It is a strange dream

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It is a strange dream

 

 

to be a woman, this woman,

ripped out of an other-worldly childhood

into monthly nightmare extremes, and

the mess – the demanding insects crawling

under coat sleeves, pant cuffs, arm cuffs

onto belly and breasts, swollen, aching.

 

To grow curves and be looked at but not seen:

to be told to smile.

 

Then to bear the weight of another living being

cuckooing, blooming inside – shifting joints, altering

established gaits, and the hunger.

 

Being with those you bore and birthed

in every stair climbed, in every sleep, each minute,

never without their beings not beside yours, living

the greatest of all imaginings –

heaven in a hug, tangible in eyes

that are not yours but are threaded tightly to your nerves,

riveting through you – their breaths

more significant to your survival than your own, riveting

like fireworks and famine,

in their sorrow and brightness.

 

Almost grown, then grown and swinging from

bell-towers without safety nets, changing houses,

destroying rooms, forgetting, sometimes remembering, God.

The love, resonating into cracks in plaster, deeper

than the sound of a million singing bowls, singing, salting

your howl, and the chant of your joy.

 

They are mostly good, and you learn the lesson hard

that the greatest gift you can give them is knowing when

to hold on and when to let go, and you must let go.

 

The day comes near fifty when your body begins its final chapter –

starts slow, builds unacceptable,

steals sleep, sanity, your strong and capable shoulders.

No one knows, has to know, but you

refuse to keep it secret, refuse

the nagging misogynistic whispering shame.

 

Your home is blessed, your husband and you,

still mad, making love, in love, vibrating true to your visions,

a home haloed in struggle and uncompromised ideals.

You meditate, make a routine and stick to it, as this transformation

 

lasts for years. Sweaters on, sweaters off, heat

first on the face then infiltrating your spine, down, down,

spreading like hot poison, flooding every pore.

When it has gone far beyond the tolerable threshold,

then it lets up,

only to return and begin again.

 

What a strange dream I have never dreamt before –

to receive the climb, lie down with babes, nurse other beings

into their own, to release the cycle, enduring

the havoc of becoming yet anew.

 

I should not cry but be praising, grateful

to finally spin a journey in this form.

It is a high road, can be

a life-long sermon, and such a strange dream,

 

weaving me a pair of wings to flaunt, maybe

never flight-bound but always love-bound and

rich, rich as death, a backdrop

to the pale but pounding pulse of dreams,

the nut-meat, nectar

of eternal pilgrimage.

 

 

 © 2018 by Allison Grayhurst

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First published in “Elephant Journal”, April 2018

https://www.elephantjournal.com/now/it-is-a-strange-dream-poem-by-allison-grayhurst/

 

 

You can listen to the poem by clicking below:

 

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Animal Culture (rules of commitment) in progress:

 

Do animals have culture?
Yes! The great wisdom
of Earth spoke.

And She spoke –
Having faith in God
is trusting God’s faithfulness.

***

Art either gives what is longed for
or what is unexpected.
The best art gives both, simultaneously.

© by Allison Grayhurst 2018

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Girl – 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:

 

Girl

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Under the willow tree a girl

was standing, lonely with

the worst of nights ahead.

They said

drink from the tarpit waters and swallow

the oysters that lost their shells.

She saw the drug the wind made

though she did not let it shift her steadfast heart.

Everywhere the notion stood

that fighting back is better than

the tender wave, better than

empathy and believing in affection.

The willow leaves have gone brown and the girl has moved

beside a cliff. She dances as though she

could not fall. And though they gasp to pity

her poor body against rocks and ridges,

she continues to move like a beautiful sound,

sure of the hand that guides her.

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Copyright © 2002 by Allison Grayhurst

3011     

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Out of Our”, 2012

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Growing Up

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Growing Up

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Walk and find

the courage to continue on,

wading in the stream before you.

Walk and blend with people

who are not like you, who contain

their nightmares in a jar and hold them out only

to project on to countless others.

Walk and rise from the bloodwind,

a little to the left, a little to the right,

rise from the blinding grief of heartache,

from the dull and nameless faces surrounding

your golden aura, rise and find kindness where there was

once disconnection, rise and find appreciation

in the pockets of the sad and confused.

