Closing on midnight
With the great starry fields
Lying still and quiet before me,
Moonlight falling like water
On the silent trees,
The dark earth furrows,
The creaking ice puddles,
Flickering on the ghosts of all those
Caught up in war.

Oh God, even the other world weeps
To see them drift over the empty fields,
Mixed up in their uniforms, their torn coats,
Their boots and slippers, their pretty shoes,
All creaking across the long top acres
Of bone cold stone.

Sleet tears freezing their eyes,
Frost settling on their faces
To shimmer in the half bright starlight,
Aware now of what was in front of them,
One by one dropping into the freezing mole hills
Littering the grass.

The accommodating earth tucking them in,
Nice and cosy.
Their frozen eyelids slowly closing,
Letting them sleep for ever and ever.
My own tears hurting.

                                     ©2023 Gwen Grant



My mother’s friend had long yellow hair,
Her eyes so blue, they gave me
A shock of delight whenever she looked at me,
As if a Gentian was flowering in her smile.

I loved her very much
And thought she had probably escaped
From a story book.
Turning the pages over so fast,
She was flipped into the real world.

Some great artist had drawn her,
Made her as beautiful as they could
Then set her free.

The thing I liked best was to stare at her
For as long as I was allowed to.
For as long as she would let me.
Until my mother frowned me
Into remembering my manners,
Reminding me it was unkind to stare.

All the same, I quietly held
A peck of her skirt,
A pinch of her jumper,
Just to make sure that if she
Did change back into her fairy story

She would have to take me with her.

                                          ©2023 Gwen Grant




History is like a shed
We can shelter in
When present life is tough,
And the future
Doesn’t look up to much, either.

Mathematics is like a shed
We can shelter in
When nothing in our life adds up,
And the sum of love
Equals a big fat nothing

Hope is like a shed
We can shelter in,
For Hope is always at home
With the kettle on.
This is a good shed to live in.

The mathematics of love
Are always the same.
Love plus love equals love,

Until the sum of love adds up
To hope for us all.

Children first.

                               © 2017 Gwen Grant


bluebells & dandelions

The last time I posted this poem, I was just out of hospital and stuck in a wheelchair,
so this place was just a lovely memory.  Now, three years later, we’ve been in lockdown,
my husband has had a Stroke and is slowly recovering and we still haven’t been
able to get back there for Spring but, we’re working towards it.


Walking over them, I half expected to fall
Into the great blue gaiety of a perfect sunny sky,
For the small blue flowers, no bigger than a grain of corn,
Were blue stars under my feet, their eternal beauty
Starring this world through the gentle hand of love. 

There is a deep tenderness in this wood, a deep love,
For here the purple flower, there, the red.
Now a creamy bank of butter yellow blossom gleaming
in the shadows,
Delighting, enchanting, lifting up to their own joyful gaiety
All those who walk under the dappling leaves.
The trees themselves swaying with delighted laughter
At this sunny celebration.

Beyond the blue flowers,
Beyond the pale grey stone and faded tags of leafy gold,
A fish leaps up through the sunlit water,
Glittering blue against the brown washed banks of the lake
drying in the morning sun,
And a swan glides by in slow, grave beauty. 

Down this path the dandelion, that shock headed golden
Almost touches the red petals of a heavy blossomed tree,
A tiny goldfinch darting amongst them.
In the distance, a flash of blue as a jay flies to a far horizon,
Whilst a rich darkness shows up the blue black crow.
The squirrel pauses on its tiny orange feet
And the drake flies low, a dash of iridescent blue.
Then the blowing leaves whirl their tiny shadows under the trees
And the blue wash of bluebells turns the forest floor into a
dark blue sea. 

And in a thousand, thousand places,
In the bramble and in the thorn,
In the dark silhouette of twigs lying flush against the blue sky,
In the fallen flowers lying on the grass,
In the purple and the red and the water floating blue.
The blue bells ring this steady proof of love. 

                                                       © 2018 Gwen Grant