KEEP AWAY FROM THE WATER

KEEP AWAY FROM THE WATER

There is no scent of roses here
As there was in that quiet Cathedral.
No flowers at all.
Only the drunks hiccuping home, singing,
Keeping well away from the grey and hungry water
Hissing right up to the sea wall,
All frosted and glittering.

Bitter sleet whipping their cold faces,
Whitening their hair,
Whitening the streets around them,
As if spitefully denying any hope
Of warmth and peace to come.

For these men and women staggering
Down the frozen pavements,
Are reluctant to go home.
Reluctant to leave the world behind them.
Boozily loving each other,
Wanting to sing as loud as they can.

Singing without thinking,
Knowing the words of songs learnt in childhood,
Knowing that drunk or sober,
Life is for the living.

Just keep away from the water.

©2021 Gwen Grant

TULIPS

                TULIPS

These Tulips are a dazzle
Of tethered sunshine,
Silky lemon petals trembling
In the slow moving air.

Courteous flowers,
Bowing to each other,
Bending low to the waiting room
Their stems gently curving,
Lifting the green and lovely leaves
That we might see
The fabulous hidden life
Waiting for us all.

                                       © 2019 Gwen Grant

ON TOP OF THE HILLS

ON TOP OF THE HILLS

The hills are old and cold
And green.

We have left the world behind.

There is nothing up here
But sky.

We’re so high,
With one quick jump,
We could land on the sickle moon.

And rock ourselves
To sleep.

                               ©2011 Gwen Grant

PRIVATE KEEP OUT!  by Gwen Grant
published by Penguin Vintage  Children’s Classics
available in paperback and as ebook


NIGHT WORK

NIGHT WORK

A bitter night of frost,
Of frozen snow and ice so thin
It came in on the wind.
Sharp as knives, cutting uncovered faces,
Splitting flesh on poor cold fingers,
Promising a day of misery
With beauty in its pocket.

Down the long perishing road,
Houses huddled tight together,
Looking for warmth.
Brick walls cold as stone.
Frost rimed windows and doors tight closed.
Tall chimneys carrying the tiny warmth
Of dying fires into the freezing dark.

Into this cold silence,
Whispered words, poems and half-remembered prayers
Drift like wisps of smoke.
Dreams and reality
Bringing another world to this world.

Bringing hope
For as long as those
Who do the night work,
Work on.

©2021 Gwen Grant

GREY GEESE FLYING


GREY GEESE FLYING

Late afternoon,
The geese only now flying
Over the meadow.

Their faint calls
Barely breaking the silence.

Yet, the cat,
Supposedly sleeping,
Instantly lifts his head.
Dandelion paws
Darting down the garden,
Gold eyes burning
With the desire to fly,
To catch those
Faraway geese

And kill them.

©2021 Gwen Grant