At the bottom of Pit lane
Stands the statue that isn’t there,
Glorious in its grace and dignity.
A catch of men coming off shift,
Sunlight piercing their helmets,
Pickaxes and tired faces.
All sculpted from black coal,
Bits of brass and coal dust.
In Spring, buttercups shine their steel toe-caps.
In Winter, snow warms their cold shoulders.
In any time, they forge their own strong
and living presence.
©2020 Gwen Grant.
A bitter night,
With Christmas around the corner.
Snow, freezing as it was falling,
Hiding the paths
Through this unfamiliar wood.
Yet, touching the dead ferns
Curling in on themselves.
Catching the holly
Shining darkly through the snow,
I open my arms
To these unknown trees glittering
With starlight and splintered rainbows.
I long for my own home wood,
Where paths are beaten
Into fallen leaves and shadows.
Yet this place of tall trees,
Of wide spaces,
Of lost and scary paths covered in snow,
Hiding lost and scary creatures,
Has found a place in my heart.
For these are things of the earth
And their loveliness enchants me.
© 2020 Gwen Grant
HARVEST AND THE SCHOLAR
Now is the time of the dreaming harvest,
When love walks the quiet garden,
Resting under the apple tree and blessing
All the little miracles.
Blessing the black berry, dark as night and beautiful.
Blessing the hips and haws, their tiny tongues of fire,
Startling crimson, burning red in the tight green hedgerows.
Blessing the fat yellow apples, ripe upon the tree,
Yellow as the mid-day sun rising.
The scholar sits in front of love, frayed to the bone with living,
Flayed to the soul with loss and longing,
Lamenting lost harvests when all the years were deserts,
All the days were dust, and the wintered wood of lost hopes trembling,
Made the heart a place where harvest was never going to happen.
Yet love murmured only of love.
Blessing the scholar; blessing this, the fathomless miracle.
Murmuring of tiny joys that once had starred the deserts,
Murmuring of love and small horns of plenty
That once had sprung from the dust of sightless days,
Unseen. Unknown. Forgotten.
‘Remember,’ breathed love. ‘Remember.’
And, remembering, the scholar took from the hand of love
The wintered wood, now bright with fruit and leaf and blossom,
Bright now with hope and love and passion,
Thanks giving for this living harvest safely gathered in.
© 2016 Gwen Grant
Nothing can stop love,
It goes through fire and flood and rock,
Through flesh and skin and blood,
Burns through hate and will never stop
Until hate has turned to love.
© 2020 Gwen Grant
She was such a neat and tidy person,
Compact and sturdy.
Like a mature somebody.
Some days wearing all one colour,
All blue. All yellow.
All green. All red.
And sometimes she went complex,
Wearing dots and stripes,
Zigzags and circles.
A rainbow of colour
Lighting up the concrete.
People coped with single colours,
With sequinned sunglasses,
With stripes and dots, circles and zigzags
But absolutely could not get on with
Puffball skirts and false eyelashes,
Lipstick slashes and whisky kisses.
This, they said resentfully,
Was a woman acting out of character.
No-one can put up with that for long,
A concrete turning into an abstract.
Act your age, they demanded.
She just laughed, knowing she was already acting it.
Refusing to be pinned down.
Refusing to be identified.
I am, she said,
A Kandinsky and a Constable.
Get used to it.
©2020 Gwen Grant