SPRING TO WINTER


When I was a girl, the winters were ferocious.  The street I lived in was a
small street with no more than about a half dozen houses down each side. 
Every house, or so it seemed to me, had a polished table in their front
room and over that table was a chenille cloth.  Our cloth was red with
bobbles hanging all round it.  I only have to close my eyes to remember
the thick rich feel of that cloth and I don’t have to do anything to
remember my sister.

SPRING TO WINTER

              The world goes round in tight circles
              As I have always known it would.
              Its intention always to go
              From Spring to Winter
              In one breath.

              When I was first tall enough
              To see over the table top,
              The bobbled red chenille cloth
              Cherried in my fingers,
               I learnt then of dying,
              For in my house that winter
              Our Spring baby died.

             That snow pulsed afternoon,
             The old scissor-grinder, out-lighted,
             Stood under the gas lamp
             Stoning blades of knife and scythe and scissor,
             Sparks spinning from his wheel
             As if that winter day was Carnival.

             I ran from him,
            Snowflakes melting my eyes
            As I wept for my sister,
            Suddenly afraid of the scythe
            And afraid of the scissor.

                              ©2018 Gwen Grant

A SHORT HISTORY OF A COMPLEX LIFE

 A SHORT HISTORY OF A COMPLEX LIFE

The woman who ate the moon
Lives in the trees down by the river.
Wait!  I tell a lie!
She actually lives on some small landing
Up a flight of stairs halfway to heaven,
Or resides at the bottom of a cellar temporarily,
Standing on dark, unseen tiles,
Cold, mysterious and unsettling.
Looking fantastically familiar
Should you ever catch a glimpse of her.

She has a habit of singing through the dark hours.
Sometimes of how she is made of paper
Inclined, at times, to burst into flame.
Her mind is full of brushed glass pieces
Picked up on the beach, made lovely
By the steady rushing of the wind-blown sea,
With pebbles, sea-shells, starfish, mermaids
And the bones of the dead rattling amongst them.

After she swallowed the moon, she held it tight within,
Complaining, sometimes, that light shone right through her
And only dragons, biting and marauding, could save her,
Lending her their teeth.

At night, the sky is alive with heroes,
Blazing shields held up, ready to meet the morning.
Great wings of strength and beauty beating behind them
As they go seeking the woman who ate the moon.
But she would only let in
Those who left their shields and wings at home
As she was extremely busy making her own history.

                                                             © 2020 Gwen Grant

SONG OF THE BLUES

Van Gogh

  SONG OF THE BLUES

Blue stars in the garden,
Touched by the slender light of an icy moon
Trying to contain the storm
Throwing itself into a tantrum,
Breaking all it touched.
Spitefully turning the ruffled cornflowers
Into tiny blue rags
Pressed against earth’s vast darkness.

Howlin’ Wolf roared his blue despair
Into the emptiness he knew lay waiting
Behind the beauty of his own rich singing.
Set on making a cool and glorious
                       stream of melody
To challenge and defeat that darkness.
Make it jump for joy.

The Bluesman adding his song
To the precise and perfect loveliness
Of Lawrence telling of his own blue
                       Bavarian gentian
In the frosty month of September,
Its blue light leading him only into darkness,
Into emptiness,
Where Persephone was called back for ever
And Lawrence called for love.

Yet the Bluesman never stopped singing,
Filling that emptiness with the soul of man.
Bringing light to the darkness.
And Lawrence kept his pen firmly in his fingers,
Adding his song of blue gentians
Flowering in the month of September
To the eternal battle of hope over despair.

                                        © 2020 Gwen Grant

DUCKS AND CHANCES

 

DUCKS AND CHANCES

The last time we were flooded,
Our garden became a sudden pond
For the three ducks who flew down
To swim in this new and exciting
Stretch of water.

The cat, furious, hissed at them
Through the rain-swept window,
Paws trying to push through the glass.

But as I watched them,
Regretting the lavender and philadelphus,
I decided that from now on
I would be like those ducks and take on
All unexpected chances,
Refusing to be chased away
Until I had at least paddled in the water.

                 ©2020 Gwen Grant

WHEN IRENE SANG HER SOLO

Some years ago, I wrote a Christmas Play. One of the parts was
taken by my good friend, Irene, who had a wonderful singing
voice, so that when she sang, there was breathless silence.
This is the poem I wrote about Irene and her Christmas carol.

 WHEN IRENE SANG HER SOLO

Our choir is so good
Angels come down to listen to them.
Those angels think I can’t see them,
But I see them,
Dancing on the head of a pin,
Lolling on the piano,
Or perching poker-backed on the tops of chairs
Where people are already sat listening.
They are very fond of songs where angels appear
And especially liked it that time
When Irene sang her solo,
‘Angels from the realms of glory.’
The angels liked that so much
The tips of their wings were quivering.
But when our choir sings about the Lord,
Those angels join in.
They think I can’t hear them,
But I hear them.
‘O Lord my God,’ our choir sings,
And the angels singing with them kneel down,
Their wings all spread around the singers as they sing,
Together filling this whole place with such tenderness
I bow my head and cannot look at them again
Until the singing ends.
The angels have all gone home by then.
‘Gloria in excelsis Deo!’  AMEN.

                                     © 2008 Gwen Grant

Thank you for the support whilst I was unwell. Much appreciated.
I’m slowly coming back.