Two new books available on amazon and kindle


For Every Rain – a collection of early poems


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The poems in For Every Rain are all written by © Allison Grayhurst. They are a selected collection from: the chapbook Before the Dawn, published in 1989 by The Plowman, written by Allison Grayhurst under the pseudonym of Jocelyn Kain; the chapbook Joshua’s Shoulder, published in 1989 by The Plowman, written by Allison Grayhurst under the pseudonym of Jocelyn Kain; the paperback book Common Dream, published in 1991 by Edge Unlimted; the paperback book Somewhere Falling, published in 1995 by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book; as well as poems published in poetry journals/magazines, but not in any previous books.


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Jumana and Perfect Love – two poetic prose pieces


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 Jumana and Perfect Love were both published as separate chapbooks in 1989 by The Plowman, written by Allison Grayhurst under the pseudonym of Jocelyn Kain.  These are revised versions of what originally appeared in print.


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Perfect Love


Perfect Love


Section One 

Part 1

            What gulfs between the world and the silent aspiration? What gulfs between the night and the vision? What gulfs between the tempest and the quiet utterings of failure?       

            There was a time discarded. Do you remember the time ignored? Where life became the worst of tasks ahead, and I could not speak? I could not hear, not of awe, not of love? Any closeness was like death coming over. Do you remember the last whisper? I remember the rage that never understood. The rage, because it never understood. Has no one the charge, the immaculate spurring onward? Has no one sight without laziness? Full sight, leaving no choice.

            Do you remember the desperate condition of love’s fierce pull? Do you remember the sad disgust? Do you remember the hopeless terror? Do you remember, I hated them?

            What safety in the most thought-about dream. What safety to wander, raged, in the spark. My tongue became a laughing thing because it knew of imagination.

            I do not live in fear. No, not in the Great Plan, not in the overworked bleeding heart. To follow the true desire I have relinquished all other desires and have seen what still lingers. What still lingers? A cold touch of pen to paper that doesn’t know when its next move will be. And him. A love so observed but never known. Two things I dwell within, keeping one burning and the other flowing.

            I am compelled to be still and not resist the stillness. It is the stillness that humbles me, the ‘not knowing’ that makes me dependent on God. I remember what gulfs between what moves-through and what kills. I remember the thin line of life’s fulfillment. I remember the thread that weaves.


Part 2

            Was the world in a place of unwilled passion? Was I a reactionary? After all the indifference of many people, could there be a likeness in this disease? I want to hear no more of human glory or human love, it has filled me and made me anguish. And then I ask, “Is this what I accept for my life?” Through all the sights of myths grown lazy, and the dramatic upbringing that has coiled and coiled around, still, I savour him.

            I have seen him and it has left me a glance of infinity. I stand back to bleed my precaution. It does not meet. I do not understand. Away from the joining of him and I, my heart is not capable. How little I have saved to enter this moment. I am one who has opened but ever let a tear escape without restraint. I hide untroubled.

            I almost lost the colour of his eyes. If it were not for that voice that rubbed and whispered, “Cleave! Cleave!” Where did it vanish? Where is that exuberant chant of love, where the heart knelt ceaselessly in amazement? Where the heart was so overjoyed, it disbelieved?

            That a love so great could go unfinished? That a love so great would leave off like this? That the only way left to touch it, is to avoid it?

            If he thinks of me as common, tomorrow will taste the burden of emptiness. Is that the scare, the emptiness? What a funny thing to feel triumphant in the face of those injuries where it all rests so unknown that even pain whistles its cry, delirious from itself. As much as I yearn and watch every sign, something has stopped being moved: I have faith in the very end.

            This is where I am resurrected into the paradox. This is where I know, even in the face of death, I will glisten. Quietly, quietly and unafraid.


