THOSE BATS!

 













THOSE BATS!

One second beyond twilight
And the bats are out again.

I wish I could rhapsodize
Over their velvety wings,
Their amazing structure,
Not to mention their tiny sharp eyes
Like chips of quartz
Shining in the light.
But I can’t.

And if they really are more scared of me
Than I am of them,
Why is it only me flying
Down the garden path,
Slamming and locking
The back door behind me?

And why can I hear bat laughter
Right through the night
Until early in the morning?

                    ©2020 Gwen Grant

CHILDREN WALKING

refugee child

When I was ten and very poorly, I was sent to a kind of hospital school three
hundred miles away from my home to get better.  I felt so lost, unhappy and
alone, I ran away on a night thick with snow, determined to get back home.
I’d read all the stories of children on their own – Hansel and Gretel, Snow
White, the children in the Bible constantly on the move and they consoled
me. 
But here we are, decades later, and like the children in the stories I
told myself all those years ago, they are still being pursued by the inhumanly
vicious.  
When will it end?

   CHILDREN WALKING

That night, in wicked December,
When the moon shone
Through the dark tops of trees
Onto the sparkling snow.
The sea rolling over the silent sand,
The water so cold and slow
Even Neptune was frozen,
Frightened by the frost hardened foam. 

That was the night she began
The three hundred mile walk home.
Sure it would take no time at all. 

She was sick of the great old house
In dark shadow behind her,
With its white beds, white walls
And fierce purple uniforms.
She wanted to sleep in her own bed,
With the candle on the window sill,
Unlit, but ready for any emergency.
A bad dream.  The eerie sound
Of a bogeyman almost upon her. 

As she walked, she remembered
All the stories she had heard
Of children walking.
Walking back to their own home,
Looking for a new one.
Some together.   Some like her, alone.
Walking through flame and fire and snow,
Through desolation. 

She didn’t get home that night,
Neither did they.
Even Neptune almost didn’t make it.
But they remember,
Those children walking alongside each other,
That night in wicked December. 

And still they walk,
Told in new stories of new suffering,
New desolation,
Of new bogeymen now upon them,
Told in the old story of the breakdown of love.  

                                © 2020 Gwen Grant

DUCKS AND CHANCES

ducks in garden

DUCKS AND CHANCES

The last time we were flooded,
Our garden became a sudden pond
For the three ducks who flew down
To swim in this new and exciting
Stretch of water.

The cat, furious, hissed at them
Through the rain-swept window,
Paws trying to push through the glass.

But as I watched them,
Regretting the lavender and philadelphus,
I decided that from now on
I would be like those ducks and take on
All unexpected chances,
Refusing to be chased away
Until I had at least paddled in the water.

                 ©2020 Gwen Grant

  BLUE TIME IN SPRING TIME

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, one year later, we’ve been in lockdown and still couldn’t
get back for Spring but, as I said then, this is where I want to
visit again, even though we are heading for Autumn.

BLUE TIME IN SPRING TIME 

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
explosion,
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