Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Bound by evil,
the kind that has no shame or hidden gain
that has only stupidity as its strength and cruelty
as its force.
Bound to deal with the devil’s lowest minion,
to feel its rotting invading tongue touch your
clothes, your books, your headband.
But not bound by its game as long as the game
is relinquished and God is sought when the axe comes down,
then it will pass through you like a phantom axe,
mighty in appearance, but achieving nothing.
Not bound if the worse comes, and still
you stand with peace and dignity, trusting God’s reward
and promise of care.
Not bound if you are free in faith, if you know
yourself to be subject to a richer realm, higher than
these inching worms.

Allison Grayhurst

A Way To Joy

Words and birthday wishes
fall asleep under the light.
In sleep, I see what I do when awake -
shooting stars that fade into dark infinity.
So far, I have a bed, two legs and a mission
I’ve felt before I could speak.
Kiss these hands God, bless this pain in my shoulders,
give me hope for recovery.
Every effort is stultified, has no nucleus,
no path towards the sun. Every movement forward
dissolves into the flavour of the wind, is weak
in its purpose, in its ability to love.
Print my name on your heart. I want to serve,
to walk again across the sand dunes, walk again
hand in hand.

Allison Grayhurst


on your wave
of wet torment, licking
the moon of your lips,
cradling your breath in my mouth
as I held you submerged in my contracting core,
held you within as you were within
saturated with my pulse and flow.
I went under, planted
in the memories of your soul.
You swallowed our merging
with rapid speed. We evolved, stripped of every season,
you and I with our initials carved on each other’s skin, undulating
in our sensual, blessed commune.

Allison Grayhurst


Because of you
my heart has hatched
its most treasured nerve.
I am no longer nagged by the sulphur darkness
that carves away the surface from my lungs.
Because of you
we have two more to join us on our journey.
Two children, ruled by humour and the deep-drawn breath.
I no longer need false conversation,
struggling to understand the flow.
Because of you
my love has learned how to conjure more love,
reap then sow.

Allison Grayhurst

One Little Heart

One little heart
graced with purity.
Yellow hair and happy eyes
and all the dreams of a child's mind
like the shape of a butterfly in the drain,
or elephants in mushroom soup.

One little girl
dancing to sunshine
making eccentric faces
and laughing outloud.

One little child
painting pictures with her hands,
crying hard for babyhood
and spilling her fears on the ground.

One little heart
unknowing of all the gifts she gives,
of how much love she allows to live
and change this place called home.

Allison Grayhurst

A Piece

Taken like a fallen feather
back to God.
Removed from its plateau
to a higher plain,
to leave the box of memories an empty garden,
to show that love and attachment
are not material, are still vital when
there is no breathing body left. To say it was only a thing
that held too great a significance,
that losing it meant
and changes nothing

Allison Grayhurst

Celestial Reckonings
A primitive space vehicle
after many years
finally reached Pluto,
the planet, not-a-planet,
and discovered water,
at least ice formations
that could be water.
At the current rate
of space travel progress,
if we survive
nuclear, chemical,
biological war,
climate change,
other disasters,
we might reach Pluto
in two or three hundred years,
barring a scientific breakthrough
just in time to find out
the water is polluted.

Camera Serenade
The tourists come
to Bryant Park,
take photos of statues
of they know not who,
photos of the carousel,
photos of the chess players,
the jugglers, ping-pong,
yoga on the lawn,
photos, photos, photos,
digital substitutes
for personal involvement
in all the events
crammed into a tiny park.

Pity the Children
The changing nature
of a liberal society
committed to tolerance
of the unreasonable,
the unacceptable
by any moral standards
that allow horrific crimes
inflicted on children,
while apathetic citizens
never rise up in outrage
and demand harsh punishment
for violent abusers.

Prolonged discussions
of political or social issues,
controversial events,
rarely lead to agreement,
most ending in argument,
irreconcilable dispute,
intentions invariably
on self-assertion,
inflicting opinions
on unappreciative listeners.

Trauma Time

Virtue is no longer a virtue
in a land of tolerant intolerance.
The spoiled offspring of privilege
stroll through city streets
creatures so absorbed in entitlement
they cannot conceive that disaster
will ever target them,
armored in middle class comforts,
oblivious to others
until the sudden shock
of abrupt interruption
halts their serene conversations,
compels them momentarily
to confront harsh reality.