Part 3

            I have missed him all my life. The loving hand brought down to awaken my eyes. The loving hand brought down to calm my savage longing. At one time I remember his smell and my heart rushed with joy. At one time, I loved. Such love had no relation.  Even the voice settled. Even the voice curled into a trembling silence to listen and see what he might be. So few have passed my cave. So few have left their mark. Like morning and evening caught between the bright day, I may never recover. I may never think this way again.

            Beneath the ecstasy that has not yet come. Beneath the awful stirrings of days past. Beneath the portion that is happy, lies the ache that never knew it was planted in a miracle.

             Is my dream still blooming? Still only hibernating with stalled circulation? Still ‘almost alive’? Will he let me lift my eyes to the sharp summer sun? Will he let me see what it is like to have all things visible? To have the first and last entrance out? To be revealed? I crave to run in fields. Something is shriveling and thinks it may never run again.

             He brought me forth and said “Look, here is the sun. Here, stand here, it is warm. And there, out there, is your homeland.” He has only whispered “Hot sun. Soft home.” I walk and I tarry into a patterned loneliness. Each step the same. Each step, no further. When will he ask me to rise? And I will be mighty. I will be embraced, and it will make me mighty.

            Pure is the empty hand, begging for something much more than charity. To breathe the impossible breath. Will I be awake? In spite of it all, will I be awoken? Will I survive it?


Part 4

           My lips swell, he made himself effective, and now he sings in my ear, “Restoration!” In the moment of my withering, love builds.

           Sleep now and be witless. Myself, disinterested but weeping, returning in and out of rapture. Lovers hold hands, and ‘worth’ is their only vow.

            Where do I relax my poise, my strict solitary expression? In the elusive pattern of their foreign affectionate speech? Is this what is left? A river of subtle fury? Our inconsistent pregnancy? 

            I am losing his company and I know it signifies limitation. I was born a face. Now I live in moments of inexhaustible love and unbounded dismay. I am ashamed to meet him half way. Half-spring. Half-starlight. Half-rage. Half-joy. I am ashamed not to experience. Nothing of portion can breathe easily.

            Alternating between a sunken acceptance and a jilted fury, I will argue my limitation. I will harbor, life is unequal. I have praised, waiting for amendment. Waiting unblinkingly to erect my faith. Who has taught us our hard identity? Joy has been consumed in all corners and I run my fingers across my eyes, telling them to be blind, telling them it has all been a mistake.

            If am to be captured? If I am to wait? I will ask the question – Do you taste blood or only food? I will ask for the victim, for last breath I saw go asunder then out. I will ask, because I need to know.

            Why was I made so frail? Why so wishful, so imagining? Why thrust me in desolation, make my heart mad? Angry of its suffering. Is this where I unfold, in the stillness that finds itself observing the rupturing storm? Is life forever unweaving then banning together in the midst of an unutterable sound? Is this where I begin to hear beyond discernment? Is this where I begin to place myself in some remote distance, able to watch myself enchanted, but still be unaffected? Where I will not call the joy a mistake because it will not be mine. Where I will not call to the pain, and call to it repeatedly, “Mercy!” Where I will say, “So what?” Where I will say, “Ah well.” And never try for help again?

             I’ll send my love a picture. I’ll send it in a frame, a picture of how I am today. And he will keep it for the days to come. He will often remember. I will leave nothing hidden in my gaze. I will stop asking and I will start with this gift.


Part 5

            Can he see me wilting, gathering the last life-source of my bloom, and then nakedly, flexibly giving away? Words have dried in my mouth. Words, I am desperate to utter.

            And compressed submission, and agitation, and the blowing up, blowing up then letting down, and the thirst – now mine, now unanswered, and the nameless fate, and the shadow behind every smile, and it history, and the thing that patches but never holds for long, and the eternal hemorrhaging of this one thing then of that one thing, and the one who has outlived itself, and the touching and the more touching, and the mystery that heads towards a dream. Have you ever felt yourself at the moment you’ve stopped seeking and headed towards a dream?

