This room I write about was so many years ago, and the circumstances of reading
so different to today, it almost seems like a story out of an old book.  Yet I remember
it so well and I only have to close my eyes and I can see not only the room but the
people in it, the furniture – the big oak dresser behind the chair I sat on, the glass
swans on the dresser, the table I leant my arms on so that I could lean over my book
and the feel of the crimson tablecloth under my elbows.

                                  WHEN I WAS A CHILD 

When I was a child,
I read by candlelight,
The gold-bloomed flame
Sending the shadow of my hair
Across the page. 

Opening those books with clean hands,
I found the patient words waiting for me.
Little black words, friendly
As spinning tops and skipping ropes,
Ready to be taken up
Into my heart and mind. 

Nothing ever seemed to change
In that fire-lit kitchen,
Until, somehow, in the blink of an eye,
Everything changed. 

Yet it was in that crowded, candled room
Of fire and flame,
I read of a love that never dies
But  flowers and blossoms
Over and over again. 

Now I remember still,
There is this one thing then,
That always and forever
Stays the same. 

                                          © Gwen Grant




Whirling in a jewel box
Feel no more at home
Than we do,
In this jewel box of a world. 

But we dance
To a different tune to them.
We dance
To melodies that are beaten
Into the earth.
To rhythms
That nourish coloured leaves
And unveil flowers
Scenting the air around us. 

Jerk their little limbs
As they are ordered.
But denying bullet and bomb
Whatever victory they are seeking,
We dance,
Moving in the warmth and strength
Of an all absorbing love. 

                                    © Gwen Grant


late summer


Late summer now
And the little lost paths
Are dry and cindery under foot;
Dust and the early mist
Curling around the edges of the day. 

A leaf falls, as the trees
Shake their slow golden heads,
Filling the air with the sad sound
Of leaves falling, drifting, tumbling down.

Over the hedge, the stubbled fields
Sigh, and settle into waiting
For their dry stalks to be ploughed
Into the earth.
Lovely furrows then, stretching
Into the infinity of a much older vision. 

And Autumn dances in the woods,
Her red and orange skirts
Billowing around her twinkling feet.
Her red-berried head bobbing with excitement
As the time comes
When her beauty can be seen in the burning forest,
Her loveliness caught in the cobwebbed hedgerows,
In those tiny, sparkling shawls of light,
That wrap us about
With the fierce grace and beauty of love. 

                                          © Gwen Grant



 I wrote this poem many years ago and sold it to a national magazine. However, I didn’t know when it was being published but, one day, at a Railway station, at the start of a long journey, I bought  a copy of this magazine, opened it, and there was the poem! I spent the whole of that journey reading the print off the page.


I know your face as I know my own,
And yet, one odd glance
Surprised your outside face looking in
At me.
Odd.  I thought I knew you well,
Yet there you were.  A stranger.

So many years have gone by since we met
And loved by firelight.
I remember asking what you were thinking
And listening.
Since then, it can’t be that I haven’t listened.
Just never asked again. 

                                              © Gwen Grant