We know that if the years have taught
us one thing.
It is this.
That unless there is love,
The words of the weak
Will be written in tears
On the windows of the world.

                                  © 2019 Gwen Grant


apple tree


 Early in the morning
When the mist comes rolling in from the fields,
And the queer little ghosties
Come riding and writhing within it,
Sometimes leaping the battered old fence,
Other times sneaking through the holes
In the lacy broken wood,
Crossing the garden like smoke,
Coming to rest under the apple tree,
It is then I see their long grey fingers
Reaching through the leaves,
Winding around the shining apples
As if to pluck them from the branch and eat them,
And by eating, gain life.

But then the Autumn sun slides
Into the garden behind them,
Patting the twinkling shadows
Into tiny shapes of apple and leaf,
Weaving the winking apples into its sunny fingers,
Swallowing the mist and the little creeping ghosties,
Dusting those green, green apples with a flush of rosiness.

Neither pen, nor film, nor brush, nor quill
Can catch their utter loveliness.
No, all that can be done
Is to pick and hold and taste their glory,
Whilst the birds, the goats,
And the horse in the paddock
Who leans its head over the dead Philadelphus,
Over the tiny ghosties hiding in the dying flowers,
All hold back to await another apple morning.

                                                              © 2018 Gwen Grant


hop scotch 2


Hopscotch isn’t a game,
It’s a science,
A mathematical challenge,
An exercise into just how far
Your stone will slide
Over those ten squares
Stretching into infinity.
Most important of all
Is the application of logic,
To determine if this
Is an exercise in futility
Or if you have at last learnt to hop,
And stand on one leg. 

                      © 2017 GWEN GRANT


children dancing

                                       THE LAST PSALM 

You know when one person sneaks up on another person
And scares them?
Well, this is exactly what happened with us and Miss McPherson
That awful morning when, totally without warning, she flung out her arms
And, ‘Psalms, children!’ she cried. ‘Psalms! Psalms!  Psalms!’ 

The whole class froze.
No-one blinked their eyes, licked their lips or even picked their nose.
But we all fretted
Because the last psalm we ever heard
We had to be the sheep and Phoenix was the shepherd,
Who was supposed to lead us safely through the school and down the halls
But banged us into desks and doors and crashed us into walls
Until, Miss McPherson frowned, ‘Phoenix.  Please!  Sit down.
Let this be a lesson, sheep.  Only follow God around.’ 

Chantal, who’s new, she stood up.
I know all about palms, Miss,’ she said, coughed once, then went,
The tree that is known as a palm, can only grow where it is warm.’
Palms?’ cried Miss McPherson, so amazed,
She had to hang onto the Assembly hall curtain.
Not palms, Chantal.  Psalms!  Like the last psalm.
That dear little, sweet little, neat little psalm
That sings of God and His heavens all studded with stars.’ 

What!’ Tracey asked.  ‘Like Ruby’s Mum who has studs
In places you can see and in places that you can’t?
No,’ said Miss McPherson.
Even though Ruby’s Mum’s diamond studs sparkle in the dark. 

Jason read that psalm and it was really sharp.
Sing and dance for God,’ he read.  ‘Play the lyre and the harp.’
You don’t want to go near no harp,’ Harry warned.
Strum your fingers down those wires once only
And it’ll slice them up like pepperoni.’ 

We hadn’t got any lyres, (Only Charles, ha ha!),
Nor flutes, nor harps, nor timbrels.
But we had drums, Miss McPherson’s old piano, and two shining sets of cymbals.
So, we danced and sang for God until music rocked the school
And tumbled every single person out of every single room
To join in that last psalm song.
But the best thing about it all,’ Clyde said,
The psalm was so short and the joy was so long.’                           

                                                                           ©  2016 GWEN GRANT                                                      



This was my father’s garden, too many years ago to count and yet, the memory of it is as sharp as if I had seen it yesterday.  My father loved carnations.  Carnations and chrysanthemums, the great, shaggy headed, curled-over petalled flowers, which were almost glints of architecture in amongst the more gentle flowers.


The garden was full of carnations
Standing in elegant rows like delicate soldiers,
Or curling up together
In friendly circles,
Their silvery green leaves
Supporting each other.

That spicy sharpness of cloves,
That remembered scent of carnations
Filled the air,
Making me dream of other lives
Lived by fabulous people,
Which, one day, I would discover for myself.

But I never did.
For my own life elbowed those dreams
Out of the way
And gave me carnations.

                                      ©2019 Gwen Grant