A NIGHT AT THE PUB

pud 2

     A NIGHT AT THE PUB

Mario Lanza began to sing
And from a far corner of the crowded room,
Another Mario joined in.
Another and another,
Until the whole place rang
With song and laughter.

Then, in his far corner, Elvis stood,
Quietly singing of love and loss,
Singing of a real reality
Until, one by one, they all fell silent.
Even the drunks hushed their slurred words,
Listening to a song of loss and loneliness
So intense, life meant nothing.

The Bar was silent, breathless with memory
As Elvis sang, and when he was done,
Mario began again.
And beer was passed from Bar to drinker.
Someone ordered a cheeky Campari,
With bright red cherry and a paper umbrella.
Whoa!  Hold the soda.

Night pressed against the Pub’s lit windows,
But no-one wanted to go,
To be swallowed by the darkness,
Wanted only to stay here in the mad brightness,
Listening to the singing,
Listening to the daft loons laughter,
Gulping Lager in the corner
And watch the girls swinging
On the tiny, tiny dance floor.
Dancing as if dancing could conquer
The songs they were hearing.
As if being young could conquer everything.

Strange to meet Mario and Elvis here,
Two bony young fellows singing to the drunk and to the sober,
Singing to drown or lighten the drinker’s sorrows.               

                                                     © 2019 Gwen Grant

LITTLE MOTH

LITTLE MOTH

Last night,
In this cool dark room,
A little moth flew in
Through a half-open window,
A tiny glitter of light
Drawing it to me.

Where, for a moment,
It was in great danger.
Flying so close to my face
I felt the air from its beating wings.

Pressing my lips together,
I stopped breathing,
For fear of causing
This tiny moth’s destruction.

The room itself swept it away,
Whirling it into a far corner
Of melting darkness.
Its silver wings folding and fluttering
Fast as a geisha’s fan.

Airy and joyful,
Flirting with the night,
The tiny creation danced
Through the half-open window,
Bringing gaiety to the darkness,
Leaving me enchanted.

©2022 Gwen Grant

 TANTALIZING POSSIBILITIES

roulette-tricks

                TANTALIZING POSSIBILITIES

We fall in love on the roll of a dice,
A chance meeting.  Chancing everything on a meeting.
As we plain and seductive creatures
Remain wilfully unaware of the power of our own deep seduction.
For it is we who snap the bolt shut on death and boredom.

So we are always ready to catch some lovely confection
In some other plain beauty.  Some sweetness that draws us in
Until we are in so deep, all that is left is for us to declare
That this is the love which will last for ever,
Outliving any grain of sand or petal of a fading flower.

This love cuts out temptation.  Ends the pull of new desire,
Deletes that relentless ache for someone new.

We make promises quiet as silk slipping over moonlight.
We will love to the end of time, or, at the very least,
We hastily prevaricate, until the end of its own time.

We offer promises aloud, tying them up with a gold ring
Or two.  Often, two. Or with the ringpull of a thin tin can.
But gold or tin, nothing can lock up temptation.
Nothing stop that sudden surge of desire
For a tantalizing possibility inevitably leading to a sorry ending,
Or to a new and bitter beginning.

Nothing, that is, but love, which, as we fully understand,
Happens on the throw of a dice.

                                                        ©2020 Gwen Grant

LITTLE BROWN HENS AND RED

 Where we lived when I was a girl, most of the gardens
around
us were like my Dad’s. Full of vegetables, fruit,
flowers and hens. They were beautiful gardens and I
remember our garden
with great fondness. 

  LITTLE BROWN HENS AND RED

My father’s garden was full of little brown hens
High stepping, tippy tapping in and out of the daffodils,
Pecking at the Spring mint, settling in the potato patch,
Always protesting, always complaining.
Not enough of this.  Too little of that.
The wicked tortoiseshell cat pinning them down
With eyes greener than the very grass they trod on.

They would crowd around the kitchen door,
Indignant little bodies demanding hen justice.
But they liked their bit of my father’s garden
With worms trying to live quietly beneath them.

Until my cousin came with his hard hands,
Hungry eyes and a heart intent on killing,
Then I went out shouting,
Scattering the little brown hens and the red,
Causing the dark cockerel
To turn his bitter, livid eye on my hateful presence.

Squawking, they fled, hiding under the hen coop.
Darting into the rhubarb leaves at the back of the tree.
But when my cousin kept coming, when his boots broke
The sunny daffodils, I pushed him so hard, he fell over,
I didn’t care about him.

For my little red hens and brown,
The arrogant cockerel with his angry eyes
All lived to tuck themselves up again
And sleep their tiny pulsing sleep.

To wake in the morning,
Ready for another really interesting day. 

                                          ©2020 Gwen Grant                        

PEA PODS AND PROMISES

tractor

PEA PODS AND PROMISES

Pea pods and pea straws
And fields of green oceans
As far as the eye can see,
And busy little children
Building pea-straw houses
Or getting lost in the green fields
As their mothers pull peas.

They were all told
To keep away from the small river
Where the Kingfisher flew,
Enchanting those who saw
The blue blur, blue on blue.
Tempting one child or another
To slide into the water.

Languorous now, the afternoon wears on,
The sun emptying those green oceans,
The red tractor silent
As little children are found and woken.
Bags weighed,
Coins counted one by one
Into green-dirty hands,
Ready for the waiting corner-shop man.

Time to climb onto the lorry.
Time to go home.

Everything will have changed
In the year that is yet to come,
But the fields will still be full
Of quiet green oceans bringing hope
Of a new harvest.

                                   © 2020 Gwen Grant