5 Poems by Allison Grayhurst

Helen

She rises from the flower-pot soil,

sad as a caged Queen.

 

Her hands, fixed behind,

pushing her head towards

the moon.

 

Her lips as still as

trees after a storm, lying flat

 

and bloodless. She does not

let her hair down, or her

firm skin flex.

 

She has seen what lies underneath

where worms and millipedes crawl.

 

Half of her still there –

the other half, awakening

struggling up, away from the tar-sand

ruins.

 


Feline Dream

 

Winter comes like a blank page

dropping over the city.

 

Houses glow in

T.V. light,

dulled and eerier.

 

Somewhere my mind has lost itself,

trekking through this burning time.

 

I see the eyes of animals in every place.

I see a kestrel cribbed in the sky, beating

against clouds and taunting crows.

 

I do not know what I am:

I live the nights through like a cat,

soothed by poetry

and the moon-white

fury

of solitude

 

under stones.

 

© Allison Grayhurst


 

Missed the Mark

I felt I could almost run

the passage.

 

But the mist and

the naked days

of winter’s burning

snows

made my head heavy and

a purpose too slender to follow.

 

A twisted brightness came crashing

through the ghosts surrounding.

 

Nothing but a comforting

numb held my feet to the ground.

 

I thought my blood was more

than words. I thought to claim

my flesh anew.

 

But love shifts like coastal waters

and only the drumming tides

of error and time

can guide me now –

 

away.

 

© Allison Grayhurst


 

No Wedding Day

Held up by the strings

and the ragged chains

of expectation.

 

This is the

last vein to burst,

the last root

to dry.

 

Keep your milk

and music for

the moon – mother

of dreams, mother

of personal metaphor.

 

The marriage ring has taken

its final curve.

From now on, only

a gypsy smile,

only a trumpet blow

for the wanderer’s freedom.

 

Clouds cave over the sun

like a fist. Children play on

the green-pink hills

as all disappointments line up

on the wave of their laughter

to be killed or

pardoned.

 

© Allison Grayhurst


Step Through Summer

 

Dying for my thoughts to fade

into an amnesiac slur, not judge my

convalescent love.

Waiting for sleep to

move to a higher

octave, away from guilt, blame and

artful blindness.

The light that falls forever

into the gullies

of souls and skulls – comforts

but cannot heal. The wind too cannot

give like a compass burn.

I pace the floors, longing

to surrender what I have

to the summer flowers,

remaining.

 

© Allison Grayhurst


Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Three of her poems were nominated for “Best of the Net” in 2015, and one eight-part story-poem was nominated for “Best of the Net” in 2017. She has over 1150 poems published in more than 460 international journals and anthologies. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published sixteen other books of poetry and six collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012. In 2014 her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series. In 2015, her book No Raft – No Ocean was published by Scars Publications. More recently, her book Make the Wind was published in 2016 by Scars Publications. As well, her book Trial and Witness – selected poems, was published in 2016 by Creative Talents Unleashed (CTU Publishing Group). She is a vegan. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com
 
Short bio: Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Four times nominated for “Best of the Net”, 2015/2017, she has over 1150 poems published in over 460 international journals and anthologies. She has 21 published books of poetry, six collections and six chapbooks. She lives in Toronto with her family. She is a vegan. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com 
 
            Collaborating with Allison Grayhurst on the lyrics, Vancouver-based singer/songwriter/musician Diane Barbarash has transformed eight of Allison Grayhurst’s poems into songs, creating a full album. “River – Songs from the poetry of Allison Grayhurst” released October 2017.
 
            Some of the places her work has appeared in include Parabola (Alone & Together print issue summer 2012); Elephant Journal; Literary Orphans; Blue Fifth Review; The American Aesthetic; The Brooklyn Voice; Five2One; Agave Magazine; JuxtaProse Literary Magazine, Drunk Monkeys; Now Then Manchester; South Florida Arts Journal; Gris-Gris; The Muse – An International Journal of Poetry, Storm Cellar, morphrog (sister publication of Frogmore Papers); New Binary Press Anthology; Straylight Literary Magazine (print); Chicago Record Magazine, The Milo Review; Foliate Oak Literary Magazine; The Antigonish Review; Dalhousie Review; The New Quarterly; Wascana Review; Poetry Nottingham International; The Cape Rock; Ayris; Journal of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry; The Toronto Quarterly; Fogged Clarity, Boston Poetry Magazine; Decanto; White Wall Review.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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