A NIGHT AT THE PUB

pud 2

     A NIGHT AT THE PUB

Mario Lanza began to sing
And from a far corner of the crowded room,
Another Mario joined in.
Another and another,
Until the whole place rang
With song and laughter.

Then, in his far corner, Elvis stood,
Quietly singing of love and loss,
Singing of a real reality
Until, one by one, they all fell silent.
Even the drunks hushed their slurred words,
Listening to a song of loss and loneliness
So intense, life meant nothing.

The Bar was silent, breathless with memory
As Elvis sang, and when he was done,
Mario began again.
And beer was passed from Bar to drinker.
Someone ordered a cheeky Campari,
With bright red cherry and a paper umbrella.
Whoa!  Hold the soda.

Night pressed against the Pub’s lit windows,
But no-one wanted to go,
To be swallowed by the darkness,
Wanted only to stay here in the mad brightness,
Listening to the singing,
Listening to the daft loons laughter,
Gulping Lager in the corner
And watch the girls swinging
On the tiny, tiny dance floor.
Dancing as if dancing could conquer
The songs they were hearing.
As if being young could conquer everything.

Strange to meet Mario and Elvis here,
Two bony young fellows singing to the drunk and to the sober,
Singing to drown or lighten the drinker’s sorrows.               

                                                     © 2019 Gwen Grant

LITTLE MOTH

LITTLE MOTH

Last night,
In this cool dark room,
A little moth flew in
Through a half-open window,
A tiny glitter of light
Drawing it to me.

Where, for a moment,
It was in great danger.
Flying so close to my face
I felt the air from its beating wings.

Pressing my lips together,
I stopped breathing,
For fear of causing
This tiny moth’s destruction.

The room itself swept it away,
Whirling it into a far corner
Of melting darkness.
Its silver wings folding and fluttering
Fast as a geisha’s fan.

Airy and joyful,
Flirting with the night,
The tiny creation danced
Through the half-open window,
Bringing gaiety to the darkness,
Leaving me enchanted.

©2022 Gwen Grant

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