            Something must outlast this emptiness, something must exchange places with it. But where is that word? The one word that will braze with the moon? The moon’s cycles catch me in my awaited promise. When I frolic in its silvery light, I am invincible. I am great and sleepless. And there my angel speaks, almost telling me he will appear.

            What I find, I will find. There will be no display, only an inner glimpse. Nothing will interfere. It is written, I will be free. No matter what happens or what I lose, this is no place for me.

            This is the magic life and I don’t have one word to elect it into my soul. Soon I will forget. I will soon start running, because I am here, without fulfillment. Those hours were alive, those hours that came and went where I conversed with my angel. Now that they stay, they have become an obstruction, a poison I must spew out and eventually deny. I am sorry for him that I cannot play. I am sorry for myself because I am still filled with the situation and I wonder, will it be this way forever? Will it always be my violation? Will it always make me limp? It doesn’t matter, what matters is that I retreat, forfeiting my right.

            The way I executed my love. The way I willed him away because I couldn’t stand to see his face towering over telling me he hasn’t forgotten me. But I feel forgotten. I feel every inch of deception showing in the glittering fire of his wings. I doubt he even flies. The way I cannot go on. The way I can no longer watch him descend against all measure. The way I cannot hear his soft voice, and smile. The way I must live in the image – a glorious beginning and a tragic end. The way I cry. The way I have stopped crying and have become quiet. The way there is no fulfillment. In the midst of magic, there is no fulfillment. What has over-powered? What has shown its appearance? The way, I don’t know.


Part 6

            If I retreat into my own world, there will be an answer. Not of ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but still an answer. And occasionally it will disturb me.

            Feel, feel the sea. Feel, feel of yesterday. Feel what once dangled, and now, suddenly, flares. Feel what is wished for and know there must be room.

            There is no discipline. Discipline does not transform weakness, it stuns it. It is a crutch – impossible to walk without it, impossible to run with it. My first entrance into strength will be the understanding of my weakness. Act with kindness, act with intention. Feel, feel the great wind coming over. Feel the activity. Feel what renders it all possible. Lameness is the worst illusion. To see myself small, disabled, that is the enemy. That is the prevention.

            God, give me practice to show my true look. Reason has no warmth. Truth alone is not enough. So I live with the eternal question mark, I live inside it. I live in my shyest secret, exposed. Am I falling under the thumb of a great philosophy – letting go of one rope to catch another? To climb, then drop. And morning will yield to evening, and so, evening to night. Where the intensity of the pain becomes proof of the intensity of the love. Where I am free and I must hold the demand of my freedom, which is – keep yourself free – and that is all.                      

            Feel, feel the swelling before the change. Like a split in my breast, like something shocked. How do I protect myself without callousness or faked indifference? How do I love? Has it all just been the flooding over of an idiot?

            When I found the space where deliberation and spontaneity have the same inner point, there in that space, I found myself capable of love. So few have passed my cave. So few have left their mark.


Part 7

            Remember for an instant – The concepts of mysticism are often used as an excuse to avoid confrontation with the active aspects of truth. This is not what I want. To take chances only after they’ve been filtered through torment. That is the challenge, not of the compulsive thinker but of ‘the solid one’.

            I press my hands over the dream, and again, imprisoned, feel the whirl. And the voice stirred in me, and the voice coughed – “If anyone had sight they would know, even the Buddhas drove themselves full force into danger.”  The rudeness it takes for love to reap. What do you mean by such things – death? Is there no cleaner way? Where nothing remains unturned, and nothing, spoiled?

            It is so hard to be soft against his brutality. To caress his soul and admit he needs to seek too. Nothing between us has been resolved, it has only been spoken. The dream, the fierce want, startles me. Sometimes I see only the breakdown, not the breakthrough. In sight of him, there is an upwelling sorrow. He is not like me, and I, not like him. I should slip away and never talk again.

            But tell me to take hold of the strength gained by internal struggle, tell me it is the way to recommence, it is essential, it is integration. Tell me to fall, and I will fall, devotedly into this impaling depth.


