The pheasant
In her plain brown dress
Stands still and silent
On the frost,
Thick now
As once fast fallen snow.

Fog, thin as water,
Pulled out the sun
To shine
A pale and fretful fist
Of warmth,
That never touched
The frozen grass.

Sheep watch,
As wild and hungry cat
Leaves paw prints
Down a shining path
Making straight
For that plain brown dress,
Startling now
With blood.

Pheasant small
And plumply fat,
Deny the wild and hungry cat
His breakfast.

Run, little pheasant, run.

© 2021 Gwen Grant

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


 Femme Fatale by Kees Van Dongen

The artist is a liar
About painting only what he sees
In front of him.
Slick lies of seduction slipping from his lips,
Falling from his tongue,
Like leaves falling from a wintered tree.
He tells so many lies
It’s a wonder he doesn’t go blind.

That naked breast she offers
On fingers thin and sharp as boning knives
Is not offered for free.
Painting the aureole so dark
Only the juice of damsons could create
Such a full, rich, bruising.

This dance hall dame, remote and lethal,
Puts no value on any part of her body.
It’s all for sale
For a wad of the folding stuff.

The artist rhapsodised about her hair,
Her eyes, her implacable face.
But no-one on earth could mistake
That sullen, knowing mouth
For the mouth of a woman
Who has given in to seduction.

I’ll say!
That’s the mouth of a woman
Keeping her trap shut
And counting the money.

The artist is a liar,
Telling so many lies
It’s a wonder he doesn’t go blind.
Certain that this painting is so beautiful
People will fight to have it on their wall.

When, all the time, he knows he has painted
Her ancient and watchful soul,
All bandaged about with suffering.

                             ©2019 Gwen Grant



I love gates.
Gates are the very things
I am fond of.
Not the huge iron gates
Crackling with steel mesh
And threats,
To keep you in,
But the lovely little
Wooden gates,
Awash with tall grasses
And latches,
To let you out.
These gates, I love.

©2020 Gwen Grant

Thankfully, I now have limited access to notifications.
Unfortunately, I still cannot access any notifications
generated over this past week but, hopefully,
this situation will be sorted soon. Thanks to all.


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.


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