Gary Beck

in the arms of a better woman
don't think of it as pain
rather a peculiar path
to a new tomorrow
why fight the inevitable
the creeping death up
the back of your neck
as you lay in the arms
of a better woman
look at the moon
and ask for a reprieve
line up the shot glasses
and remember the fond
times of your youth
do you turn your back
or are you counting
down to zero
all of us were going
to be rock stars one
reality has a way of
crushing every soul
that dares to dream
that cherished moment
i can close
my eyes and
still hear her
angelic voice
the soft touch
of her skin
against mine
twenty years
and god knows
how many
moons since
that cherished
i hope your
life turned into
everything you
wished for
at least one
of us deserves
such a reward
let go of your fears
burn the candle
at both ends
shoot fireworks
out of your eyes
and destroy every
ugly soul on this
try your best to
not include your
dance naked in
the moonlight
in a festive
native land
let go of your
fears and ride
a comet under
the glow of the
northern lights
dare to be the
lonely soul
that is content
remove these
chains and
wish that
not just the
illusion of
no matter what
drops of
blood on
a clean
sheet of
is willing
wall they
stick in
front of
you, no
and once
the pain
fills you
and breaks
you'll see
that all you
ever needed
to do
was just walk
around the wall
every corner of this earth
the future is
a mushroom
cloud darkening
every corner
of this earth
accept the pain
and dance in
the face of fear
we should wish
to die while
laughing at a
dirty joke
it's the only
way any of this
is going to make
fucking sense
to live out loud
dance naked in
the rain under the
apocalyptic moon
when they dare you
to live out loud, scare
the shit out of them
by doing it better than
they knew possible
but this isn't
that poem
this is the poem about
a broken soul seeking
closure too soon for
those that deem these
things moral
this is a poem about
a rope, a tree and a
boy that knew too
this is for every
drop of blood
for every tear that
creased a bitter face
this is the poem that
isn't so much a cry
for help
but a clever way
of saying goodbye
J.J. Campbell

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

‘I’ve got to wear this’ she said
slipping back into the dress of
the previous night; ‘I wasn’t
expecting any of this’ she said
as she buttoned and zipped,
‘I mean, I had planned to go
home last night’
I propped myself up in the
bed; ‘This could be your
home’ I said,
she looked around the small
untidy cluttered room that
was my world:
‘I’d cramp your style’ she
said smiling:
‘You may be right’ I said,
rising naked from the bed
and stepping over a few
bodies sleeping on the floor:
‘Take care’ I said, kissing her
she draped her arms across my
shoulders and kissed me hard,
‘Who the fuck are these people?’
she asked,
‘I don’t know’ I said, ‘See you
‘If you’re lucky’ she said
closing the door behind her.

I have a young Rimbaud
in my head tonight and
he’s running around with a
revolver in his hand and
he’s looking desperate and
dangerous and he scares
me but in an exciting way
and he seeks out the fool
Donald Trump who is
holding a hand-gun in
each hand and he looks
dumb and deranged and
he really fucking scares
me in a terrifying way
along with the rest of the
Arthur moves in,
Donald starts shooting
wildly and manically,
Rimbaud takes aim and
pulls the trigger
in an almighty
and I find myself alone in
a drunken boat drifting to
nowhere once again.

‘We are looking for
exciting, daring and
works of poetry,
words that sting,
dark and humorous,
words that loiter
like a street-thief
in the reader’s head
long after reading
and what we’re also
looking for is a
$5.00 reading fee.

On at least a couple of
occasions he was sober
for several months at a
time and he worked
regular manual factory
jobs and it was so
strange coming home
from school and seeing
him coming home
straight and tired and
sitting at the kitchen
table with us for the
evening meal and I’d
look at him and feel so
pleased he was there
and he’d look at me and
nod his head with a
quiet smile: he never
once asked how I was
or what I was doing,
he knew nothing about
me but that didn’t
matter because he was
my father and I loved
him as much as I could
whenever he was
 around but I never
told him this, we’d sit
and eat in silence,
like two
awkward strangers.

It was always
going to be
that was going
to kill him:
for 3 decades
it was always
going to be a
overdose death,
no surprise,
but not cancer,
no one thought
of that,
not cancer,
that changes
now people
have a
for him.

Both of them together
weighed less than 6lb
at birth: 3 months
man, they were fucking
tiny, so delicate, fragile,
closer to death than life
and my daughter weak
by the loss of blood:
for 3 months the twins
were in special-care
-units, you couldn’t
really see them through
the maze of wires and
tubes and bleeping
machines, but we
visited everyday and
spoke to them and
brought gifts:
every 2 or 3 days my
daughter could hold
her babies and the
feelings were beyond
description and we all
cried in joy:
something inside me knew
they’d all make it, I
couldn’t think of it any
other way:
my daughter is a tough
woman and her babies
just as tough:
they are 4 years old now
yet it seems like
yesterday we’d finish
work and drive the 30
miles to the hospital
to visit our
grandchildren fighting
for every moment.

John D Robinson