Part 8

                Slowly, it comes up. Slowly, I refuse his tenderness and look to resolve. He was my first dawning. The first love that rustled in my dark hours. In our time there was movement but no giving. There was no ground to quench the inward doubt of lover to lover.

                We were hardly anything but soul to soul, but wind to rain, burning together a consecrated storm. I long to reach that place where something stands to guide between and in front as both a tireless bonding and as an insurance of mutual separation. I long for what is more than glorious. More than what divides and combines under the fine toothed-comb of analysis. Something warmer than the initial dream. Something that accomplishes.

                Could it be I am asked to yield, for a second time to look upon him, to give it my all without giving up what is essential? I held it up, the magnificent up-surging of love, but never believed in its significance, never held close what was hidden, and yet, centered. Touched fire and thought it to be empty, broke it open, and laughed. I was jealous of love, I heard the name like a haunt. It was not part of my design to relinquish my power. For what? A thought? Something invisible and dumb?

                I wrote him a letter today. I testified my displeasure with him, but did not let it fall just before that. I left abruptness and said, “May I bless you?”

                Still, his unfulfilled commitments congest my air. Still, he comes into my sphere when I am under the stress of surviving him. Still, he has returned after all the shoving away. He out-burns my resentment, astounds me, makes me self-discover. In pursuit of him, in quietly rising above the catastrophe and listening, in this new beginning, God advances.

                I never understood how power was an agent to utilize the forces of love. Before him, I knew only of emotion or only of power. Most of the time, I was nebulous. No time left to have the passing of what once was promised but not revealed. I believe in immaturity, not in evil. No time left to not believe.

                Is it possible, that there is no battle, only compassion? When all things vanish and the voice is only known, I ask myself, “What is your highest truth?”  Follow it, knowing it is good. Knowing, when under critical attack, I will be safe.

                I am hanging over the palm of love. I am half in, half out, entering the deepest task. Love is anything that doesn’t harm. Love is strength waving its seed, strength without intimidation, sufficient. 


Section Two

Part 9

                We stood somewhere between infinity and fear, merely human. We did not omit. We did not make ourselves rare, we made ourselves fascinated. We lived by more than stimulation, more than entertainment. We lived without decay.

                My bitterness always had to so with God, saying “You interrupt my life and hound me down. You give me loneliness. You supply me with grief upon grief until I have lost all powers of expectation.” I raised myself high and cursed. How vacant were the days. How scarce the nights when I didn’t feel alone, my whole being uninhabited and emptied. None could come into my shell, and none tried.

                Can we make it so that the deeper we reach within ourselves, that much further we will be able to extend ourselves? That the greater the solitude, the greater the intimacy?

                How sad I am to relinquish my seeking. I could never fake myself fully. Now I am what I always ‘would be eventually’. Now I love.

                Has he not slept long enough? Why does he yawn? Have I been created for this new existence? If not, then tear it from me quickly. If not, let me forget love and give me back confusion and the ready-made opinions to survive it.

                I am ignited, climbing out of this shipwreck. I must never forget: Truth seeks truth. Truth will find itself. And on this same day, when neither of us lust after those constraining influences, it will all sink down into some permanent place. We will arrive, we will touch each other once again. And then, be still.


Part 10

                From ash to regeneration. From the tragic rape to the better unfolding. From something powerful to something strong.

                Last summer I was sterile. I was absorbed in ideas of what I thought I deserved to receive. Not him. Not love. Shaking my head, trying to knock the encounter out of my comfortable reality. Because each life contains its own interpretation of life. Because each life is strange.

                It’s as if I never felt anything before. As if, only now, there is adventure. Knowing there is no ransom, nothing left to examine. As if, only now, there is danger.

                Everything that wants to return to God will always be permitted a space to offer its expression. Could it be any other way? Could there be such a thing as love denying itself? All restriction is burned. In this state ‘all-things’ become ‘one-thing’ threaded back and forth, immaculately  Fear, could I love you, have your voice in my ear – “It is all gone, tremble, you have grown too dreamy. He doesn’t recognize you.” Could I have it and not call you the advocate of destruction?

