rock and roll

 I went dancing a lot when I was young and as it was the time of Rock and Roll, that was part of the dancing I did, as well as the waltz, the tango and other favourites that had you up and on the floor from the first chord of music.  As a younger child, I was taught tap dancing and ballet and wanted nothing more but to dance.  I have such brilliant memories of those days and did tap dancing for years.  Whilst I still rock and roll, however, it’s in a very polite and sedate manner with a nod here and a twirl there whilst I’d absolutely much rather be whirling and swinging!


Buying roses and chrysanthemums
From the woman in the market,
I ask if there are wallflowers,
This morning up for sale.
Wallflowers! says she.  Why, there are bunches
In a box lying just around the corner,
Small and compact plants, to make a garden sing.
But there are no long and leggy gilly-flowers
With their scented velvet petals,
In reds and yellows, oranges, and crimsons dark as blood,
For no-one wants this lady.  No-one wants to take her.
She has to flower and blossom in the shadows on her own.

We were standing down along
From the old and ravaged dance hall
That used to be our golden home in all those years gone by
When quick as a curve in time,
The dance hall years sprang out at me.
With throb of drum and splintered icy glitter of guitar,
A fevered trumpet singing silk; the sax’s cool desires,
Then harsh and sweet the singer sang,
And so the dance raged on and on.
Rock!  Rock!  Rock!
Until the street began to swing,
With fast ecstatic dancers in fast ecstatic dance.

No wallflowers in that dance hall, no little flower alone,
For short and compact, long and leggy,
They’re out there dancing on their own.
Rolling with the rest of them, rocking with the best of them,
The swirling, whirling girls with their flaring, sexy petticoats,
On their moving, grooving heels so high; stiletto thin,
They can balance on a silver coin,
Rocking angels dancing on the head of any pin.
Hot rock with grace, with love and passion,
For though they think they own the dance,
They know the dance owns them.

No wallflower lad stands all alone
As Princely in his thick soled,
Suede, and mighty brothel creepers,
Cool and smooth in bootlace tie and Lamming gown,
With Tony Curtis curl of hair slickly curling down.
Young lions they stand, fierce, on the prowl.
Aloof and fabulous in their time,
Until the music bolds their blood,
Guitar and trumpet, sax and drum,
When flesh and skin and bone give in,
To make the dance hall sway and swing
To flirty, dirty, rock and roll.
                             ©2017 Gwen Grant


spring hedgrow

We saw this hedgerow on an evening run when we were in Scotland for a few days.  It was so beautiful, it made me want to do a Sound of Music and run through it barefoot!
Such hedgerows were common when I was young and we would gather a couple of cornflowers and penny moons but leave the ragwort alone for it has a harsh scent to it.
They don’t last long but a tiny bunch of these flowers in one of the old glass milk bottles looked lovely.


That evening, the country road
Was a deep soft grey
Where nothing could be properly seen,
Only the lovely shadows of bush and tree
And the soft blue haze of cornflowers
Studding the hedgerow. 

Then the intermittent dull gold
Of the ragwort,
Lifting sudden head and shoulders
Over the pale penny moons.
The whole so beautiful,
That little country road
Will live with me for ever. 

                            ©2020 Gwen Grant




Icarus must have fallen into our garden last night.
He must have landed with a thump,
Knocking all the feathers off his wings
Because the grass shone
With soft cream clover,
The startling embroidered white of daisies
And in the small brown pots
That were empty at dusk,
Grew tiny iceberg roses.

Pale and pretty as moonshine.

                               © 2020 Gwen Grant


quiet cottage


The space between words
Is a place of great comfort,
Where the mind can rest
And the eye assess
What is to come.
To prepare for the future.
So it is with prayer.

For prayer is the space
Between being and doing.
A place of great quietness
Where the heart can find ease,
Mind and soul
Find new strength
To face whatever lies in front of us.

                                   ©2019 Gwen Grant



Fog on the fields this morning,
So dense, I could only see
Shapes and shadows
Heading towards me.
Only hear the lovely papery rattle
Of dry leaves
Hanging on a bit longer,
Before the wind
Blows them and the fog
Into oblivion.

Standing at the fence, listening
To the cat’s tiny lappings
Of icy rainwater,
I feel the wind’s new strength,
Triumphant after its cleansing
Of field and hedgerow,
Pulling me and pushing,
Pushing me and shoving,
Until it almost bowls me over.

But I hold on,
With fingers strong and fierce
As wood, new leaf and berry.
For I have a lot to do
Before I allow any storm to blow me
Into oblivion.

©2022 Gwen Grant