scottish road

We travelled down this road in northern Scotland late one evening and it was so wreathed in a heavy grey mist that when the road dipped down, we couldn’t even see the hedgerows. As we moved higher, however, the mist thinned out enough so that it looked like long folds of silk blowing across the fields. Then the moon appeared and the sky and the road looked just like this.


There were six angels playing in the sky tonight,
Tossing stars to each other with easy grace,
Their long grey skirts whirling
Over the country road beneath them.

All was still.
All was silent.
All beauty just a memory,

Until steady beams of light
Came shining down the darkness,
Startling the flowers into sudden radiance,
Chasing the twisty grey smokiness
Over the hedgerows,
As the lovely, familiar sound of a tractor
Came rolling through the air.

Then the whisper of grass
As a rabbit tracked through it,
The long, long sigh of an owl’s wings
And the hoarse, sweet sound of the tractor,
Rose up as a prayer.

                                  © 2018 Gwen Grant




My Dad’s boots were big and heavy,
Black bright with coal dust,
Clogged up on the leather laces,
Solid in the cleats of the soles
He walked on.

Threepence,’ he said, ‘to anyone
Who will clean them.’
There were no takers.

Until I got to thinking
About a crinkly paper bag
Full of lemon sherbets,
Fizzing on my tongue.

©2020 Gwen Grant



Playing Hide-and-seek,
Was ferocious, scary fun.

Adding vast dimensions
To where they played
Or which side they were on.

Hiding took them to fearful places,
Leaving them lost and forlorn.

Seeking forced them frightened on
To hidey-holes and hidden places
Much better left alone.

So they were glad
When they could leave
Hide-and-Seek behind.

Yet here they are,
Much older now,
Trying to find
Their own lost selves,
Soul and heart and mind.

©2022 Gwen Grant


Thinking about all the places we’ve lived over the
years, I also remembered, given the circumstances,
just how easy it is to find yourself without a home.
The poet, Robert Frost, said that home was where they
had to take you in, words that stayed with me.


If only I could sing that song again,
The old girl said to her reflection.
You know, the one about having
A safe place to live in.
Though, obviously, that’s not happening

Still, opening her mouth,
She tried a few notes.
Doh and Ray, anyway.
Admittedly, with a bit of a quaver,
Until, settling in,
She sang about home.


That place where the poet said
They had to take you in.
‘Not in my experience,’ the old girl sighed,
Then fell silent, considering.
At last, pushing aside
All her quavering and quivering,
Went on with her gravelly old singing,
Really getting into her stride.

Fearlessly singing the Blues on her lonesome,
Until, hustling up to the chorus,
She flung her arms wide.
All together, now!’ she cried,

And a thousand, thousand voices sang,
‘If only we had a home to be home in.’

©2017 Gwen Grant



The singing tree
Stands at the end
Of a long old garden,
Its airy beauty
Cherished by the wind.
Leaf and branch
The chosen hiding place
Of the sun.

Snow and ice,
Hard times and long drought
Fall upon it.
Shaking them away,
Persevering always
In its Being.

This is the tree
The angel visited
That long ago morning,
Wide face smiling
Among the leaves,
Letting the little shadows
Offer their shelter.

The singing tree
Sings of the quiet strength
Of wild places,
Of the certainty that hope
Can balance a mountain
On the tip of a finger.

              ©2022 Gwen Grant