Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Morning Glory


Lost hideaway under the flesh

where birds of prey drink to the heart's

southward direction.

In liquid sleep a pocket is forming

of voices named in childhood years.

And from the beginning the miracle

sat on our shoulder like a butterfly,

though we never christened it as our own.

I am tossing back the weight of worldly waters

and things to be morally wounded for.

I give no more from the side of my mouth,

for the seductive shadow and the running crowd.

Plain as the path to heaven, I kiss the dread

and let it drift down sea. I open a room

where the light catches my breath.

I am breathing a morning glory.



Copyright © 2002 by Allison Grayhurst
Published in "Creative Talents Unleashed" August 2018
As We Walk


I spent an hour listening

to the grey and cooling sky, and the blackbirds

that gathered low.

We are but gestures sown

by particles of love, desire and greed.

Few are one tapestry, most are a bit of

all three.

There was a plague in my eyes

that has thinned my expectations, but

I am better.

Being in love this long is like a voyage

underwater, swarming with glorious and

dangerous beings.

You will always be the one to hatch my breath,

the catching flint when I am shipwrecked,

and the good thing I can hold up willingly to the light.

We have been shown there is no grave,

only the mourning. We have been shown

it is the aging in front of each other

that makes aging wonderful.

I no longer worry about what I am going to say

because there is you, with the scent of autumn

strong in your hair.



Copyright © 2002 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in "The Artistic Muse", 2012
The Ride


Again the stars were plucked

from her mind and the world below

leapt up and sponged her with its flame.

That summer she made a wish upon her chains

and walked the deserted farmyards.

The ravens followed her through the weeds

and heat, keeping up conversation. At night

she sang to the beating of the rain and stroked the head

of the dead bug in her pocket.

She was neither of the mountains nor of the desert.

She was calm as crazy sometimes gets, and the thunder

hissed out her name as the June's morning rays

danced her a sermon. She talked

to her shadow when the birds had gone,

and her fingernails were brittle as cracked ice.

On the seventeenth day her breath collapsed with

the rising sun as the cobwebs about her sparkled, stirred

by a sweetened wind.



Copyright © 2002 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in "Full of Crow" 2013
You Are


            You are simple

like death is simple,

like death is unmistakable,

containing the most feverish and trying

of mysteries within

its boundless domain.

              You are beautiful

like a cat is beautiful

silently sitting,

galactic in its sensual form,

giving with its gaze

substance to voice and blood.

              You are fire-driven

like stars and like ***,

in perpetual combustion,

with an inner pulse of endless

dance, dancing

in savage, mystical tides.

              You are gentle

like a raindrop caught

in a lucky palm, gentle

like the shelter of a best friend's arms.

              You are more than sun and bird and fox,

more than soil to my groundless heart.

              All I bless and all I need,

I hold because of you.

              No meaning nor madness

could replace the milk and breath

that you are.



Copyright © 1998 by Allison Grayhurst


The power

and the moon and the bride

ducking behind snow banks.

Weather, may I have you to own,

be reborn in the dead afternoon like

a hawk that circles the windless skies?

Sleep, with all the dreams and shapes of dreams

tucked in your mind like precious stones.

I carved you out of grain. I stalked your elusive

steps, looking for you at each corner. Down I went sliding

into open houses searching for your seed, but your seed was

a balloon I could not catch and my child-grip is short, as are

my obsessive desires. Too far down

is the raging river’s floor -

I am carried off. This time I will not panic,

but sink and imagine I am growing gills.

I will relax the burning

in my mind and enjoy the end and then give in

to the continuous flow.



Copyright © 2010 by Allison Grayhurst

Published in "Abramelin" , 2012
It is not


the hole in the wall I fear

where ants crawl through

or the red tail in the wind

that keeps me here,

but it is the leaf over the grave stone

and the cat on the small hill

without a hope of going up any further

that helps me stretch my limbs

and appoint myself a possible beginning.

It is what I hold out for when

the seasonal scent comes near,

when I am not willing to endure

the effort. Then

I am failing

and always waiting for

the answer to arrive

in strange dosages

to arrive gentle to the touch,

however minuscule, arriving

however obscure.



Copyright © 2008 by Allison Grayhurst

First published in "Gris-Gris" 2012
Because of course


you will go with summer

never knowing a remedy.

You will go beyond where you go

around the ninth and final life, ducking

in dark boxes to fade finally alone,

away from instinct and nurturing.

You will go into the natural earth,

and from there, my vision staggers and

cannot name, but caught

on the wind, in sensual shades

of forgiveness mighty & forever,

you will know a place unhindered by death.

You will hear the secret

your pale eyes

have always harboured.



Copyright © 1997 by Allison Grayhurst

First published in the "Wascana Review", 1994


Strips of clouds,

pink-grey like a snail snatched

from its shell. So many days I waited, waiting

like that snail for permanent protection, waiting

as an activity to delve fully into.

Nirvana was coming. I saw it traced

on the dated sidewalk, etched on the curvy luster

of a raccoon’s still spine and in the devotion

of the rock dove waiting for its one decided love.


Nothing was ever enough to saturate my yearning.

Even for a moment, to remember a time before birth,

before the furious fluttering engine ulcerated

my stomach lining, or before my sanity became a soft noise,

fading. I could hear it like a basic desire I was forced

to forgo - ***, unquenched - like that but even

more. Like a crinkled cloth left on the subway floor,

I waited - dry, malformed, avoided.


The basement air is grooming me for an alien awakening -

maybe fluorescent, possibly ordinary, but better than

this sitting, tipping sideways on a broken chair.

Salt lamp on, a little fireplace or miniscule sunshine shining,

crumbling between my fingers, waiting

no more, moving at last

to another corner.



Copyright © 2012 by Allison Grayhurst

First published in "Dead Snakes" 2013
The Day Is Like


The day is like

the day before

the worm arrived

in a jar at my doorstep.

Before I took the worm in

and fed it lettuce leaves and fresh water.

Before I had something to care for,

when loneliness was the largest difficulty around

and isolation pounded beneath my lids like

a cancer.

The day is tick tock and as slow as waiting

for that needed call to arrive.

I collect the noises from outside

but have nowhere to put them. I open my mouth,

but my voice has gone underground.

The sun looks in on me, but evades my skin.

I don’t hold my breath. I let it in and out.

I let the day be a blank wall.

And sometimes a day like today is like

an empty room and this empty room

is a treasure.

Copyright © 2006 by Allison Grayhurst

First published in "The Buddhist Poetry Review" 2012

— The End —