POPPIES

Every year on Armistice Day, the 11th day of November, at
the eleventh hour, we remember all those who have died
or been hurt in war.  We remember, too, all those who have
been caught up in violence, who have trembled with pain,
wept with sorrow and grieved for the pain and loss of those
they love.  The poppy is the symbol of remembrance.

POPPIES

Lately, poppies are in the fields,
Beaming amongst the yellow corn,
Smiling in the tall tangle
Of wayward grasses and nubs of moody ragwort
In the hedgerows.
Careless, it seems, of the close threat
Of the dark, the bitter nettle,
Crowding their calm loveliness.

When rain comes, the nettle rejoices
As those lovely heads are beaten into the dust.
For a while, all seems lost,
Until they rise again.
Their scarlet pennants trembling
In the powerful forces ranged against them.
Trembling, yet standing firm.

Frail and beautiful, their petals
A flick of red on the painted air.
Beautiful and frail, as are all who stand guard
Against the nettled strength waiting its chance
To crush that which is fragile.

Yet the nettle has always misjudged the poppy,
Seeing only its frailty,
Blind to its endurance.
And this world is full of poppies
Shining their bright and lovely defiance
Into every place where darkness seeks dominion,
Their crimson glory forever seeding the earth with hope.

  © 2018 Gwen Grant

FUTURE WAITING


FUTURE WAITING

They were lying
On the edge of the world.

Sleepy eyes full of the sea
Curling all around them,
Freezing their toes with icy water.

Hands full of sand,
Like quicksilver falling

Grain by grain,
Changing the shape
Of their own particular future.

Lovers,
With no knowledge
Of the power of love.

No fear
Of its chameleon changing.

Unaware
That what is so named,
Has nameless identities.

©2021 Gwen Grant

LULLABY

LULLABY

Lullabies are for little children
Promised lovely dreams
And gentle wakening.

I am no child,
My dreams exhaust me
And I awaken tired and weary.

My lullaby is of plain song,
Stern, elusive, promising nothing
Yet, still singing.

Reciting
The long authority of hope,
Reminding
Of Love forever holding
The promise of a new beginning.

So lie you down and close your eyes,
Neither fret and do not cry,
Love itself will sing your lullaby.

©2021 Gwen Grant.

THE GARDENER

THE GARDENER

He loved flowers.
Couldn’t walk down the street
Without glancing into every garden.

Roses always a favourite,
Whilst the joyful gaiety of the delphinium
Convinced him once again
The sky had a lot to do with it.
Scattering the flower with a handful
           of bright blue pieces.
Tiny petals of freedom.


He loved most
The minty green perfection, leaf and stem
Of quiet carnation.
A delicate beauty wearing its best frilly dress
For a dance of stately, slow, seduction.

Whilst the wild and burning glory
Of the chrysanthemum,
Set his own heart blazing.

Once, he stopped in front of Henry’s garden,
The neglected patch of ground
Covered in tiny yellow dandelions,
Flowers which expected nothing
Turning a small dark square into a slice of sunshine.

Thinking of those long ago peace people
Thrusting flowers into barrels of guns,
He understood it was time to go,
The path to town unfurling in front of him.

©2021 Gwen Grant

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