it to their early-summer offspring,

knowing its worth.


Instead, call it in

because this small measure is only yours,

as long as you call it in and let all other things go,

go to serve your house and others.

As long as you know, possession here is paramount,

protection is integrity, is the way

to keep the sponge saturated, your jaw firm

in prayer.


Call it in,

into the brown jar on your sacred shelf,

anoint it secret, pay the wages

to ensure its safety. Sip from it,

sometimes a little, sometimes more than a little,

like rejoicing, like uncoiling, caught

pure, naked, in a space fully lit with

no off-switch or walls.



 © 2018 by Allison Grayhurst



Published in “Synchronized Chaos” September 2018



Published in “Chicago Record Magazine” August 2018


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:



Lighthouse gone under


Lighthouse gone under



At the end of a dream, after the burning down,

is a sorrow, there and fixed

like a blockage to ensure failure of the flow

like a broken pipe,

letting flood the lighthouse tower.


It will drown the lighthouse,

even the tip and the ancient bricks below.

And in sinking and dispersing its form

under the water’s pressure it will make a coral bed

for otherwise homeless creatures.


It will make an underwater greenhouse, a place for

tiny beings to hide, find shelter and explore.

It will go on longer down there, below the surface,

go on past decades, generations and nuclear explosions.


It will not be recognised for the tower and steady guiding light

it once held, but it will morph into a thriving community.

Its concrete flesh will grow breathing skin –

slippery green living follicles. It will endure

the winters above and the blank-eyed predators

maneuvering through its make-shift corridors.


This sorrow will take and it will be final.

And then it will give,

infusing a richer purpose, nurturing beating life

into the landscape of its shattered,

now restructured, bones.



 © 2018 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “The Dope Fiend Daily” September 2018


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:










Let it spill,

let it move in me,

churn my intestines

realigning my matrix,

releasing the gnawing dead thing

tethered to my spine –


          A butterfly sailing

          Two cardinal mates nest-building

          A golden pup leaning against my thigh

          A squirrel, staring, close, deliberately eye-to-eye


God is my master

God is my loving parent

The scar will remain

but the wound is sealed

and the penicillin taken.

For I know love –

the fairytale soulmate dream.

I have held it and kissed it

now for 30 years.

It has born offspring, children

who are no longer children

who dream one day of children

of their own.


He calls me a master.

I call him the most wonderous being

I have ever known.

And we have walked together

through such horrors that when they did not destroy,

did irrevocably demean,

through the rocky edge of decline and crash, and

the kidnapped stride of so many happy moods,

learning that joy is not always a rising above

but is more often a plain-bread steady receiving,

is love that speaks and speaks

and never overstates or loses a word,

learning that we are rich and have never been forsaken,

honouring this purple flower amongst the weeds,

dedicated to this legendary love in the day to day,

in the tragedies of death, infant illnesses

and precious dreams deformed, collapsed.


Let it spill. I am already overflowing.

Let it clean what has not yet

been cleaned. I see the gift given,

this greatest of all visions manifested that

has braved itself to fruition over many lifetimes.

I see and now I am free


seeing we are already, and have been for so long,

(since the day our eyes locked electrified eternal and our bodies

were swept into that pure bliss oblivion Shangri-La vortex),

still dancing in the meadow, ripe with music

when we knew with certainty all our prayers were answered,

felt the quenching of our unbearable mutual loneliness,

as we twirled and we danced, divinely infused

with an ongoing source of strength, restoration

and river blaze.



 © 2018 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “Outlaw Poetry” August 2018


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:



I walked the Circle


I walked the Circle



I walked in a strange place

where light was named darkness

and darkness named light

and knew it was my new home.


How can this be? I asked myself,

inspecting each inversion

of authenticity. Gravity, I answered,

wiping off dust, pulling down the thick clouds.


Sorrow crept into my sleep, confusion

hijacked my taste buds.

Beauty was seen only

in the plastic, unnaturally perfect.

And the mortal gift, betrayed.


Among the ants and rodents I felt safe,

pretended I was their kin, and they welcomed me.

We crept through weeds, jumped

branches and collected.


I gave myself a name,

refusing the strength of my true identity,

refusing the insight

I first had upon arrival.

The rivers looked blue that were really red,

the petal of the rose lost its bright juniper green.

Love lost the nipple flow of eternity and I didn’t know

anyone I could lean my head upon.


Memory is rounded, has no starting point, is the point of time.