                I will call the fear a gift that leads me to humility. And I will wonder at you with enlightened eyes, knowing you have changed me.

                For each nonsensical disposition, for each symptom of the world’s supported basic ethics, for each diseased philosophy, for each unblessed experience, for each issue that has proceeded and proceeded but has not elevated humanity, for each habit that has left the soul insecure, there is no – “On the other hand . . .” I must run into them, cradle them with a lover’s arms, and none of them will be made small. None of them will seem like hypocrisy.

                First there is allowance. Then there is the forcing away and the strict command. Then there is the kiss. Truth is slow, it digests, longs for fresh blood. Contrary to current belief, truth is not something to be skimmed through and hopefully gotten. Do I want the genuine thing, or do I want the stiff word? The word I made into a corpse, the one I adorned and knelt down to as if it contained a terrible sorcery? The stumbling block?

                We must remain without ease in our blood. Love without strength only becomes a perverted emotion. To relax and still be alert in the energy. To feel oddly rhythmic. To feel the tingle. To feel love, spectacular, soft and jolting – subtle, but never grey.


Part 11

                Can I love without force, no slow triumph, no need for the consistent eternal link, no trying?  Sooner or later I will discover that he is neither hard and dominated nor still and high. This is his mistrust – to never ride the wave, barefooted. Until he climbs out to grip my offering, until I learn to be more than a comforter or rash intruder, we will stay apart.

                The impatience I feel to have him ready. Can he hear it like I do, the spittle, the wild discourse of this burden? I am near but I am still miserable. Was an old sword, an old grievance. Was him that I wanted, not God. Was so tied together that I could not see.

                God says “Trust.” and I am offended to hear such a thing. Appalled that I must make a noble stand, return to him and kindle that which I’ve lacked throughout my entire life. God says to obey the laws of love not of suffering.

                Before my eyes he grows outdone. Some see him licking filth as if it were candy. Some see him as mighty madness. Some see the mystic creep upon them. They accept this and are amazed. Some do not judge. One doubt, and it will kill me. One doubt, and I have willed suicide. The voice tells me that he is fighting and great. No doubt, everything he was born to be. No doubt, my highest truth, my lasting courage.


Section Three

Part 12

                Yesterday I saw a great white sun pushing on through the day. All day I watched. Sun went down. White sun lost against the white sky. And soon it collapsed into the night without a sound. Soon I felt its desire.

                We don’t get ‘lost’ in love, we discover love like something rolling. Like something out of perseverance.

                 What is the straight line? To walk, to wash the hands, then carry on?  Down through love, down through the divided human being?  In part, I am a single happening. In part, he is the loving way. Heal my knowledge, make it my reconcilable outcome. Make me worthy to hold peace. Piece tightly knitted to piece.        

                 What sacrifice to receive the fruits of my deepest prayer. What sacrifice to finally become whole again. There is great strength without any idea as to why. There is great strength in this dark disadvantage. Sacrifice is not the point, it is only a condition that directs me to the point.

                Knowing him transformed my solitude. It was my last communion. However humble I get I keep finding another straw pricking its thorns into my ‘worst-of-all’ situation. That very last straw I am intent upon. Even if I must awaken it. Even if it is endless. Even if there is no ‘last straw.’

                How can I know him, know him exact and know God all the more? Is it the one principle I won’t have to prove? Is it my confidence in this terrifying inspiration? I abandon myself to him, and I am not flat. I am in the right place. I have learned to relinquish possession, relinquish detachment, relinquish control, relinquish sacrifice, relinquish the greatest fulfilment and the highest aspiration. I have learned to belong to purpose.

                See love come tumbling out of that great white sky to greet me in my emptiness. Genuine mystery, genuine straight line. One dedication.


