THE CORNFIELDS AT PRAYER

From my bedroom window, I can see stretches of corn fields and walking on the paths alongside these fields, I can always hear the corn fields whispering.  These whispers sound so private and yet because the sound fills the air, they also seem meant for everyone who is there to listen.

That particular night, which was cool and quiet, leaning on the windowsill, with the yellow moon picking up the gold of the corn, took me back to when I was a girl, helping with the harvest, remembering how those thin golden spears prickled when they came into contact with skin. There was an enchantment there then and it’s still there now.

As I stood there, I thought of cornfields and other fields of grain growing all over the world and it seemed to me that these fields with their precious harvests were as involved with the world as we are.  If that was the case, then, for the first time, I knew that the corn was whispering its love and hope and concern for the world, exactly as we do ourselves.

      THE CORNFIELDS AT PRAYER

So the long cool night begins
And through the quiet darkness
I thought I heard the corn stalks talk
Of all the whispered night-time prayers
Drifting over the fields,
Setting the corn to its own prayer whispering.

Then I heard the corn stalks talk
Of all the little living prayers.
The lovely hares leaping
And the small creatures seeking
The bread of life in the earth beneath them,
And quiet lovers walking the poppied grasses,
Breathing promises and prayers
Into the listening darkness.

I know I heard the corn stalks talk
Of the old traditions of hay-making and stooking,
Of sowing and reaping,
Of the laughter of bare armed innocents driven 
to distraction
By those thin shining spears prickling and stippling,
Until they almost longed to leave
The praying cornfields whispering.

I expect, though, that the corn stalks talk
Of different things
On the bleak plains of grief, for instance,
Or on the long shades of despair,
Taking for their own the bone bare prayer
Of the suffering heart bleeding into the suffering air.
All is loss and lamentation,
Until they sing of a strong and eternal love
That is forever sowing and forever reaping
Love at the beginning and love at the ending.
So the prayers of the world are heard
In the whispering cornfields prayer.

© 2018 Gwen Grant

IT WASN’T THE HAPPIEST TIME

IT WASN’T THE HAPPIEST TIME

Walking out,
It was that kind of miserable,
Sulking winter,
With bitter stars
Barely bothering
To hunch their shoulders,
Or tuck themselves into the greyness,
Pulling clouds over their heads,
Thinking good riddance
To the sorry world below them.

Until, as if joyfully
Adding insult to injury,
A skim of sleet
Left the hand of misery,
Whitened the freezing leaves
Of the hedgerows,
Soaking the knitted cuffs
Of my bright red jumper.

    Nature’s fierce laughter
    Sending me home frozen.

             ©2022 Gwen Grant.

MARCH MORNING

MARCH MORNING

Sunshine
Threading through the garden,
Touching the first daisies,
Shining on the magpies,
Turning the water
In the old zinc bowl
Into shards
Of brilliant light.

Staying just out of reach
Of the cat’s lazy paw,
Until it pounces.

Catching the sun
In its sharp white claws.

The garden breathes out.

©2022 Gwen Grant

FOG IN THE MORNING

dinnington infog

FOG IN THE MORNING

More fog.
In the paddock,
Sheep, like ghosts,
Drifting up and down
The grass.

This could be yesterday
When we were all young
Together.

The early bus pulling up
At the Pit.
The sound of boots
On the half-hidden
Pavement,
In time for the early shift.

The rest of us asleep
Until the fog clears.
The sheep
Shaking it off their backs.

The lights of the Pit
Floating it
Clean away.

        © 2020 Gwen Grant