These are the consequences, linear trepidation and

the quenching of fear and the felt-superiority of every nation.

Because the bread crumbs became the feast and the feast

was swept under the rug, willfully ignored.


I love my chains, I admit it. I love the deep ache and bother

because it is familiar, inertia, mine. But here

I announce

I will trade it for connection, for inexperience, the courage

of extreme risk.

I will forge in unknown territory, set things right

at least here in my world.


I have no king in gravity. I have no sound

forbidden to me.

The war cry is a split tongue and it deceives.

My war cry is the path Jesus takes me on

– walk, run, sit down – that is the way.


There are better places.

I love the red tree. I love the folding cold fires, insects

on my arms. Take care. Descend. Pick up speed.

I had a father. I have a father no more.

I had a brother. He never was.

I have children, now they are grown.

Shame on torment. Shame for not not

letting go. Shame on shame.


Judgement is set aside, hidden behind the bench.

The bird feeder is up, the bird bath too.

Let them come, the birds, all manner of beast and fowl.

Let them find sanctuary here.


All seasons, I am learning,

are holy places, and all colours

are sacred, unnameable, the same.




 © 2018 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “Night Forest Cell of Radical Poets” August 2018



You can listen to the poem by clicking below:








         Bitter patience, counting moonlight beams

on fledging grass stems.

Endure for the law that presses heavy and cold

against your chest.

Endure because there is no leaving

only traveling on.

Weapons put away, dressing

strictly for good form.

The planets rock back and forth,

bump against each other, but like us, are bonded,

unalterably glued to their personal constellations.

        Irrational hope is the shadow I have,

the silent zone of my cortex that defeats reality, yet below

the storm gathers and changes course for no one.

What used to be roots are now tossed away, ripped

on the ridges of sidewalks like bubble gum wrappers.

Storm that has no subliminal meaning, is only storm,

gun shots in the wind. Patience.


Wait for the unwanted guest to go. Wait for your life

to mature finally into what you wish it would be.



 © 2018 by Allison Grayhurst



Published in “Synchronized Chaos” September 2018



Published in “Chicago Record Magazine” 2018



You can listen to the poem by clicking below:


Because it is a Stone


Because it is a Stone



Because it is a stone

the fire hits it, moves around,

changing shape like a wave.


Because grief is not a word

that counts footsteps or encapsulates

the butcher’s madness, just builds like

a deep stagnant pool of a pond – one drop,

one drop, rising.


Because all the vegetables have not been picked through,

and more people hold compassion than they do hate,

the tree can grow, the fountain can flow up and make

a statement of solidarity, a sound

peaceful to those who are near.


Because the robin keeps coming back

to sit on my lawn, stares at me and waits

for my greeting before moving on.


Because hope is red eyes stinging,

but sight unimpaired,

and the darkening shadows darkening

the day-to-day landscape drift –

sometimes far away.


Because there is early morning, peppermint tea,

and love abides in everything living,

I can walk another step, another day,

bury the corpse of a treasured friend,

and place something beautiful

(a stone, a whisper) beside the grave.



 © 2018 by Allison Grayhurst



Published in “Synchronized Chaos” September 2018



Published in “Chicago Record Magazine” August 2018


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:








Time and the matrix point

of nerves that sound off like

a dinner bell, riveting through

the body, vibrating the bones and all

that stands between.


You speak of shifting plateaus,

but the paint hasn’t even left the brush,

the walls are cracked, veined and under

the watchful eyes of those who walk the halls.


The rules you treasure are intricate masterpieces

of divine tapestry but they are not the mud-sling

upheaval, unpredictable holy heartache,

muscle aches that mark us as we grow old, and touch

each other in the day-to-day of waking up,

sharing the bathroom, the kitchen, animals

who belong with us, depend on us, and sickness.


Here is my watering can. It is sufficient. It too has wisdom.

One eye only that blends and interprets all perceptions.

Here is my tale, my acts of shade, shelter and sun.

The seraphim drive home dreams in vows on fire,

born from nebulas and the hands

of the bricklayer and secretary.


Yours is one way, powerful, yes, but so are the trees,

a toddler’s temper tantrum, the Lord’s Prayer more so –

clasped hands, no separation, helpless, wordless,

at the beginning, saved.



 © 2018 by Allison Grayhurst



Published in “Synchronized Chaos” September 2018



Published in “Chicago Record Magazine” August 2018


You can listen to the poem by clicking below: