bird in rain


       RAINY DAYS 

Rain Birds
Balancing on the washing line,
Until the wind
Blows them off. 

Rain witches
Swooping down in showers
Of grey drops
And dying leaves. 

Rain ghosts
Tapping on the window,
Not stopping
Until someone lets them in. 

Bringing old memories made new.
Your hair beaded
With raindrops,
Your smile
utting the grey day
To shame. 

Open the window,

                 © 2020 Gwen Grant




There they are,
Sheaves of hay lying in the fields
Like golden Lovers,
Waiting for sunrise,
Waiting for the sun’s warmth
To cradle their tired heads.
Make soft shadows of eyelashes
Lying quiet against their faces. 

Don’t wake them,
Let them rest.
For over the thorn hedge
In the next field waiting,
Winter rests on its elbow,
Frosty fingers all set
To kill summer stone dead. 

Here comes the sun.
Time enough now to shake their shoulders
Before the frost gets close enough to touch them.  

Hold hands, Lovers. 
Hold hands and run.
                                                    © 2019 Gwen Grant


femm fatale

Femme Fatale by Kees Van Dongen

        THE ARTIST

The artist is a liar
About painting only what he sees
In front of him.
Slick lies of seduction slipping from his lips,
Falling from his tongue,
Like leaves falling from a wintered tree.
He tells so many lies
It’s a wonder he doesn’t go blind.

That naked breast she offers
On fingers thin and sharp as boning knives
Is not offered for free.
Painting the aureole so dark
Only the juice of damsons could create
Such a full, rich, bruising.

This dance hall dame, remote and lethal,
Puts no value on any part of her body.
It’s all for sale
For a wad of the folding stuff.

The artist rhapsodised about her hair,
Her eyes, her implacable face.
But no-one on earth could mistake
That sullen, knowing mouth
For the mouth of a woman
Who has given in to seduction.

I’ll say!
That’s the mouth of a woman
Keeping her trap shut
And counting the money.

The artist is a liar,
Telling so many lies
It’s a wonder he doesn’t go blind.
Certain that this painting is so beautiful
People will fight to have it on their wall.

When, all the time, he knows he has painted
Her ancient and watchful soul,
All bandaged about with suffering.

                             ©2019 Gwen Grant


magnolia tree



The magnolia next door
Has been chopped down.
Never again will it scatter
Its blossom over the grass.

Nor will any wind
Bent on mischief,
Blow its silky petals
Into the water.

Letting the flowers
Dance on the glittering surface
Until they fragment
In the sun.

All that has gone now.
Caught for ever
In the sad and watchful eye.

                           ©2020 Gwen Grant



I just got so exasperated with the poem I was planning to write.  I could see
it in my mind’s eye. I could even hear it but I just could not write it. We
were planning a trip to Scotland at the time and I thought maybe that
was where my poem had gone, on the train before ours.  So the poem
that got away was probably perfect! Leaving me with this one.


The last time I saw that poem
It was getting on a train
For the far north.
It likes it up there,
Crunching about in the ice and snow,
Climbing up small mountains,
Picking up the odd abandoned word
Or lovely phrase
Lying amongst the grey stones and heather.

By nightfall, it’ll be in its room, changing,
Emptying its pockets onto the bed,
Choosing a word to sparkle here,
A phrase to quietly glow there,
Getting set for a night of changing partners.
Until all scrubbed up, brushed down
And wildly excited,
It’s finally ready to dance.

Any time now,
I expect that poem to come home.

                                             © 2019 Gwen Grant