That plump little woman standing in the doorway
Was, to all intents and purposes, simply opening up the shop.

But those who knew, those who watched
From the lace covered corners of an innocent window,
Knew she was waiting for her lover, her creamy cheeks
A sudden flush of pink as he came striding,
Strong, imposing and beautiful, smiling at her.
Someone else’s lover, yes, but longing to take her,
And she, longing to be taken.

The early morning street was silent, the brick and stone,
The wood and shining glass of the great Bank behind him
Waiting for him to return one minute to opening time.

Only the sudden scream of brakes of a lorry labouring past them
Disturbed the peace, echoing the scream of her own heart
As he stepped out of the shop doorway, one minute to nine.

Going back. Returning. Returning to where he would always come from,
That place where she didn’t exist. So, here she was then, the hidden widow.

©2022 Gwen Grant



I love the sea, so I have always been very fond of this Norse myth
of red monkeys under the ocean feeding iron bars to the serpent.  They
did this because when the world was made it was too heavy, so the serpent
was given the task of coiling around it to keep it together.  However, the
serpent would get hungry so the red monkeys were given the chore of
feeding it iron bars to stop it uncoiling in search of food, as that would
have been disastrous!


Little boat
On the horizon
Sailing away to nowhere

Rough winds
Send you skirling
Across impatient waters

Fiery suns
Smash colour rainbows
Into the roaring silence

Darkening skies
Threaten spiteful rain
To savage and to sink you

Under the ocean
Red monkeys feed iron bars
To the world’s serpent

Respect the serpent
Whose coils save the world
From abrupt and violent ending

Little boat, come home
Steer quietly into safe harbour
Where I am always waiting

To sail away to nowhere.

                          © 2018 Gwen Grant



Someone has laid out
These gravestones
In a pattern
Of long straight rows.
Edging them
With the beauty
Of green and living grass.

When it rains,
The marble stones gleam,
Speaking of life.
While the little bright flowers
Garlanding this place
Of rest and restoration,
Bring a wide hope
To those who walk
Among them.

The small grey church,
The stone angel
With its handful of stone leaf and flower
Are at home here,
In this place
Of fine shadow and memory.

Where the sunny air quivers
With the presence of Love.

©2022 Gwen Grant.


falling stars

When I was a girl, I was sent away to Kent, to a kind of hospital
school to make me better.  I was only there a year yet that year has given
me memories for a lifetime, good and bad.  The Kentish woods helped me
settle because they formed a link to my much loved woods of home. 


I walked the spine of morning
Whilst the birds slept.
Their little feathered bodies
Absorbing the melody of leaves,
The quiet breathing of grass,
Waking to the delicate sounds of light changing,
Their tiny anthems gathering strength
Enough to fill the woods with song.
Drowning these cool Kentish pathways
With joy and praise.

Where, last night, a falling star
Tumbled through the trembling leaves
Shoring up this world’s quiet beauty.

I saw it fall.
The little wren and the robin at my shoulder,
The nightingale singing into the morning light.
Our eyes clinging to the long radiance
Of Jupiter and Mars shining briefly
Onto that star ridden path.

Setting that quiet Kentish wood ablaze
With the glory of falling stars,
Of little birds singing.

                                 © 2020 Gwen Grant

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



desert blooming       

                  OUT OF THE DARKNESS

When it’s all over bar the shouting,
When the last tear has fallen
And the shocked heart has settled
Once more to its beating.
When the requiem for the lost
Has played its final bleak murmuring
And sorrow brings the broken to their knees,
That is when all that is left is love,
Love is all that is left.

But what good is left-over love
To the shattered heart?
What good is hope
Lying broken in the darkness?

Out of the darkness come the rains
To fill the dry beds of rivers
With water moving silky as young women sleeping,
Rolling and twisting, twisting and turning,
Their long bony feet stretching thinly behind them;
When trees come to leaf like young men leaping
Up branches to touch the first floor of heaven,
Strong hands full of leaves, now full of flowerings
And dry deserts blooming.  

So when all is said and done,
The requiem over and silence soft fallen.
That is when all that is left is love
                 And love is all.

                                                     ©2019 Gwen Grant