THE IRON MAN

old farm machine

We were out in the middle of nowhere when I saw this derelict piece
of farm machinery.
We were surrounded by fields and fields with the
odd spinney
breaking up the green and brown like an exclamation
mark. I’m hopelessly in love with these northern landscapes and
when,
from a distance, I saw what I thought was a man in a field,
it seemed to me how fortunate he was to be
out in that pure sunshine,
in that glorious
land. If you’re going to be abandoned, there was no
better place.

        THE IRON MAN

I saw an iron man on the way north.
He was digging in a field of red earth,
The earth so red
It matched his rusty bones.
As we drew closer,
I saw with my own eyes
It was not an iron man, of course,
But some old farm machinery
Abandoned in a hedge,
Left to rot in the hard, cold hand of winter.

That iron man will never dig the red earth out.
Never throw a spadeful over his shoulder.
Yet men of iron and we, of blood and bone,
Have one thing in common.
We all need someone to help us.
They to have their rusty bones made bright again.
We to have our rusty hearts made new,
To shine again.

The iron man will have to wait until times change,
Until someone shows up who loves old farm machinery.
But our help has already shown up,
For hope will change us
And love will shine up the world.

                                               © 2018 Gwen Grant

RAINBOW

rainbow mountain
 Rainbow Mountain, Peru
 

When I was 12 years old, I decided I would walk to the end of a
rainbow, find the gold and we could all live happily ever after. 
Several hours later, almost too tired to take another step, the rainbow
as far away as ever and fading fast, I headed back home.  I found
something on that expedition, though, as I’ve never forgotten it.

     RAINBOW

Possibly,
All life exists
At the end of a rainbow.
Gold,
Fairies,
Witches on broomsticks,
A Knight in shining armour.

I don’t really think so.
The last time I looked,
There was only a crumble of dirt,
A grain of corn,
A rain beetle struggling through the leaf mould.

Still, we build
What we can
With what’s to hand.

                                          © 2018 Gwen Grant

POPPIES

poppies (2)

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.

               POPPIES

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

SONG OF THE BLUES

starry-night-vincent-van-go1

  SONG OF THE BLUES

Blue stars in the garden,
Touched by the slender light of an icy moon
Trying to contain the storm
Throwing itself into a tantrum,
Breaking all it touched.
Spitefully turning the ruffled cornflowers
Into tiny blue rags
Pressed against earth’s vast darkness.

Howlin’ Wolf roared his blue despair
Into the emptiness he knew lay waiting
Behind the beauty of his own rich singing.
Set on making a cool and glorious
                       stream of melody
To challenge and defeat that darkness.
Make it jump for joy.

The Bluesman adding his song
To the precise and perfect loveliness
Of Lawrence telling of his own blue
                       Bavarian gentian
In the frosty month of September,
Its blue light leading him only into darkness,
Into emptiness,
Where Persephone was called back for ever
And Lawrence called for love.

Yet the Bluesman never stopped singing,
Filling that emptiness with the soul of man.
Bringing light to the darkness.
And Lawrence kept his pen firmly in his fingers,
Adding his song of blue gentians
Flowering in the month of September
To the eternal battle of hope over despair.

                                        © 2020 Gwen Grant