BLUE TIME IN SPRING TIME

bluebells & dandelions

The last time I posted this poem, I was just out of hospital and
stuck in a wheelchair, so this place was just a lovely memory.
Now, one year later, we’ve been in lockdown and still couldn’t
get back for Spring but, as I said then, this is where I want to
visit again, even though we are heading for Autumn.

BLUE TIME IN SPRING TIME 

Walking over them, I half expected to fall
Into the great blue gaiety of a perfect sunny sky,
For the small blue flowers, no bigger than a grain of corn,
Were blue stars under my feet, their eternal beauty
Starring this world through the gentle hand of love. 

There is a deep tenderness in this wood, a deep love,
For here the purple flower, there, the red.
Now a creamy bank of butter yellow blossom gleaming
in the shadows,
Delighting, enchanting, lifting up to their own joyful gaiety
All those who walk under the dappling leaves.
The trees themselves swaying with delighted laughter
At this sunny celebration.

Beyond the blue flowers,
Beyond the pale grey stone and faded tags of leafy gold,
A fish leaps up through the sunlit water,
Glittering blue against the brown washed banks of the lake
drying in the morning sun,
And a swan glides by in slow, grave beauty. 

Down this path the dandelion, that shock headed golden
explosion,
Almost touches the red petals of a heavy blossomed tree,
A tiny goldfinch darting amongst them.
In the distance, a flash of blue as a jay flies to a far horizon,
Whilst a rich darkness shows up the blue black crow.
The squirrel pauses on its tiny orange feet
And the drake flies low, a dash of iridescent blue.
Then the blowing leaves whirl their tiny shadows under the trees
And the blue wash of bluebells turns the forest floor into a
dark blue sea. 

And in a thousand, thousand places,
In the bramble and in the thorn,
In the dark silhouette of twigs lying flush against the blue sky,
In the fallen flowers lying on the grass,
In the purple and the red and the water floating blue.
The blue bells ring this steady proof of love. 

                                                       © 2018 Gwen Grant

A DERBYSHIRE WINTER

derbyshire winter

After a journey over the Derbyshire hills when Winter itself seemed to take shape and form, this was how I remembered it. A place of utter beauty and totally unforgiving.  It was so enchanting, even though we had to drive really slowly to avoid skidding, I couldn’t take my eyes off the world around me.

                  A DERBYSHIRE WINTER

 Yesterday, we met that great icicled old man, Winter,
Striding across the tops of the Derbyshire peaks,
Flinging furious fists of snow on to the roads,
Stones, dips, hollows and hedgerows.

The hills and fields were bone white,
And white to the bone where he had passed.
Even the bleak and edgy rocks had given in,
Hiding their lovely blackness
Out of sight of the old man’s fury.
For who knew what he would do next? 

Too late!  He’s done it.
That tree standing alone in the emptiness
Should have shown a bit more respect.
Bowed its aching head
Under the snowy crown he had given it,
But somehow it shook the snow off instead.
And that great icicled old man spat spiteful
Gobbets of icy breath across it
Until, for one brief and beautiful moment,
The tree shone and dazzled in the thin sun,
Then broke under the old terror’s icy gift and was gone.  

Oh, winter, you could have pity on us.
You could pity the owl and the crow,
The mouse, the fox, the shrew and the stoat.
You could pity the glancing beauty of the dying fish
Striking up through the frozen water.
But you won’t, will you?
Even though you could afford to.
For such splendour and icy glory,
So enchanting it catches the breath
And causes the heart to fall back,
Will never willingly leave these peaks
To the wind and rumpled grass.
                                            © 2018 Gwen Grant

ABOUT BOOKS No.5

hundertwasser_ju_gb_3d_43431_1711271423_id_1163633

HUNDERTWASSER

This dazzling book of Hundertwasser’s paintings make the greyest world sing.  The picture on the book cover is a detail from a painting I love – ‘Wintergeist – Tableau d’hiver – Winterbild – Polyp’ which I’m reliably informed translates into ‘Winter Painting, Giudecca, April 1966’

Here is what Hundertwasser says about straight lines:

‘If a lion is stalking you, or a shark is out to kill you, you are of course in mortal danger.  We have lived with these dangers for millions of years.  The straight line is a man-made danger.  There are so many lines, millions of lines, but only one of them is deadly and that is the straight line drawn with a ruler.  The danger of the straight line cannot be compared with the danger of organic lines described by snakes, for instance.  The straight line is completely alien to mankind, to life, to all creation.’

I bought this book years ago from a brilliant bookshop in Lincoln, sadly now  closed. It’s one of those finds that are a comfort and inspiration for life.

lincoln bookshop

WAITING

fox

                   WAITING

Silent fields, and a bitter night,
And us, trying to keep warm
Under a frozen sky,
The air so cold, a tap
Would shatter it into shards of darkness
To fall around our feet,
And in that star-lit, owl frozen silence,
The hushed dark call carried thinly
Across the still and sleeping fields.

We, so quiet, the red-gold shadow
Of a fox padded by us
All unaware of our waiting,
Its paw pressing the frosted grass
Into dark and hungry prints
Along the path.

Then the silence was broken
By the soft whisper of wind
Drifting snowflakes down the feathered sky,
To quilt the winter ground,
And, somewhere, in that bitter icy world,
Someone offered a word of hope
To someone else.

As long as hope is in the world, then,
We, cold and frozen in our waiting,
Can warm ourselves at the fire of love.

                                                      ©Gwen Grant

I MISSED YOU WHEN YOU WERE GONE

 

You return
And the earth turns a little longer.
The lost
Finding one another on busy
City streets,
Or waiting in quiet, hidden gardens.

You return
Late as the sun for the dawn.
Stinging rays
Swivel blue bent to my windows,
Searching them
For the silent lips of a sleeping woman.

You return
And kiss my mouth and I awake
From this,
The first dying. Sweet and warm,
Into you
I come, and pull the air close round us.

I missed you when you were gone.

© Gwen Grant