Walk this day

like you always do, driven by a higher calling,

affected, but not overcome, sleeping little

in this holiest of holy lands.

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Copyright © 2010 by Allison Grayhurst

3017

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “Now Then Manchester – Word Life, Issue 45” August 2017

http://nowthenmagazine.com/manchester/issue-45/word-life/

http://nowthenmagazine.com/manchester/issue-45/

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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.

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Sunday/Sabbath

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Sunday/Sabbath

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Yesterday was a good day

indoors, all of us, in this changing sea

of deliverance, in this sometimes orange,

sometimes turquoise, little wood of home.

Paradise, we know your name, we stayed with you

yesterday, and you tore apart our darkness, joined us

like one stone.

Thank you for the children and the animals, thank you

for soulmate love and friendship, and for the sadness

we feel as winter approaches. On this inlet the wind

is clean, and we are always dancing or singing or making

new ways to put words.

The grass we walk in is prophesy – none

of this can die or be corrupted.

Yesterday was a good day. This place is a good place

This family is a herd of whales cresting

on the rush of a wave. And I who have found my belonging,

am so very in love

with each and all.

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Copyright © 2008 by Allison Grayhurst

3015

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “The Peregrine Muse” July 2017

https://sites.google.com/site/theperegrinemuseii/home/grayhurst

 

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.

Reviews of ‘The Many Lights of Eden’:

“’The Many Lights of Eden’ is a journey: a journey of the heart through youth, anguish, struggle, spiritual awakening, grief, death, love, loss, guilt, struggle, despair, hope, surrender, God, sensuality, imperfection, motherhood, aging, the vanquishing of the devil, indeed, many devils, the inevitable fall from perfection and the casting off of old wineskins for a new one. Perhaps speaking of this book as a chronicle of spiritual maturing would be more accurate, the realization that there is spirituality within imperfection and that handmade temples cannot hope to compete with the spiritual temples within each of us. ‘The Many Lights of Eden’ is a diamond. It is a beautiful collection of insights. Allison Grayhurst’s thoughts and writings are a deep well. Drink from it, for the water is clear and crisp. This collection is a MUST-READ,” Eric M. Vogt, author of Letters to Lara and Paths and Pools to Ponder

“I have been slow at responding to reviews for Allison Grayhurst due to summer’s busy days, however she brings life to each poem, heart to the images and everyone should have a collection of Grayhurst Poetry,” Ann Johnson-Murphree, poet.

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Happy Summer Coming

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Happy Summer Coming

Days of blessings –

my happy family,

a home to lay my pillow in,

a future to work toward

and a spectrum-wide love

that makes all the difficulties

hop the train and head for another town.

Finally a lifting that has taken so long,

an ease permeating floorboards, rising

to level with my nose.

Finally a breaking away from survival’s

clamped umbilical cord and a dignity

rushing in to overwrite the hardships.

Days of being satisfied, of no-more-gasping.

Days to let the arms hang relaxed

and give thanks again

for seeing us through.

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Copyright © 2004 by Allison Grayhurst

3013

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “The Peregrine Muse” July 2017

https://sites.google.com/site/theperegrinemuseii/home/grayhurst

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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.

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Mustard Seed

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Mustard Seed

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I know your name,

but not your face,

octagon of tiny wonder

changing as I move through

my days, cloaked in the drain

and joy of your mystery.

I think I can feel you sometimes

sitting beside me, playing games

with your sister and laughing with

all the rest.

I think of someone fiercely beautiful

merging souls so easily with the family-us.

I touch my belly, remaining clothed

in this still-normal body.

I turn the lights out early, happy

when I think of the future.

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Copyright © 2004 by Allison Grayhurst

3013

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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First published in “The Peregrine Muse” July 2017

https://sites.google.com/site/theperegrinemuseii/home/grayhurst

.

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.

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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.

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Copyright © 2000 by Allison Grayhurst

3005

amazon.com/author/allisongrayhurst

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Published in “Poetry at Sangam” March 2018

http://poetry.sangamhouse.org/

http://poetry.sangamhouse.org/2018/03/march-2018/

http://poetry.sangamhouse.org/2018/03/allison-grayhurst/

http://poetry.sangamhouse.org/2018/03/our-little-pushkin/

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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.

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