Part 13

                Touching something ancient to the soul, but new to the mind. Touching the place where the personal becomes the Almighty, where things unthicken, and intensity no longer makes me a fool. After all the attacking elements of the unexpected, after all the disloyalty that cannot be dismissed, I will try. Careful, so as not to force a single thought.

                 I will try, but I will not pretend our union. My love of God must be greater than my love for him. Hoping the two will find a place to centre and be absorbed within one another. Hoping to make it one dedication. 

                 He is magnetic, like a rare desire, like a wound that demands more room to be experienced. Tempered by limitations, and willing to live it all out, I hear the voice- “Life is striking” like a quiet wisdom. Like a radiance safely returning into my face. Like a perfect love.

                Peering at him, I am calm. I am swelling, and he shines. He is miraculous. And I am blessed. And it may be costly. It may be a long torment. Starting back home now, I will make the fire a steady flame. I will make myself self-sufficient.  Is this how I will learn to get to the centre, then pivot?  It is a personal situation. It is the voice of the Almighty. I cry out, and I will be answered.


Part 14

                Once I made the choice of love, I became absolute. Otherwise, I was only a relative undestined creature. In the crevice of my belly there is calm, there is surrender, without expectations, and yet, not hopeless – knowing fulfillment comes in unpredictable ways.

                Awareness stimulates, it is the light that steals nothing from the dark. If I start to tolerate, I will delay life. I will make the darkness a deep transformer instead of an invader. The struggle with life is that we are constantly trying to destroy the idea of death, to destroy the very thing that makes it all possible. I will come to him only out of choice, not out of desperation. Let me never interrupt the flow with panic. It is anxiety that perverts reality. I will take my time with this love, this greatest sensibility.


Part 15

                What is not? Show me what is not then cut me down and carry me away.

                I saw that I only had to open my eyes to know my own awakening. Why should I care about my overzealous soul? Why should I care about this obtuse world that I cannot participate in? Why should I care about the pain? It is only pain. When an artist’s work becomes stale, when a love dwindles, that is hell. But why should I care about hell?

                Peering into the senseless, senseless. If I reach up, and I touch, and I find what is ruthless, and I find disease? And I find love was wrong? And I find to feel such love was to feel too much?  And I find myself in the belly of midnight with no way out? Make it quick! There is only estrangement. Faith can only be learned when there is complete darkness. Make me a faithful one, and make it quick.

                The sun melts down across the sky. I see the glow between the ash of clouds. I am crippled before it, entering into it. How the day relieves itself into this night. I am pressed into a tight place of wonder. I look around and am seized into this celestial magnitude. I am squeezed into oblivion, entirely exposed. There is no fear when facing something truly great. O great sky! O great love! There is no intimidation.


Part 16

                In the dark stink of my childhood I caught a taste of the lasting. The grim focus of isolation led by thousands of heavy hearts sold me to a different kind of atheism: The belief in synchronicity without purpose. Laws that stand onto themselves. Laws without intelligence. I held myself high. I held the deepest contempt, misused my mouth and mistook my rage for love. Under the covers rose the inadequate one, tripping on a candlestick that sunk cruelly into darkness, as I passed over, me, a follower of the flame.

                What was it that roamed? Something evident? Something questioning? Only grey, I remember. Grey, and not other things. And I spoke. Writing down words as a single journey. I encountered revenge on the tip of the pen. It is the art of the intellect to reduce everything to one word. It is the art of the intellect to ignore the personal.

                If love is, love is everywhere.

                But if it makes sense, why do I stand alone? In the ugly generation, alone? In the downward bliss, alone? In the pain of something ‘all-too-lost’ alone? In the last word that brought the world to its knees, alone? In the victim that spoke to me, “Get up!” alone? In the hero who couldn’t speak but knew of so much to say, alone? In the corpse, in the ghost, in the broken-limb dancer, alone? Without him.

                Now say, “This is the age when we overtake God. Add a new mark, a new word.” Now say, “We should build a huge bonfire and burn all that God once was, let us see what new God awaits us.” It is my heaviness that has led me to him. My anguish is the only reason for my search, and my glowing find.

