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      I am yours, withdrawn from words into a connection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



Govinda in the mud


Govinda in the mud



  This line of devotion that moves

bitterly as lust tracing unresponsive thighs,

cups a poor groan of invisible blooming,

following you underneath a diseased tree,

smelling as you spread your aloofness

and mingled your affection tighter with the dealers of denial.


It came to me at first in healthy moderation,

as a permit to appease my obsession. Then it grew indecent,

flushed through me like a spell, drowning

my apprentice music with your own reclusive master-drum.


I found you in the carcass, in the millipede’s dart into the drain.

You swelled your glow across all my sunny spots, mighty,

but not brave, only bored with the circular twists

of relief, thirst and sorrow – diamond clear,

you asked for everything, wanting nothing for yourself.


I knitted together the practicalities of decomposition

to the voyage of your ever-increasing detachment,

understanding what you did not – that love

is not living alone on a dried-up hill

nor is it consuming every crumb of dream-life

until the flesh is reduced to accident.


I cannot rekindle my devotion, so I must leave you

to authenticate a future. This deed of leaving is like you like

a star – old, seen many times over by many eyes,

power with no purpose but to be bright

and desolate, eating away

waves of darkness, emptied of praise, tenderness, the bullet

needed to puncture a human heart with revelation.


I do not believe in nirvana. I do not believe in immortality:

when things change they die and do not revert.

We were, it seemed, perpetual, connected

by the red rope of my loyalty.


I am dawning. I that is I,

cracking the dome of my hereditary inertia.

I leave the shadow-guilt of solemn yearning, and also you

of coral-reef intricacy, simplicity, perfection.


I know I am alone, though permanently imprinted –

by my years of unnoticed devotion,

by the shunning of personal expectations

and by your long finger,

tanned, transcendental, a spiritual aphrodisiac still




Copyright  © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst


Currents - pastlife poems cover 4

No Raft - No Ocean



First published in “Sentinel Literary Quarterly” February 2016

Sentinel Quarterly 1 Sentinel Quarterly Govinda 1 Sentinel Quarterly Govinda 2    Sentinel Quarterly bio


govinda 2 Govinda 3

Click to access 20151023No_Raft_No_Ocean_by_Allison_Grayhurst.pdf


Scars writingScars Govinda 1 Scars Govinda 2 Scars Govinda 3


You can listen to the poem by clicking below:


“Allison’s poetic prose is insightful, enwrapping, illuminating and brutally truthful. It probes the nature of the human spirit, relationships, spirituality and God. It is sung as the clearest song is sung within a cathedral by choir. It is whispered as faintly as a heartbroken goodbye. It is alive with the life of a thousand birds in flight within the first glint of morning sun. It is as solemn as the sad-sung ballad of a noble death. Read at your peril. You will never look at this world in quite the same way again. Your eye will instinctively search the sky for eagles and scan the dark earth for the slightest movement of smallest ant, your heart will reach for tall mountains, bathe in the most intimate of passions and in the grain and grit of our earth. Such is Allison Grayhurst. Such is her poetry,”  Eric M. Vogt, 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. Grayhurst’s poetry volumes are highly, highly recommended,” Tom Davis, poet, novelist and educator.