I expect Aliens already know how to fly,
That this is how they will come to our attention.
Just drifting out of the sky
Along with the falling leaves,
Transfixed by horror
At what we have allowed to happen.

Well, I guess they probably
Have the same emotions we do,
In which case, horror
Is the only possible response
To the hate shown in the world.

Maybe they won’t stay.
Unable to embrace a people
Who have so harshly destroyed
The earth, the sky, the air, the seas.
All the lovely things they were given.

Maybe nothing would persuade them to stay
And they would drift away
Exactly how they came.

Not wanting to be associated 
With the shame of so much killing.

© 2021 Gwen Grant.



By Autumn
We were ready,
The big oak drawer
Full to the brim with clippings
Of old wool coats, moth eaten skirts,
Hopeless socks and torn cotton shirts,
All mixed up with that candy striped dress
Big enough to wear last Whitsuntide,
Too small now, washed out and cast aside.

Over Summer
We had been
Washing old potato sacks, giving them an iron,
Sewing them together with strong dark twine.
Pegging all the clippings in until every colour beamed.
We made circles, squares and one green diamond
Out of a worn coat sleeve.

Then pushing the big table with its red plush pompoms
to the door,
We laid our beautiful new rag rug down on the scrubbed
white wooden floor.
When everyone agreed, it was the loveliest rug our street
had ever seen.

©2021 Gwen Grant



My mother was small and fierce,
Hair so long and dark
It was thought
Night had fallen early
On her shoulders.

She wore flowered aprons
With big pockets,
To put lost chickens in.
Small, yellow chickens
Almost new born,
Who pecked the grains of corn
Lying in the folds
Of a lovely cotton geranium.

Her wedding ring was gone,
Lost among the garden potatoes.
She wept about that.
Tried to climb the tree
To see if the magpie
Had it in her nest.
For magpies love gold,’ she said.
But we all knew the nest was empty.

For years and years,
She would rub that ringless finger,
Until I was certain
That at some time
The ring had been found

And my small, fierce mother
Had simply cheated science
By rubbing it into invisibility.

©2021 Gwen Grant



October now,
Bringing the first sighting of Winter
Leaning on the fence
Like any old farmer
Looking over his fields.

The fox,
Running for cover,
Leaves his tracks
Across the set-aside meadow
Full of weeds,
Thistles and the odd potato
From last year’s crop.

Thinking it over
Like any old farmer,
Perches on the farm gate
Planning a harvest
Of icy nights and bitter mornings,
Of frost bitten fingers and frozen water,
Of glittering trees and silver beauty

And white, white air.

                                   ©2021 Gwen Grant.