I love these two poets.  The first time I read a Ginsberg poem, it was like reading
in a burst of sunshine.  The fabled Kerouac just enchanted me, then and now, even
with all the brilliant poets working today.  God love us, they both bring champagne
to the party.


Grey sunflowers, and poets
Sitting in old railway sidings
Alongside huge locomotives,
The clattering and banging
Of wrecked machinery
A perfect backdrop to a new world
In the making.

Kerouac and Ginsberg
Loving the whole, the tiniest bit of it.
Ginsberg breathing in grey sunflowers,
Remembering them for all those coming after.

Imprinting them on the fabric
Of that new world
Waiting just around the corner.

                             © 2020 Gwen Grant

All material on this blog is copyright but if anyone wants to use part of it,
then please get in touch.   http://www.gwengrant.co.uk

Long listed – Carnegie Medal.
Published – Heinemann and Collins.
Now in Kindle.


Our little town is in the doldrums. It was always a modest town
with appealing and useful shops. Now, after these last three years
of pandemic and closures, it still fights back with humour and resilience

and I still love it.



This morning,
When the old ladies
Wearing their duvet coats
And bad attitudes
Banged their walking sticks
On the hard pavements,
Complaining about the cold,

The old men
Fastened up their jackets
Trying to work out
How they had got so old
Without anyone warning them.
Every now and again
Hustling into the Bookies
To place a Bet
That, ten-to-one, would win them
Enough to buy back
Their days of being young
And meaning something
In the world again.

Well, this was when
That lad and his lass
Began to sing,
Coins rattling
Into their empty money hat
Lying on the cold ground
In front of them.
Enough to buy them hot coffee,
A slice of warm pizza
And a bit of encouragement
To keep going, anyway,
Until they were well past
Any danger of growing old
With lined and cheery faces.
Or not.

For ‘old’ was a word not in their lexicon
And they had no intention
Of it ever claiming their attention.
s if!  Eh?!! As if!

I don’t think so!

©2023 Gwen Grant

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


Anemones are so understatedly beautiful until they flower,
then the deep glowing colours shine.  There’s a strip of waste land alongside a house we pass when we go into town which someone has adopted.  The gardener has planted iris, primrose, violas, poppies, daffodils and lots of other flowers and, always amongst them, the anemone.  Rich burning reds, deep azure blues and perfect whites.      


Another scratchy night,
With the moon hiding and clouds
Covering the stars.
Bitter thoughts bringing bitter tears,
With memory offering no comfort
Or consolation. 

Maybe there is a loving hand
To hold your hand,
And maybe not.
Maybe you will remember
Those who once loved you,
And maybe you will forget
How loved you once were. 

But when memory fails,
When peace slides out of reach
And touch is never going to be the same again,
You will find strength
In the love that shows itself
In the tenderness of anemones,
Bunched in a small bowl,
Standing on a dark windowsill. 

                               © 2017 GWEN GRANT




Silent fields, and a bitter night,
And us, trying to keep warm
Under a frozen sky.
The air so cold, a tap
Would shatter it into shards of darkness
To fall around our feet,
And in that star-lit, owl frozen silence,
The hushed dark call carried thinly
Across the still and sleeping fields.

We, so quiet, the red-gold shadow
Of a fox padded by us
All unaware of our waiting,
Its paw pressing the frosted grass
Into dark and hungry prints
Along the path.

Then the silence was broken
By the soft whisper of wind
Drifting snowflakes down the feathered sky,
To quilt the winter ground,
And, somewhere, in that bitter icy world
Someone offered a word of hope.

As long as hope is in the world, then,
We, cold and frozen in our waiting,
Can warm ourselves at the fire of love.

                                                      © 2018 Gwen Grant