                But the same one who led me into the depths of a fierce sweetness, is the same one who has ended the interlacing of both worlds. He could only stand on the outskirts, could never agree and say, “Rare!” Does he know me?

                Do you? The hero is never interested in climbing just for danger. Look at the shore and touch me there. Lay your fingers on my hands, on my shoulder, and we will close our eyes from the riot of our conflict. We will be brilliant and deliberate. Look out onto the water. You say there are no shadows, only sunlight. You say I am lost up hell’s river. I have found how to suffer. I have found that you really do have to hang on the cross in order to be resurrected. From ash to regeneration. From the tragic rape to the better unfolding. From something powerful to something strong. I have found that it is just one of those things you have to live through in order to know. I have found it is only in the depths of your soul, life is discovered. And I have found this without you.

                Why is it? That I loved him, that he was not? That I loved him and it depleted? That I learned to wait without the hope of rescue or recovery? That I learned that love is Absolute? Where will I find him? In his laboratory of analogies and conclusions? In the mystic’s power of avoidance through evading? In the extra pound?

                Nothing is lost. Between the world and the silent aspiration, between the night and the vision, between the Earth and God, what gulfs? Love. I feel you but I cannot feel myself, I feel you without me.

                I will wait and look out to the cold sea, obeying no rules, obeying no laws. I will curl into the night and I will cry for him. I will cry as deep and as wounded as I am. And it will be good. And I will be fine, lost up hell’s river. Lost in the belly of midnight, God will enfold me.

                We must fight for the interlacing of both worlds. We must fight for love’s evolution. We must die for love, winged or unwinged. Marked or unmarked. For whatever gulfs between the divided human being, in that horrifying depth, in that incredible delight, love is found.

                So I am moved. No more afraid to live by the one rule “No denial.” No more afraid that I loved him and he was not.




Copyright © 1989 by Allison Grayhurst

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Perfect Love was published in 1989 by The Plowman, written by Allison Grayhurst under the pseudonym of Jocelyn Kain.  This is a revised version of what originally appeared in print.



Reviews below of Allison Grayhurst’s chapbook “Perfect Love”, written under the pseudonym Jocelyn Kain, were published in the “The Plowman – A Journal of International Poetry” 1989:

“Jocelyn Kain’s work is interlaced with the inner spirit as it comes to terms with the decay of toxic waste, only to marvel at the landscape’s regeneration after the abominations it has endured. Her chapbook Perfect Love is a monologue in prose of physical intensity, obviously related to experience. The book give the impression of a young person striving to come to terms with the limitless possibilities that a future may hold, all the while chained by life’s obsessions. We see here the marvellous talent of a poet seeking another source, another life paradigm to embrace, to seize hold of. In this case, one feels her quest is attainable,” poet Richard Ball.

“In Perfect Love Jocelyn Kain takes us on an epic journey of the heart and soul. Her prose is flanked with haunting images, pain, and ultimate joy. This gifted writer never fails to elevate the rest of us into unknown heady heights, leaving us tingling. Like a caterpillar into a butterfly, Kain struggles through a metamorphosis, revealing in this love letter her journey to fruition. Along the way, this memorable journey is marked by unforgettable prose, steering us into the light, showing us flashes of her vision. The poet reveals see-saw emotions with this thing called love, and tells us her true feelings. One experiences triumph when she finally realizes her goal, finally finds and accepts love,” poet Bernadette Dyer.

“Perfect Love by Jocelyn Kain is unusual chapbook. It is not easily assimilated at a first reading. It wrenches the heart and bares the soul. This book is a record of a heart, a soul wrestling with God – for God is love and God is perfect, perfect love. But Jocelyn Kain is imperfect as she seeks that perfect unity with God. There are so many good things in this book, such an exposure of reality. This place is far too small to enable me to share with you any more than a small portion of the wonder of this book,” poet Hugh Alexander.