Poetry from Allison Grayhurst

Allison Grayhurst

Too bad you got burned

on the spell of worldly accomplishments

and comparison, that you fell

into the snowbank and drenched yourself through.

Friendly false eyes in the flame,

in the sweating ruthless ocean - you lost

the hand that held you to truth and the longing

for a deeper betterment.


But now you are home, proclaiming

the invisible as your building blocks - piled high

and mortared together strong against every storm.

You almost got pulled into the everlasting pit, fooled

by fool’s gold, but you reached the upper edge and

lifted yourself to a safe landing.


Eat from your bowl and be grateful.

Everything you asked for is already yours.

Walk away from the party,

shake hands, give uncommitted hugs,

then read by the dim light, knowing your true riches,

knowing all that you treasure is complete, thriving

in this compact tried-and-true family

and in the landscape of your evolving solitude.



Jesus in the Marrow


You arrived again, reviving

the groove, clearing

out the debris of lingering

madness and anxiety, brilliant

blazing again with your miracles,

your compassion that leaves me breathless

with joy, surges within with affection, protecting,


feeling like a did when I was a child

and my father walked with me on his shoulders

and I could see higher, further than ever before,

safe and moving, knowing

I would never be harmed, never abandoned,

knowing the freedom of a child’s fearlessness,

trust in the strength of the one who loves me,

trust in the power of the one who carries me like

a queen, like someone special,

unshackling my imagination, restoring my vigour

and swoon.


You arrived again and I remember

all of it, all of your love,

dazzling, perfect, saturating

my seat at the table, overflowing.


You Heard Me


You heard me speaking

and you shook the floor,

loosening the dust and devastating

sadness until that floor

was dismantled and replaced

by a stronger, easier-to-clean

platform, until the miracle

rose unpolluted in a continual

swelling, sinking the darkness for good,

calling brother to sister to the truth

of your perfect temple, worshiping the work

of love, relieving the weight of chaos.


You heard me and I know you are perfect,

more real than the burrowing fears inside my head,

more powerful than the churning sickness of

anxiety that overtakes my gut, overtakes and takes

me away from you.


You who heard me,

through paralysis and poison,

through my weak overtures, ripped away

my unhealthy accumulations, cleansing

my desires that missed the mark,

until I saw and committed

to one voice, one priority, listening.





Broken longing

healed in the eyes

of a tender receiver, blessed

by mercy and the promise of perpetual drink.

Soft, silky warmth beside me

fragile and more precious than

any perfectly-cut gemstone.


Faith once mangled now restored

to a richer glory than introduced before.

Solitude in communion - God inside

a gentle touch, mutual bond and loneliness appeased.


Sweet waters of fate receive me,

my neck is stretched high,

my arms are a basket.


Let the unassuming reign,

place me secure in this place

where the private and the meagre

are honoured, quietly

declared yours.



Zen Virgin


This killer yoke

was pieced together from another century,

enforcing brutal labour,

swollen joints from overload

and depression swamping the upper ground.


You know it has always driven the hunt,

from your parents’ childhood homes

in Indian monsoons and Polish Februarys -

dishwashing, factory working, 4 a.m. typing,

deciding to plot an unexpected ending,

yet still, following form.


You know you can get out only

if you stop defending all of its creation, only

if you drain your devotion and broaden what

you are and are not permitted to be.


You can get out, flashing, golden-sea eyes

flashing and leaping in celebration of the door touched

and opened, the re-wiring that burns every wire

and sets down the players

and the playing board.


Do this emptying.

Trust it is done and it will be done.


You can hold your shoes in one hand

and your truth in another,

put on those shoes and yield to a direction



Mark it down


Great joys approach

like weeping harmonies in music,

relief in the course-correction,

astonishment in the manifold beauty.

Decorations placed around the table.

Declarations for devotion riveting

through the backyard garden where

everything overflows with abundance,

is a tapestry of young blood frolicking.

Shared surges of strong faith between us,

because our love is never ending

because the loudest boom has exploded

altering the vibration here and forever,

a higher octave, a mountain sailed over,

a vision walked into, gallant and kind -

welcoming, offering

to fully bathe our bodies, open a fortune box

so we can step away from restrictions, step into

a beautiful anticipation.





I can see my mind in victory

over the clinging contaminating thoughts

that used to spiral in a vigorous loop

through my days even when in joy,

even when hearing a tambourine tune

rise up, happy and fresh.

Now those thoughts struggle to stand,

abandoned in a desert vast

and widowed. Dehydrated unto death

they sometimes whisper, but barely have a hold

or exert a reasonable authority.


My shame has packed its belongings and left.

My self-pity has reduced its wound

to a pin-prick along with my bitterness.

Gratitude is the only dream worth feeding.

I will feed it and not be overwhelmed

or react to desperate hungry

rumblings, not react in desperation

to what is lacking on the canvas, on the alter,

or in my understanding and this growing surrender.


Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Five times nominated for “Best of the Net,” she has over 1375 poems published in over 525 international journals. She has 25 published books of poetry and 6 chapbooks. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay.