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


Although when I was a girl, we lived in a very small house at the furthest
reaches of the town, most of our life was lived outside. Tractors were very
much a part of this life and I loved them.  They trundle beautifully about
our streets and whenever I see one, I always have an almost irresistible urge
to go out and pat it.

         TO A TRACTOR

Massey Ferguson.

A red tractor so lovely,
My hand stroked
Its scarlet glory.

Trundling across
The strawed ground,
Its great wheels
Dignified in every
Pleat and perfection.

An inspired creation.
A glorious construction.

Which, one day, I hope,
Will carry me home.

                ©2023 Gwen Grant


flower festival

Every summer, there are flower festivals all over the world.  Lots of
glorious roses and Sweet Peas and the one flower my Dad didn’t
like – the gladioli, those tall, statuesque flowers of lovely colours.  He
normally liked pretty much all flowers but I think the dislike for this
particular flower began when he was brought a bunch when he was ill in
hospital.  As he had to lie down all the time, they towered over him and
made him uneasy.  Winter now and all flowers are waiting in the wings
for the sun.   I’d buy my Dad a bunch of carnations if he was here.  I
saw green ones the other day but I think they were dyed and he wouldn’t care
for that.  He would love a bunch of picked-as-they come carnations though and
I would love to give them to him.

                                FLOWER FESTIVAL

The day we couldn’t smell the roses
It was almost cold,
And the flowers were standing around
In buckets,
Long green stems shining.  

Men and women were putting those roses
Into a Catherine wheel of colour,
And in a far corner
Where there was cool shadow,
Children were pinning rosebuds
Into a cushion.
Yet still we couldn’t smell them.

But as we stood there
Eating our marmite sandwiches,
Sunshine suddenly leapt through the tall windows,
Petals unfurled,
And as if someone had pressed a plunger
The whole room exploded
With warmth and scent and colour.

Then we could smell the roses.

                                                          ©2018 Gwen Grant   

PRIVATE KEEP OUT!  by Gwen Grant
published by Penguin Vintage  Children’s Classics
available in paperback and as an ebook



Stanley Price and his Mam
Boarded an aeroplane
To fly to Canada.
We all wished
We could have gone with them.
But Stanley said
There was only room
For one more and that was him.

Anyway, he went on, knowing us lot,
One by one, we’d all get eaten by bears
Five minutes after landing.
Couldn’t chance it, Stanley said,
Shaking his new Canadian head.

Whilst we drifted away,
Ribbons of love and living
Tying us together
For practically ever.

Even though none of us ever saw
Stanley Price and his Mam again.

                 ©2022 Gwen Grant