Allison Grayhurst

Allison Grayhurst has had over 200 poems in more than 140 journals, magazines, and anthologies throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and in the United Kingdom, including Parabola (summer 2012), South Florida Arts Journal, The Antigonish Review, Dalhousie Review, The New Quarterly, Wascana Review, Poetry Nottingham International, The Cape Rock, Journal of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry,; Fogged Clarity, Out of Our, Quantum Poetry Magazine, Decanto, and White Wall Review.

Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published nine other books of poetry and two 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 recently published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012.

She lives in Toronto with her husband, two children, two cats, and a dog. She also sculpts, working with clay.

If it is empty then it is empty

Perishing like wasps in wet tar,

we canít claim an answer

but only wear our raincoats,

acting out past wounds, meditating

by watergardens where amphibians breed,

owners of the pond.

Perishing enough to create parables

to be sold to our advantage,

holding hands in the summer or after a bath.

We look through windows, keeping

Vigil with homebound strangers, unlocking cupboards,

storing gifts on laundryroom shelves.

We welcome the red squirrel, make love

most afternoons, tie-dye our t-shirts.

burning colours hotter at the edges.

We meet old mentors perishing,

drunk and mutated, mentors who taught us

to read the lines in our palms,

how to find music underwater,

poetry under siege, sometimes showing us

the pitter-patter pace of caterpillars on a damp park lawn.

Depths pushing out like a well-nourished womb,

depths we perish in, drained of desire,

listless in the light. Donít bother complaining,

we were made to perish, grow a revolutionary peace

in the crisp leaves of burnt sage, discover mercy

in a backwards fall.

Blind Spot

Itís blatant as the light

inside a city that builds

and wonít let up. The hardship

is there like a crack in the wall

that cannot be fixed or like

a terrible loss that waxes and wanes

by varying degrees but never fully leaves.

It is the spot that will not heal,

found on the floor by the fallen curtain

that keeps this life uneven.

It reveals that faith does not

mean protection from the chaos of chance,

only that God will stand beside you

once that chance has marked you

blood splattered and cold

Looking Up

The ninth vortex,

a cylinder, funnelling

the puss from the unhealable wound.

A point of Juno - tell me,

tell me if you are drowning.

Your throat is tight, but your body

is hoping. There is no pain you

can give me because I am safe in God -

in the pain, I am safe and not destroyed.

But the harshness that eats the colour from

your eyes is consuming a part of me too.

I blend with the stone. I die in the shrubbery

of your fear. So long, winged-worm.

So long, wind that dust clouds my ground. I am ripe for renewal.

I am solo - past you, past death -

planting light where once

there was only blindness.


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