It was on a day that held winter tightly to its bones,
When the whole world was frozen over,
That thin sunshine shone through that bony wood,
Lighting the little trembling ferns
Trembling in the bitter wind,
Gilding the sheath of the bony Birch
Until it shone like silver,
A light to glint and gleam in the new-lit darkness,
To remind us that through the dark times,
In older bones and in the bones of fragile children,
Love has always shone and gleamed and glinted.
Always bringing light to a dark world,
Always bringing love to overcome unimaginably dark forces.

In the dead leaves, in the dark moss,
In the narrow twisted roots of bony trees,
In the slow shine of tiny, tiny celandines all golden and tender,
Beaming beneath the darker and darker leaves,
Their golden heads lifting to the sun,
In the small green buds hidden in their papery sheaths,
Their slow explosions seeking eager life.
Into all this, the ringing of the shuttered bluebells
Send their silent, startling promise that love’s new life
Will always shine into the bony darkness,
Will always defeat it with its full and living sweetness.
                                             © Gwen Grant                                         


st andrews


On a freezing winter afternoon, looking over the fields only gives the view of swirls of fog pushing into the garden, over the gate and into the apple tree.    

Last year, I bought Vol.1. of Walter Benjamin’s Selected Writings 1913-1926 and have been reading his essay on ‘A glimpse into the world of Children’s Books’ which is extraordinarily interesting. In the middle of this essay there is an absolutely lovely nursery rhyme from an old German picture book, ‘Steckempferd und Puppe’ (Stick-Horse and Doll) by J.P. Wich.

This rhyme tells of all the things a little child sees in a town and, in particular, how the child sees a cat.  The rhyme ends with the enchanted child thinking what a lovely little place the town is and, ‘I’ll make a note of that.’  There are many such lovely little places and, whenever I find myself in such a town, like the child in the story, I, too, ‘make a note of that.’      

I do wonder who else but Walter Benjamin would introduce an essay on children’s books with this quotation –‘A soft green glow in the evening red.’ by C.E.Heinle, but this is the thing about books and writers.  They bring such joy and delight with them.


  Image result for stormy harbour


As we stand here,
On the edge of the world,
The wet streets peeling away
From the tiny harbour,
The sea, in a fit of spite,
Swirls and tumbles
Onto the stony shingle,
Rattling the shells
From one bony ridge to another,
Hissing its peevish laughter
At the moonbeams dancing uneasily
Down this stretch of wild water.

Until, in a fury of authority,
The moon calls all to order.
Combing the white frilled water
Into its thin silver fingers,
Braiding light into the aching darkness,
Its own face darkening as it considers
The water’s bold and fierce behaviour.

Now look what’s happened!
The moon has turned her back
On the tiny, frozen harbour,
Battered by the shell hung water,
Smashing foam flowers
Onto the old stone causeway,
Onto our icy, hasty shoulders,
As we run helter-skelter for safety
To a deep and far away doorway.

Now the sly and sliding waters
Try to tumble us off our frozen feet,
Try and pull us into the rolling sea
To be another bony shell in the making.

                                   © Gwen Grant



       Image result for daisies in field 


Every child
Should be able to grow up
Without a gun
Shooting at them.

Every child
Should be able to grow up
Without a bomb
Dropping on their head
Making them dead.

Every child
Belongs to love,
So let us join heart to heart
And love them.

                    © Gwen Grant


We see things all the time that make no sense.  Things that set us
wondering how they exist  at all and this poem was made after I saw one such thing.  We were walking up a very, very small mountain and I was wandering along one of its paths, when I saw this one particular path. I followed it and found that it led to the very edge of a high point.  Below, rocks were tumbling down a steep and dangerous slope.  Why did the path exist?  I stood there with a thousand questions, questions there was no answer to, as there never is when we see something that doesn’t make sense.  The only thing to do then, is to write a poem.


There are paths all over this mountain.
They run through rock
And over grass,
As if a thousand feet
Had worn them into the ground.

Some paths go on for ever,
Winding up and down
Until we can no longer see them.
Others run a little way,
Then stop.

We walk up and down these paths,
Wondering who made them.

Especially do we wonder who made the one
That runs straight off the edge of the rock.

                                         © Gwen Grant