December 22, 2018

Words by Allison Grayhurst


The words came
and killed the hostages,
killed the ghosts stuck 
in crevices of crow’s feet eyes
and in the long book of regrets and what ifs.

The words came and said:
the greatest indication 
of spiritual immaturity
is the lack of gratitude.

The words were singular, pounded their plurality
into one soft mass, or like pieces of glass
heated, liquified, blending smoothly 
the dangerous edges.

The words came as two hawks hovering
in surreal stillness and then came again
in the small measles-scar of someone I knew 
as a child, seen again as an adult, flooding me 
with a memory and an affirmation 

that the spaces between 
this time and that time 
do not exist, not as a ladder, not as fossil bones 
but those spaces somehow existing, contain 
the intrinsic value of eternity.


The words came 
and were excellent company – said:

hear the melody while joining with each note,
be absorbed into its specific portrait.

The words said: pause,
brought me into the sun rising over the field,
out of the dark forest that was covered with bramble
and dead rooted trees.

I found a way out, I held a hand, briefly, 
but long enough to be healed. 
I saw the old cat smiling on the mat, 
the old dog as happy 
as he was when he was young, 
a house embroidered with the harmony 
that comes after journeying 
through the trapped corridors of hell.


I am on horseback with my chestnut-red friend,
galloping near the round edge, certain of our flight -
both of us embodying a perpetual exhilaration, 

and where, where are we going? so fast?
so in tune? - no words now -
just a sweet-nectar symbiotic flow. 

Call these words a dream. Call them bohemian. 
Back away. Throw the stone. Seal them.

All bars and walls are purgatory-spent, 
blown over
(lick your lips, let the spider live)

blow it over, behind.

About the poetess:  Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Four of her poems were nominated for “Best of the Net” in 2015/2018, and one eight-part story-poem was nominated for “Best of the Net” in 2017. She has over 1200 poems published in more than 475 international journals and anthologies. In 2018, her book Sight at Zero, was listed #34 on CBC’s “Your Ultimate Canadian Poetry List”.

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; Checkout her website at www.allisongrayhurst.com

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