field of grasses

Some years ago, a friend of mine painted a picture which I loved so much, I wrote the following poem about it. The painting, colours and marks, forms and shapes, had a shining overall beauty, one glorious image, capturing the loveliness all around us.


Here is the true glory of the world.
Here, in the little fluting birds,
In the first quiet gifts of grass and herbs
Love gave to us.
Here lies the true glory.

If you have never seen it, or seeing it, dismissed it,
Look again.
Let this great carnival of green and gold,
Of sunlight and arched shadow,
Of leaves and trees and branches invite you in
Until you are captivated, seized, submerged and drowned
In the worlds created for us,
As freed by the beauty of the sunflower
As we are set free by the grace of love.

Here, in the sunny alfalfa and rye,
In the corn grass and blue grass,
In the little quaking grass,
Lie our little quaking hearts, stunned, half weeping, half fainting,
Before this certain proof of love’s existence.

Parsley, dill, mint and marjoram,
Sweet herbs foaming like a green sea,
Yellow flowered and sharp scented,
Given to seam the earth with fine roots,
Thin as cotton,
Unbreakable as purpose and meaning,
Sewing and pleating the world together,
Setting an example of love.

From our places, from the minarets and spires,
The domes and spaces of these earthly temples
Wherein we live,
Where what we are is cocooned and opposed to change,
Resolute and unchanging, we resist love.
Yet only through love can we be changed,
To send our voices fluting like birds,
Leaping and rising, soaring up to the giver
Of sweet grasses and herbs.
We leap up!  We leap up!
Knowing what we are
But wanting what we could be.
Giver of herbs and grasses, make us what we should be.

© 2017 Gwen Grant


byland Abbey

             OLD GLORY

These tall old walls to faith
And shadows crowding empty doorways,
Windows open to the world,
Still have an aloof calm.
What can we, shimmers of starlight, get from them?

Cold stones and old glory.

                © 2020 Gwen Grant


swirling stream

                                          WATER LILIES 

Water glides along like the bodies
Of young women,
Lazily turning, sleepily drifting
Through the shallows and the deeps,
Weaving their lovely translucent limbs
Into oblivion.

When they awaken,
The world wakes with them,
Colour flooding the river bed
Where the long feathered strands
Of green weed
Curl around brown and silver bodies,
Turning them into flowers.

                 © 2020 Gwen Grant