Thinking about all the places we’ve lived over the
years, I also remembered, given the circumstances,
just how easy it is to find yourself without a home.
The poet, Robert Frost, said that home was where they
had to take you in, words that stayed with me.
ALL TOGETHER, NOW!
If only I could sing that song again,
The old girl said to her reflection.
You know, the one about having
A safe place to live in.
Though, obviously, that’s not happening
Still, opening her mouth,
She tried a few notes.
Doh and Ray, anyway.
Admittedly, with a bit of a quaver,
Until, settling in,
She sang about home.
That place where the poet said
They had to take you in.
‘Not in my experience,’ the old girl sighed,
Then fell silent, considering.
At last, pushing aside
All her quavering and quivering,
Went on with her gravelly old singing,
Really getting into her stride.
Fearlessly singing the Blues on her lonesome,
Until, hustling up to the chorus,
She flung her arms wide.
All together, now!’ she cried,
And a thousand, thousand voices sang,
‘If only we had a home to be home in.’
©2017 Gwen Grant
THE SINGING TREE
The singing tree
Stands at the end
Of a long old garden,
Its airy beauty
Cherished by the wind.
Leaf and branch
The chosen hiding place
Of the sun.
Snow and ice,
Hard times and long drought
Fall upon it.
Shaking them away,
In its Being.
This is the tree
The angel visited
That long ago morning,
Wide face smiling
Among the leaves,
Letting the little shadows
Offer their shelter.
The singing tree
Sings of the quiet strength
Of wild places,
Of the certainty that hope
Can balance a mountain
On the tip of a finger.
©2022 Gwen Grant
A SLOW SHINE OF CELANDINE
It was on a day that held winter tightly to its bones,
When the whole world was frozen over,
That thin sunshine shone through that bony wood,
Lighting the little trembling ferns
Trembling in the bitter wind,
Gilding the sheath of the bony Birch
Until it shone like silver,
A light to glint and gleam in the new-lit darkness,
To remind us that through the dark times,
In older bones and in the bones of fragile children,
Love has always shone and gleamed and glinted.
Always bringing light to a dark world,
Always bringing love to overcome unimaginably dark forces.
In the dead leaves, in the dark moss,
In the narrow twisted roots of bony trees,
In the slow shine of tiny, tiny celandines all golden and tender,
Beaming beneath the darker and darker leaves,
Their golden heads lifting to the sun,
In the small green buds hidden in their papery sheaths,
Their slow explosions seeking eager life.
Into all this, the ringing of the shuttered bluebells
Send their silent, startling promise that love’s new life
Will always shine into the bony darkness,
Will always defeat it with its full and living sweetness.
©2018 Gwen Grant
At the bottom of the garden
In the middle of Autumn.
The singer singing loud as he could
As he strummed a chord or two
On an old ukelele.
Bites of melody
Taken out of the food of music.
The once quiet neighbourhood exploded.
Dogs barking, windows opening,
Loud voices demanding to know
What was going on.
No answer there.
For no-one knew what had caused
This wayward racket.
Although the sheep in the paddock
Were so charmed,
They pushed and shoved
Against the old broken down fence
Until they were in the garden.
Eating roses, dandelions, sweet daisies and clover.
While the swifts and the swallows
Soared so high, they were splashed with stars.
Darting by the trees,
Flaring around the eaves,
The music brought memories of their homeland,
Filling their beautiful bodies
With sunshine and shadow.
Tiny dark rockets bringing hope and inspiration,
And us trying to keep them close for a little while longer.
©2022 Gwen Grant
WAITING FOR SUNRISE
There they are,
Sheaves of hay lying in the fields
Like golden Lovers,
Waiting for sunrise,
Waiting for the sun’s warmth
To cradle their tired heads.
Make soft shadows of eyelashes
Lying quiet against their faces.
Don’t wake them,
Let them rest.
For over the thorn hedge
In the next field waiting,
Winter rests on its elbow,
Frosty fingers all set
To kill summer stone dead.
Here comes the sun.
Time enough now to shake their shoulders
Before the frost gets close enough to touch them.
Hold hands, Lovers.
Hold hands and run.
© 2019 Gwen Grant