We have a favourite place in Scotland that overlooks the River Tay, so
we often just sit there and watch the water.  The Tay is also known as
the ‘Silver’ Tay and it really does shine silver.  It’s a very beautiful river.

Behind where we sit, there is an Old People’s Care Home and the ladies
are often sat in their little conservatory.  Although they are old and
sometimes fragile, you can still see in them the lovely young women
they once were.
That they can see the Tay, too, must be a tremendous pleasure to them.


The swans are out again,
Shimmering on the dark water,
Dipping into the splashes of moonlight
They become moonlight themselves,
Every feather sculpted in light.
Little white snowflake swans
Drifting down the silent river.

Behind us lies the Care Home,
Where glass walls welcome the lovely moon
And one lone bed
With a quilt as red as roses,
Lies empty in a corner.    

The old ladies who live there,
Watching the white and sparkling swans
Sailing on the glittering water,
Dreamily send their pretty, remembered bodies,
Down that golden moonlit path.
Frail little birds
Who soon overtake the swans.

This river and heaven
Must have a lot in common.              

©2017 Gwen Grant



One rainbow for her
Was nowhere near enough,
Not when she came from people
Who ate rainbows for breakfast.

Piled up like pancakes,
Pushing one after another
Into their waiting hearts.

More than aware that not one dream
Had much chance
Of coming true.

Yet shrugging her shoulders,
Turning her back on statistics,
Piling up rainbows, anyway.

Just on the off-chance
That her rainbows
Were as strong as she was.

©2022 Gwen Grant

If you wish to use any of my work, please contact me.
All work is copyright.

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



Lying in this old house,
Floorboards creaking
Even when the room is empty,
I am a stranger
Standing in strange moonlight
Pouring through the big old windows
Whose thin glass
Distorts the centuries.

I am certain ghosts live here.
At home in dark corners,
Curled up in sly cupboards.

This house is a city
Of stone and brick and oak.
Doors big as cathedrals,
Rooms long enough
To fade at the edges.

If only I could climb
Up the vast chimney.
Escape into the woods
Alive with bird song.

I’ll keep quiet about the pale ladies
Parading up and down the staircase,
Shimmering in their lovely dresses.
Not so lovely when they catch sight
Of anyone living.

Then they scowl until their skulls crack open.

©2022 Gwen Grant.



Closing on midnight,
With the great starry fields
Lying still and quiet in front of me,
Moonlight falling like water
On the silent trees, the dark furrows,
The creaking ice puddles shining,
Holding stars in their frozen silver,
I see the first ghosts
Of those I have known
Drift across the white horizon,
Mist folding them into sparkling shadows
Slipping through my fingers
When I reach out to touch them,
Take them home.

They don’t go far but wait for me,
Blowing the years in front of them,
Opening this corner and that
To let me see again,
All those I have loved.
All those I love still.

Until the snow finally hides them
And I turn for home,
The trees shivering in sympathy,
Anointing my lonely head
With cold tears of their own.

                          ©2020 Gwen Grant