Years Before His Resurrection


Years Before His Resurrection



   On the sidelines

in a tale as lasting as fairy tales

he recounted the details

of his Russian heritage,

several centuries past.

            Through an open window

he stretched his neck and laughed

at all the sidewalk walkers

walking beneath him.

            With tortured eyes and soft, cold skin,

he spent his time playing piano in candle light, sometimes

counting his collection of exotic butterflies.

            He longed for death or for some substance

in the wind. He caught the night between

his eyelashes, reading Nostradamus outload.

            Behind closed curtains he nourished the cavity within

by reciting the prayers of obscure saints, offering appeasement

to his guilt that no hope could overcome. He was not

            a typical man, not proud, not tender,

but full of churning lava, full like a storm cloud

before the storm, like the belly

of a soon-to-be mother, full and focused

like a predator sensing

the frightened heart of its prey.



© 1990 by Allison Grayhurst



Something New


Something New



I hold my love before you

in the silver eye of winter.

I nudge myself from a restless year,

dancing upon the crust of a breaking wave.

I feel the taste of Japanese ginger enter my mouth.

My head is full of phantoms. My fingerprints

are held hovering inches from fire.

Starships and everglades are overturned.

Thumbs are caught in car doors.

The blunt scythe of Death carves, shredding

history’s figures of ruthless pride.

Ideas of beauty change from century to century

but not ambition, not the way

the ego demands to be heard,

regardless of brutality or waste.

I open the empty pantry. I write down names

on the pieces of a shattered lamp post.

In the silver eye of winter,

I hold my love before you.



©1990 by Allison Grayhurst



I Dreamt Again


I Dreamt Again



I dreamt again

of the past encroaching

like a wet towel, tight

around my clothed body.

I dreamt I felt alone, doomed to dance

on a suspended scaffold’s floor.


Among the bitter people I walked,

near their self-pity and inconsolable isolation.

I tried to separate myself, split the heavy air

with my fingers. I tried

to wave their fear into the mouth

of everlasting light.

But love was bitten at the stem,

and the hideous thirst within

grew again like a snake its second, tougher skin.


I dreamt I wandered half-made buildings,

where squatters lived, sheltered

in the dank concrete ruins.

I travelled through without shoes, dreaming

of sand-soft ground.



© 1991 by Allison Grayhurst


After the Day


After the Day


.           Love is in my belly like evening tea,

            comforting after the day’s rush.

            Love is there like a discipline

            I used to own, exciting

            because of its blind determination.


The old man walks the alleyway

with his cane and curious eyes.

He waves to me from the window, then

stretches him arms to cup the wind.

Somewhere the stray has been saved

from the freezing-frost. Somewhere

a woman has conceived, and a dog

has found his favourite toy.


            Love is a monk’s old robe

            tainted a rich bluish green.

            Like twilight blankets the day

            it sits on my lap covering –

            cherished, unclaimed.



© 1992 by Allison Grayhurst



We Rode


We Rode



We rode our wounded dream

to a place drawn out like Prairie

ground. A washcloth was all we needed,

a scared rock or stepping stone.


Lingering there with useless hands,

many times ready for the culling field,

holding elephant bones under

condemning light.


We swept the dead-end from our horizon.

We lived looking within, seeking out some mercy

behind our bondage.


This land knew our pacing,

our ineffectual pilgrimage.

It was fire and still burns like war or

a fallen constellation.


We spun our wishes in mid-air,

tilled the lifeless soil


mourning the hot metal

that poured between good fortune

and the bloodstains of destiny.



© 1992 by Allison Grayhurst


Rocking Towers


Rocking Towers



Tonight, the void creeps

in, with him, through

the wood framed doors.


like a heap of ash after

a day underground.


the bone, the eager heart, the eyes

that follow every gesture.


What survives now of the tower dream,

the stone skipping and the wishing well?


Both hands pressed against the T.V. set,

trying to block the talk

                                    and hold

the cut and thistle.


Both lovers glancing at the street lights’

glare, waiting

for the other to give

                        the word –

a blue blue touch




© 1992 by Allison Grayhurst



Published in “Harvest” 1996

Pieces to Gather


Pieces to Gather



            A drowned fish, silver, snared

with an expression of permanent ache.

Eyes, fish stunned, fish glass

glaring from a window in the market

in the dubious afternoon.

            The shattered green

of ocean from a storm-struck sky,

lightening-flesh tipping, ripping the lid

and letting in the rains.

            Mountains of harsh winters, opaque

like the wings on a featherless angel.

Mountains, male in their faith and in their marriage

to moonlight.

            Chains, slate grey and criminal

as clouds over rainbows, as necessary

as a first childhood dream

laughed at, forgotten.



© 1992 by Allison Grayhurst